By Tony Swicer
The Florida United Numismatists convention show opened to the public at 10 a.m. Jan. 10 in Orlando with over 600 attendees waiting to get in. At the opening ceremonies, Bob Hurst, Cindy Wibker and I received the FUN Presidents Award from President Randy Campbell.
Total attendance was estimated at 9,500, with 606 dealer booths occupying 904 tables to public access. Dealer registration had 672 photo IDs for those dealers who did not have last year’s ID. 215 Early Bird badges were sold for those who wanted to get in the show early.
The theme this year was “Cities of FUN” by general chairman Bob Russell. Abe Lincoln (Dennis Boggs), The U.S. Mint, Ray Dillard (Elongated Cents), Piedmont Gold Panners, Coins and Kids Booth, Hobo Nickel Carvers, and Treasure Trivia Contest for kids run by Sam Gelbard of the American Numismatic Association. The ANA, Coin Dealer Newsletter, Coin World, Coin News, and Numismatic News all had tables with free magazines. PCGS, PCGS Currency, NGC, PMG Currency, ANACS, and ICG grading services were there. There was a “Club” section, “Ancient & Foreign” section, “Budget” section, and “Exhibit” section.
There were 17 free educational seminars over a four-day period with strong attendance.
Writer R.W. “Bob” Julian won the newly named Jim & Carrie Best Literary Award for the best article in FUN Topics. The Polly Abbott Service Award went to Gary Braisted. Three Young Numismatists scholarships were given out.
The Heritage Auction did $53 million sales in five days. A 1885 PR-66 Trade Dollar sold for $3,960,000. A 1793 Chain Cent MS-64+ BN sold for $1.5 million, and the 1943 copper cent AU-53 sold for $204,000. Many lots went for over $100,000.
There were 36 exhibits from 14 different states. Jim Zylstra won “Best of Show” for “Primative Money from the Democratic Republic of Congo.” The People’s Choice Award went to Kin Carmody for “Cinderella Coin – The Rarest U.S. Circulation Strike” 1838-O half dollar. The Coins and Kids booth had 278 YNs. The YN program on Saturday had 66 kids, and the Scout program had 63, both run by Tony Bonaro.
Past FUN President Bill Calderazzo received a FUN Presidential Award for sponsoring the YN scholarships to the ANA for many years to come. Jim & Carrie Best both received the FUN Presidential Award at the FUN Board & Volunteers Dinner.
The Numismatic Ambassador Breakfast had 48 in attendance. New Ambassadors are Tony Bonaro of Jacksonville, Fla.; Mike Ellis of Camilla, Ga.; Rod Gillis of Colorado Springs, Colo.; Brett Irick of Dearborn, Mich.; and David Lisot of Richardson, Texas. David Harper, editor of Numismatic News, was the Master of Ceremonies.
The FUN Club Get Together had 42 club members representing 22 clubs, including Kim Kiick, executive director of the ANA; Don Kagin, ANA vice president; and Harper. The FUN Club Bus program had five buses come to the show. Ocala coin club had 51 on their bus, Palm Beach had 46, Greater Jacksonville had 43, and both Sarasota and West Hernando clubs had 39 on their buses.
Doug Davis of Numismatic Crime Information Center gave a presentation to show dealers on Friday morning on the bourse floor before opening to the public. The ANA hosted a by-invitation-only symposium on the Future of Numismatics on Jan. 8, with five guest speakers in the industry. The ANA also had two grading courses on Jan. 8-9, “Fundamentals of Grading U.S. Coins” and “Advanced Paper Money Grading.” Several specialty clubs had meetings at the show.
The FUN general meeting was Sunday at 9 a.m.
The FUN election was as follows: President, Bob Hurst; vice president, Tony Swicer; secretary, Cindy Wibker, and treasurer, Tony Bonaro. Newly elected board members are Ed Abbott, Randy Campbell, Nancy Casey, Jay Chamberlain, Bernie Ososky, and Mark Trout.
We now look forward to Summer FUN July 11-13, 2019, in Orlando.
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