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ANA Coin Show Recap by John Feigenbaum

by John Feigenbaum – Stella Coin News

Well, another ANA Show has come and gone. I think this was my 22nd consecutive ANA and they all have a similar flavor no matter what the outcome. In a word…”long”. They have always been too long because there have always been “pre ANA” shows the weekend prior with important auctions, so we’ve always attended both shows and stayed the duration.

“Ok, enough whining” you say. “I feel your pain. It’s sooooooo hard being a coin dealer. You are forced to visit exotic cities, stay in fine hotels and eat out at top-notch restaurants and all you can do is complain.” Yes, that’s all true but it is indeed very hard work and staying away from home for extended periods of time has never been my strong suit. So, I always have high expectations for ANA shows but they rarely match up.

This show (I will combine the two shows for convenience), like others, was a marathon rather than a sprint — but is especially noteworthy because we came back with the best set of new purchases that I ever recall.

I have read on other dealer’s blogs that “great coins are red hot, yada yada yada”. But if you carefully read between the lines, you will still see that the majority of “great coins” are generally cheaper today than they were a couple years ago. It’s a very selective market, as all collector markets are, and the reality is that some collectors need to sell some big coins for reasons other than profit. I don’t recall ever having been to an ANA show where I saw more great five- and six-figure coins available for sale. We sold some great coins like our 1932 Saint PCGS MS66 and we bought even more great coins because I think this is one of those rare, historic moments when cash is king — and one cannot find these coins at anywhere near reasonable levels in a hotter market.

Examples of new purchases from the ANA Show:

1794 $1 PCGS XF40

1796 No Stars $2.50 PCGS XF40

1848 CAL. $2.50 PCGS AU50 (sold @ show!)

1796/5 $5 PCGS XF45

1930-S $20 PCGS SecurePlus MS65+

As you can see these are great coins. Of course, we didn’t limit ourselves to major rarities, and we have scores of other exciting collector coins that have been untouchable these past few years. Please keep an eye on the web site as these coins appear. (Or send me an email if you want more information on any of these.)

The Mood of the Show

“Ok, you say. Enough shameless promotion of your new purchases at the ANA show. Any dealer can do that and it’s not informative.” Ok, you’re right. Somehow we have to pay the light bills around here so please forgive me the transgression…. The show came in like a lamb and went out like a lion. Plain and simple. The pre show was entirely dealer-driven and dealers came to the show very tentative. Everyone wanted to see if anyone else was buying so it was generally a hot, boring affair. We slogged it out and did a fair amount of business, but it was the same business we’d do at ANY show, so that’s not exciting.

The main ANA show started earlier than ever this year. PNG dealer setup was Sunday night (are you kidding me!) with Monday being PNG dealer-only day. Yes, we are PNG dealers but after 4 days at the pre-show, this felt like overkill. The main show didn’t open until Tuesday afternoon and, by that time, we felt emotionally cooked. It’s hard to keep the excitement when the main show starts 6 days after you arrive. But right about the time we felt it was over, the collectors started showing up and revived our spirits. As expected, this show was well advertised and we were happy to see a number of old friends in attendance. Overall, dealer spirits were buoyed by the crowd, as well as word that the Heritage Platinum Night Auction was a success.

The State of the Market

It always bears repeating that the ANA ends with several weeks still remaining in the Summer months. Most collectors and dealers leave the ANA relaxed and business is usually a little quiet until the kids get back to school. This year will likely follow suit. We are going to spend the next few weeks preparing our ANA purchases as well as some great consignments we received at the show. We think that the market is generally quite upbeat and far better than the great U.S. economy. I’m not sure why, but it would seem that serious coin collectors (our client base) are resilient and good managers of their money, so they still have funds to spare in these perilous times.

Additionally, the market is still hungry for fresh collections, so PLEASE OFFER US YOUR COINS! I don’t know how to say that more politely, so I’ll skip the pleasantries. WE NEED YOUR COINS and we’ll pay top dollar for them, or give you great auction terms with no cost to you.

Thank you for taking the time to read…

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