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Last Memphis Paper Money Show a hit

Next year a battle will likely rage between attendees of the 41st International Paper Money Show. It won’t be a battle over who has best currency. Well, it might be, but considering the new venue for the show, it’s likely to be a lively discussion over which city has the best ribs—Kansas City, Mo. or Memphis, Tenn. That’s because next year the IPMS will end the show’s 40-year residence in Memphis and take up a new home in Kansas City, Mo.

The 40th International Paper Money Show in Memphis was the place to be for paper money collectors.

The 40th International Paper Money Show in Memphis was the place to be for paper money collectors.

Lyn Knight, whose LFK Tradeshows owns the IPMS, announced the move at this year’s IPMS, June 2-5, at the Cook Convention Center in Memphis. Knight said he selected Kansas City after considerable thought as to the best available location to grow the show and to build new memories and traditions.

This being the 40th show, everyone was inclined to remember past Memphis shows and good stories. These were shared by nearly 100 dealers and collectors who attended a special gathering on Friday in the Sheraton ballroom prior to that evening’s session of the Knight auction.

The event kicked off with Knight observing that there are six dealers who have attended every Memphis show. They are Dennis Forgue, Lyn Knight, Len Glazer, Allen Mincho, Harry Jones and John Rowe. Among collectors, he knew of five who made it to all 40 shows, including Ron Horstman, Tony Pedraza, Neil Shafer, Mart Delger, and Mike Crabb.

Forgue, Knight, Glazer, Mincho, Jones and Rowe, followed by a host of collectors and dealers, then approached the microphone to relate their favorite memories of Memphis. As might be imagined, the evening gathering included funny stories, tales of great rarities and notable dealers of the past, including Aubrey Bebee, John Hickman and Amon G. Carter Jr.

Mincho said of Memphis, “It’s been great. It’s been a wonderful experience for 40 years and I suspect Lyn [Knight] is going to continue the tradition for hopefully another 40 years.”

As for this year’s show, those dealers talked to by Bank Note Reporter deemed it a success.

“It’s been an excellent show,” said John Schwartz, paper money dealer and co-author of the Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date. “It started out like a house of fire on Friday and it has continued through with no let up. I’m just doing great.”

“The show has been quite active,” said Tim Kyzivat, Kyzivat Currency, Western Springs, Ill. “I came here to sell and I’ve done quite well.”

He added that he wasn’t looking to buy, as he hopes to retire soon and wanted to make sure he came to the last Memphis show. “I’ve attended maybe 20 or 25 of the 40 shows, and it is always a must go to. I’m happy with the results here. Unfortunately the show is getting smaller here. I’m looking forward to a bigger and active show in Kansas City next year.”

Asked what his favorite part of Memphis was, Allen Mincho, director of currency auctions with Heritage Auctions, Dallas, joked, “leaving.”

“I have always said of all the large U.S. cities that dealers visit every year, Memphis downtown has changed the least in 40 years,” he added. “Having been to all the shows, I can say that with some authority. The only downtown that I’ve been to of any metropolitan area that has changed less than Memphis is downtown Peoria, Ill. But Memphis is unchanged. I am looking forward to a change of venue.”

He termed this year’s Memphis “interesting.”

Peter Huntoon was one of those who regaled the Friday gathering with stories of prior Memphis shows.

Peter Huntoon was one of those who regaled the Friday gathering with stories of prior Memphis shows.

“Memphis has predominantly turned into a world bank note show and the world bank note dealers appear to be very happy—fat and prosperous. U.S. is a decent market. The rarities are doing very well. The overall market is good but not great.

“The auctions are where the action is, not on the bourse floor for U.S. It is still predominantly on the bourse floor for world, not for U.S. It’s turned into an auction dominated business for U.S.”

“It was a very good show,” said Ed Rothberg, Emporium Coin & Currency, Moorhead, Minn. “Better than last year. Brisk. Business has been brisk.”

Asked his overall impressions of the 40th IPMS, Knight said he thought people were happy with the show.

“We like the stories, the memories, the traditions, and we will see what we can do to make them all as good next year.”

Of the new location, he noted that there are plenty of attractions in Kansas City, such as two water parks, an amusement park, a soccer stadium, a NASCAR track, baseball and a World War I museum.

There is also, of interest to collectors, a Federal Reserve Bank.

“There’s probably more people that have interest in the design and printing of paper right within blocks of there than there are in most states,” he noted of the new site for the show. “Does that translate. Probably not, but I hope so.”

The 41st IPMS is slated for June 7-11, 2017, at the Sheraton Crown Center, 2345 McGee St., Kansas City, Mo.

This article was originally printed in Bank Note Reporter.
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