By Glen D. McClary
This year’s FUN show was again a very enjoyable experience. I arrived early on Friday and was surprised at the venue being so close to my usual parking area. As always, the volunteer greeter was smiling, efficient, and so welcoming. There were several handouts, including the booklet, bag, and two commemorative coins, as well as the collectible elongated cent.
As I always do after entering the bourse floor, I made a hasty tour of the vendors checking for past favorites and getting a sense of what was being offered. This year seemed less evidence of bullion and jewelry. It also felt a bit more spacious with possibly a few less tables.
I always visit the available mint presentation, check out the value section, and spend time at the great exhibits. I was drawn to the Hobo nickel exhibit as my top choice and then went over to the Hobo nickel demo to admire the artistry. There I received a free wooden nickel to add to my day’s free stuff.
While in the exhibit section, I met a colleague from my northern coin club who was making his first “big” show visit. We shared our experience and admiration for the show. Later, we met at Dave Harper’s yearly forecast presentation. I also met two of my Florida coin club members. It is always nice to see and share with others who share interests.
One of this year’s top items for me was to see up close the PCGS Perfection exhibit of Morgan Dollars. It was truly spectacular, and I was allowed a picture of the case up close and was given a brochure about this outstanding set of items. I have spent the last few years working on my own Morgan collection, so this was a great treat.
My purchases took me to many friendly and likable vendors. I made several purchases, including slabbed Morgans from Jack at Royality Copeland Coins of Austin, Texas. He allowed me to browse through hundreds of coins to pick my few. We also had a nice conversation while I picked through.
In fact, all but one of the many vendors I stopped at were great this year. The only exception was a cranky pair from South Carolina who shooed me away, saying “Don’t touch those coins, we don’t sell to you, only dealers.” Funny thing is, I do a bit of dealing. This gave me a moment of bitterness, but it didn’t last.
I left the bourse floor to hear two presentations, both repeats of last year. The best was again Dave Harper’s review of his 2018 predictions and his 10 predictions for 2019. Dave is great at the broad brush of the hobby as well as an in-depth look at key points concerning what might be important to collectors today.
The second presentation, by Travers and Rosen, focused much time on BitCoin as an investment vehicle. While quite interesting, it seemed more confusing than clarifying as a topic to consider. That may be due to my age and coin collection interests versus my need for long-term future investing.
Both presentations were filled to capacity, and that speaks well of the selections available to showgoers.
I ended my visit with a few more purchases of error pennies and a purposeful stop to say hi to Dave Harper at the NN table. We chatted for a bit about the show, some of my thoughts about his forecast, and an item I had submitted to NN concerning a U.S. into online customer survey.
The day was great, and I felt good about the state of collecting. Going to this type of show invigorates one in the face of the ongoing discussions related to the demise of coinage, aging out of collectors, and dismay with the U.S. Mint. I look forward to next year, which will be my 10th. Maybe I need to do a celebratory elongated coin to hand out.
This “Viewpoint” was written by Glen D. McClary, a hobbyist from Satellite Beach, Fla.
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