Why does a coin dealer cross the road?
To get to the other side where his Chicago International Coin Fair clients awaited him April 14-17 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill.
Once dealers made the trek from the Crowne Plaza O’Hare Hotel, the usual hard work of turning a profit ensued.
At the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation table near the entrance, Lisa Goolsby said, “I think what made it different was being here rather than at the hotel. It looked bigger. There was a lot of foot traffic.”
How would she characterize her firm’s business? A medium level of business was her reply.
Andy Lustig’s experience was much better.
The Nyack, N.Y., dealer said, “It was the most active and productive CICF in recent memory. I bought lots of interesting coins on the floor and at the auction.”
He said he wrote more invoices to dealers and collectors walking the floor than he had in months. He fanned a pile of them and held them up for a photograph.
“The show was busy at every level,” Lustig said.
James Beach of Owosso, Mich., was another dealer with a thumbs up result.
“It’s been pretty good activity at the show,” he said. “Friday was a good day for collectors. I was selling better grade ancients and world coins. Both are selling well.”
Kent Froseth of Minneapolis said, “We’ve had a good show. I’m very happy with it.”
But it helps when everything is working right.
“I bought the one coin I wanted to buy at the auction for a good price,” he said.
Summing up his experience, he said, “As usual, we didn’t spend enough money. It was an easy show for us. We were busy almost all the time with sales. The show staff was helpful and that was appreciated.”
Christopher Baker of Atlas Numismatics.com said, “I think this was about an average show for us. It was good dealer-to-dealer Thursday. There was good foot traffic Friday morning.”
Gus Wing of M. Louis Teller, Encino, Calif., said, “it was a change of settings. Since ANA was here, it was familiar. The business part of it was spotty.”
Wing said he wished more European or overseas people would show up as strongly as the local collectors did.
Al Boulanger of Pittsboro, Ind., called his results “disappointing.”
Carlos Jara at the World Numismatics table, Carefree, Ariz. was the most precise of the dealers.
When asked how business was for him at the show, he replied, “Good. It’s been slow, but we did three major sales.”
Allen G. Berman of Fairfield, Conn., broke his results into two parts.
“Buying has been very good, with interesting material coming,” he said.
“Selling has been healthy average. Those people who bothered to look carefully can almost always find something,” Berman said.
He joked that at that time of the morning that “I’m partially caffeinated.”
At the Stack’s Bowers table, Bruce Walker said, “It’s been good. We’ve had a lot of contacts prepping for ANA and Hong Kong (sales) in August.
Andy Mirski of Des Plaines, Ill., called his results “pretty good.”
He said, “I can’t complain. It was busy much of the time. I specialize in animal coins. I was selling my animal coins. I am the only one on the floor doing this.”
Mirski said he also had done a little bit of buying.
Glenn Schinke of Rosemead, Calif., said, “I bought Latin America, ancient coins and a little bit of general world.”
Fred Knust of Mason, Mich., said of the show, “It was OK.”
Alex Basok of Highland Park, Ill., also called the show OK.
In his words, “It was OK, but only because (there were) prearranged transactions with known clients.”
He said he was buying only from other dealers.
Because of the Internet, medals have become a good business, he said. The reason is it is now easier for newcomers to identify them online.
“It’s a good business to be in. It’s a pleasant business. When you start researching it’s hard to stop,” Basok said.
“Sales have been just fine,” said John McCaugherty of Distinctive Coins, Downers Grove, Ill. “Sales of the more expensive coins have been very good. More common coins are slower.”
He said some overseas dealers were missing, but he blamed that in part on the devaluation of currencies against the U.S. dollar in recent years, especially the Russian ruble.
Next year, there will be no crossing the road. The bourse will be in the host hotel. Show dates are April 6-9, 2017.
More Collecting Resources
• Keep up to date on prices for Canada, United States and Mexico coinage with the 2016 North American Coins & Prices guide.
• The Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 8th Edition is your guide to images, prices and information on the century's coins.