Important News! CoinLink has merged..... Visit our NEW Site www.CoinWeek.com

BREAKING NEWS:....... Vist Our NEW Site at CoinWeek.com

All Posts Tagged With: "Numismatic Americana"

Long Beach Coin Show and Market Report by William Shamhart

By William Shamhart – Numismatic Americana

Everyone wants to know: So how was Long Beach? In one word: HOT!

OH…you meant how was the coin show? Well if you’re an optimist, it was partly sunny; if you’re a pessimist, it was partly cloudy. Confused? So was I.

I’ve been going to Long Beach for almost 30 years now. And it never ceases to amaze me. This year’s fall show didn’t suffer the Long Beach curse of falling precious metal prices as most have. In fact gold is at an all time high. And? And generic gold was dead. No demand that I could see. While Christine and I don’t really make a market in bullion or generic gold, we do get some in deals at times, or from customers that are changing their collecting strategy. So we sort of deal in it I guess. Anyways, I would have thought that generics would have shown some sort of surge in demand. But alas, they didn’t. In fact we sold MS 62 Saint Gauden $20 pieces for $1,500. And that was with gold just shy of $1,300!

There was definitely a larger amount of no-show dealers this time. I blame that on the fact that as I write this, I am getting ready to leave for Whitman’s Philadelphia show. I heard that many of the East Coast dealers just didn’t want to do back to back major shows. I can’t say that I blame them.

Retail customers – There were several people that I expected to be there that were also no-shows. Maybe they are saving their money for this week. I guess next weeks show report will tell if I was correct or not.

So from what I am writing, you’d think that Long Beach was a bust, right? Wrong. While not as heavily attended as usual, those that were there, came to buy. Most of the customers we saw there were again (I’m seeing a trend here) carrying want list and would wait for just the right piece. Quality was paramount and price was secondary. Today’s collector wants quality, with no excuses. And they are willing to pay for it. Slightly off quality, and low quality weren’t really sought out. At least from what I could see. That’s not to say that they aren’t selling because we saw a lot of coins trade hands at some very attractive prices. Oh wait, that was wholesale.

So what was selling? Ready? Drum roll please…Proof Walkers and Mercury Dimes. Yes, it surprised me too. But then again, they are dirt cheap in comparison to some other series. And they can be downright pretty. Sound inviting?

Commemoratives – This series has a somewhat “cult” like following. Those that collect them never stop. Maybe they slow down, but they never stop. They just graduate to the “top pops”. Even seasoned veteran commem people were buying duplicates, and even triplicates, but only if the coins were “all there”. Don’t rush out and buy all the commems you can get your hands on though. Be picky, like our customers, and wait. When that special coin presents itself, then, and only then, do you pull the trigger.

Gem Gold – While the lower grade, i.e. MS 61-64, pieces weren’t as in demand as one would think, Gem specimens, were. We sold many at the show, and while we bought some to take home for customers there just are not that many around. Whether a collector is building a set of Gem $3 pieces, or just looking for a few MS 66 $5 Liberties, it can be a daunting task.

Confused? I understand.

Like I said earlier, I will be attending the Whitman Show in Philadelphia this week. If you go, and have a chance, stop by the table and say hello.

Boston ANA Show Report by Bill Shamhart

William Shamhart, Jr. – Numismatic Americana

After months of anticipation and preparation, the ANA’s annual World’s Fair of Money in Boston is over. And while there are always little details that could use a little more attention, I must say that the staff of the ANA produced a convention that blew me away. Many show reports have been written about this year’s ANA, and I sure many more are to come, so let me get to the “meat” of this one:

Bourse floor:

Held on the second floor, actually third if you count the street level, it was set up into two rooms. I have never been a fan of spitting up the bourse floor of a show for many reasons; yet this year’s show seemed to work. Christine’s and my table was in the “main” room, centrally located. We picked this table for a reason. And it worked. Most collectors had no problem finding us (especially if they use the great program the ANA put together). It didn’t hurt that it was on a major thorough-fair into the next room either. Many collectors/dealers stopped at our table, and it was great to see many familiar faces and finally meet so many of our customers in person. The aisles were wide enough so that there weren’t any major traffic jams. This is great, especially in a room where most if not all the attendees had briefcases or rolling carts in tow. I’m sure that the ANA took this into consideration when they decided to use two rooms. I personally think it was a smart move. The only downside to this that I saw was that many of the collectors/dealers never made it into the other room! Seriously! There was more than enough quality material in either room to have a stand alone show in itself.

