High end coins grabbed headlines, especially at the auction, but too few buyers were seen on the bourse floor of the Central States Numismatic Society’s 76th anniversary convention April 23-25.
As a result some dealers said it was a bad coin show and others said it went well.
Gus Tiso, owner of G.R. Tiso Numismatics, Salisbury, Md., called the coin show an absolute joke.
“It was horrible,” he said. “There was hardly any public attendance. The main business was dealer to dealer and half the dealers wouldn’t buy anything. That’s pretty sad.”
He said he only earned enough there to cover his expenses in attending.
“It’s too much money to pay to be there,” Tiso said. “I won’t be getting a booth there next year.”
Greg Allen, owner of Greg Allen Coins, St. Paul, Minn., said while the convention was a mixed bag to most dealers, he saw good business.
“It was a good mixture of retail and wholesale sales,” he said. “I was also able to buy coins, much more than I normally would at the show.”
He said he had overheard other dealers saying the show was one of their worst ones.
“There were some that didn’t have a good show and others that said it was a normal show,” Allen said.
Harry Miller, owner of Miller’s Mint, Patchogue, N.Y., said the show wasn’t great, but sales were OK.
“The show started quiet but gained momentum towards Saturday,” he said. “Without Saturday, we would have had a lousy show.”
Higher end, rare coins were the best sellers at the show while precious metals took a back seat.
“Scarce date Barber coins in difficult grades from fine to brilliant uncirculated were selling well,” Miller said. “Gold was quiet because the market was a little on the weak side.”
Allen said the majority of his business was selling Franklin half dollars.
“I specialize in Franklin half dollars, mainly high grade Mint State and proof half dollars,” he said. “I did well selling both.
“With the Franklin half dollars, there is a collector base. At a show like this, I have a half a case or full case of them. I also picked up some new Franklins there to sell at the ANA show.”
Morgan dollars and classic commemoratives were also hot, while type coin sales had cooled off, he said.
“We also did well at the show grading coins and helping customers grade their coins,” Allen said.
Miller said he hoped to see more diversified advertising for the show next year.
“I don’t understand why but the show didn’t seem to attract the retail public,” he said. “More advertising could bring in more attendees.”
Timing is another factor in the show’s success, he said.
“Customers who came to the show in the past didn’t come to this show,” he said. “I suspect that it was because the show was so close to tax time.”
Tiso said no major coin show should occur during tax time.
“It’s a bad time right at tax time,” he said. “Tax time is a slowdown in our business. So, foot traffic was down. If it was done in May, it’d be better.”
Location should also be taken into consideration, he said.
“In the Schaumburg, Ill., area, the show doesn’t work,” he said. “People don’t like to go out there.”
He recommended the convention move to different cities around the Midwest on an annual basis.
“Go back to the old method of moving the show around each year,” he said, “although, it is probably cheaper to have an annual contract for one place.”
So was it a bad show, good show or OK show? Will such a variety of opinions it probably should be called a typical show.