Well, day two is in the books. I’m back to the homestead having by-passed Little Italy or one of the many fine steak houses in the city, opting instead for a ham and cheese wrap at home so I could bring you this sweet slice of literary bliss I call my blog.
The morning started with traffic, a lot of traffic. More traffic than humanly possible for a Friday morning coming into Baltimore. Sadly I’m not talking about the bourse traffic, but the commute traffic! 295 is a quick trip into the city from the airport area and offers a nice glimpse of the city landscapes, including the football stadium and Camden Yards, which nearly neighbors the Convention Center. Heavy congestion and a fender bender added a good 15 minutes to my last 2 miles. The real kick in the mid-section was finding my go-to parking garage was full. Fortunately I found a garage just a block away and I was off to get my morning coffee.
Coffee update, Starbucks inside the convention center was closed. With two good sized conventions running at the same time, finding the coffee stand closed on a Friday morning was a dagger of sorts. Some might call it a second swift kick to the groin region, an ominous start to a day I’d hoped would be gloriously rewarding. I regrouped and grabbed mediocre hotel coffee. It was then time for a different kind of pick-me-up, the Liberty Seated Collectors’ Club educational seminar. It worked.
Bill Bugert, of the Liberty Seated Half Dollar Book fame (among many, may other wonderful accomplishments) put on an incredibly interesting power point regarding the many die cracks on the reverse of an 1843 Half Dollar. It was a great talk and really inspired me to take a second and third look at my 1843 Seated Half Dollars both in inventory and in the NEWPS box. Bill also handed out a picture print out of the different die marriages with a diagram of each marriages die cracks. Really cool stuff! If you didn’t attend the show and would like me to send a scan, let me know. I may post it here tomorrow if I get a chance.
With many thanks to Bill, I was now fired up to open the booth and welcome the awaiting public. The seminar ends as the public is allowed onto the bourse, so opening the table as quickly as possible I found I had time to work up NEWPS (check back tomorrow for a quick list of the newps coming from this show). I was surprised at the lack of activity to start the morning, perhaps I just missed the initial buzz as I was wrapping up the seminar and got ot the table a little after ten. Things did pick up later in the morning and then, I had my greatest moment of the show so far (other than my soap-box speech on Old Bay seasoning that is. A customer approached the table and handed me a very interesting Liberty Seated Dollar.
The coin was gorgeous. A beautiful 1847 Seated Dollar, as crusty and original as I’ve seen in an XF holder. I even agreed wholeheartedly with the well deserved CAC sticker affixed to the holder. A really a great mid-range example. What amazed me is what I observed when I flipped the coin over. First, let me quickly rewind and set the stage…
Dick and I, in our new book “Liberty Seated Dollars: A Register of Die Varieties” mention in our section on 1847 Dollars that our die marriage, OC-4 perhaps has a B die state of the reverse die with a CUD on the rim. Neither Dick nor I have seen one in hand. Dick didn’t handle one in all his time as a dealer. I’ve never seen one in all my time as a dealer. In seven years of extensive and exhaustive research for our Seated Dollar book, neither of us have seen the CUD. Dick did read about one in an old auction archive (without images) and hence we decided to put the unverified die state in our book. Okay, back to today…
To my great wonder and surprise… and excitement, this coin had a CUD on the reverse rim! The CUD on this coin was located on the rim across from the upper arrow and it was BOLD! This coin also featured extensive die cracks throughout the legend. As neat a piece as it is rare! The newly confirmed die state will be added to our Dollar Book website in the very near future… SeatedDollarVarieties.com
After I settled down from the excitement of confirming this previously unconfirmed die state, I sent Dick an email outlining my findings and sending images of the coin for his records. Dick responded almost immediately with one sentence, “Get good images.” With only a cell phone camera at the show, I requested and the customer promised to send good digital images for the website. What an exciting turn of events!
My day started to wind down before it ever seemed to start on the retail side. I saw many customers but most seemed more interested in talking about or purchasing the book. I did move a few more inventory pieces before I turned my attention to attributing NEWPS. With a lot of time at home taken up by the kiddies and all the travel, I use any downtime at the shows to attribute NEWPS or start loading them into excel spreadsheets, the life-blood or our X-cart based website platform. I seemed to have more time for these tasks today than I expected for a Friday in Baltimore. Alas, it was time to depart.
After locking up and leaving the bourse I headed to the Hilton with my good buddies Ray and Phil Hinkelman of Eye Appealing Coins and one of our wholesale buddies. The post-bourse drink is a great way to wind down after a tense, sometimes stressful and sometimes exhilarating day at the show. The group is usually larger than the dinner group, as some part ways with separate dinner plans or auction and/or coin work to be done that night takes them another direction. Tonight I was the one leaving the group. They went off to enjoy a nice Italian feast and, as previously mentioned I rushed home to eat a wrap and write the blog.
More to come tomorrow, truly the final day at the show (even though it technically ends Sunday). Dealers, much like rats fleeing a sinking ship, scamper off to the airport in the late morning and early afternoon hours of Saturday. Left behind a virtual ghost town of empty booths with half empty bottles of water, removed coin stickers, cracked slabs and left over pizza scattered about. It’s a bit embarrassing how messy our booths look when we depart a show really. I’ll be on the bourse at show open and will be dropping off friends at the airport late morning only to return to the show for a few hours in the early afternoon. If you’ll be at the show, I’ll be in and out but will be attending tomorrow and located again at 1028. A final blog post will follow the show, if my ship doesn’t sink.
Brian P Cushing