Bourse floor sales:

Collectors
After 30+ years of attending ANA summer shows, I can say without a doubt that this was our (my) best one to date for collector sales. I can attribute this to many factors, but one stands at the top. Christine Monk. She has been in the business for nearly twenty years and has met many, many collectors during that time. Collectors I knew by sight, but had never met in person. They came up and congratulated her on her new position, chatted like old friends, sat down, looked at coins, talked coins, and walked away with many new purchases. That was what drew me to this hobby as a child, and has kept me in it throughout my adult life. In Boston, Christine reminded me of this. Thanks Chris!

At the top of the list of what was selling was U.S. Commemoratives. I always knew that this series had a great following, and in Boston I saw it in person. Don’t be fooled though. Not all commems, or any coin for that matter, are equal (no matter what the label in the holders says). The coins we sold had that little something special that I always talk about going for them. Abundant luster, wild color, or outstanding eye appeal is and was needed. This doesn’t apply only to Commems though. Every coin we sold had to have it. (more…)

CSNS Coin Show Report

By Bill Shamhart – NumismaticAmericana.com

I just returned home after a short 1 1/2 flight from Milwaukee, and thought I’d write about the Central States Numismatic Society’s show that was just held. First off let me say that this year marks my 30th year as a Life Member of the CSNS. And I’ve attended at least that many shows of theirs. But this one was different.

I arrived on Tuesday to look at the inventory of some of my contacts, as I usually do. Not much to report there. I know it sounds like a broken record, but really nice coins aren’t available like one would think. Basically a wasted day. Centralstates2010Homepage On to Wednesday, PNG day. I was able to find a few morsels, but I sold at least two coins for every one that I bought. For the first time in a long time, every time I sold a coin I asked myself when (and how) was I going to replace it. Let’s give PNG day a B-. But it ended on a good note at a great restaurant: STANFORDS.

Thursday was the “official” set-up day for Central States. All dealers. All day. Unless of course the collectors wanted to pay a ridiculous fee of $75.00 for a “professional pre-view” badge. Which in my opinion was a bad move on the show management’s part. Serious collectors may have, or may not have, been at the PNG day and expected to attend the “show” the next day, only to find this arrangement. Every dealer we spoke with thought this was a horrible idea. I must say I agree with them. First off, no where was this publicized. Nobody knew of this move until they got to Milwaukee. Hopefully the board of Central States will learn a lesson from this blunder and NEVER do something like this again.

So…how was the show after the public got in? Good. No, really good. We saw many familiar faces, met some new ones, and sold coins. Gem type coins and Commemoratives (both silver and gold) were in demand. Several collectors looked at pieces, said they might come back (and they did) only to find their items of interest already in the hands of another. I have always said, and will continue to say, that the time to buy the “right” coin is when you see it. I’m not talking about an impulse buy, or maybe a coin you have a passing interest in, but that special one. The one that you’ve been looking for for a long time. I know that when I see a great coin, I know that I will be buying it. It is just a matter of negotiating price. Collectors should learn that trait. Good coins sell themselves, and quickly.

The membership of the Central States Numismatic Society is a diverse one. Coins, paper money, medals and tokens, and Americana. There were collectors at this show looking for it all. In addition to our rare coin sales, we sold quite a bit of Numismatic Americana. Original memorabilia for U.S. Commemorative coinage was in “big” demand. In fact, we sold all that we brought. Items from the 1896/1900 election between William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan were also sought out. It’s great to speak with collectors and hear the “passion” in their voice when they talk. It reminds me of why I do what I do. (more…)