In the midst of yet another Nor’Easter, this one packing a blizzard punch, I figured I’d take the opportunity to blog about the past month or so of Numismatic-isms while waiting for my power to go out.
Since I last touched base, I’ve traveled to California, Florida and Texas. No, not a planned retreat from the latest of nasty winters, but for coin show travel and a brief break from reality, spring training baseball in Florida.
The Long Beach Coin Expo was held in late February this year at the Long Beach Convention Center in, you guessed it, Long Beach California. The show, once the largest and most active of its kind, has morphed into yet another wholesale focused show. The retail base that once pushed this show to greatness seems to have grown weary of California traffic and a lack of fresh material on the bourse. As the lack of buying retail continues to force retail dealers to attempt to move more coins through the wholesale avenues, those coins come off the market faster, finding homes with want list customers or cruising the wholesale circuit, swapping amongst dealer cases with such speed, a mere blinking of one’s eye would see the coin disappear for all eternity. Wow, that was a long, run-on sentence… you’re welcome!
The show did offer a glimpse of hope in the form of my Liberty Seated Collectors’ Club (LSCC)/Barber Coin Collectors’ Society (BCCS) dual social at the Rock Bottom Brewery on our traditional Thursday night. The social attracted an impressive fifteen attendees overall, allowing for lively discussion and a wonderful evening with fellow dealers, collectors and the like. I’m almost inspired to try another LSCC educational seminar one morning before the bourse opens to the public. Perhaps I will try this at the June or September show? Thoughts on the subject??
My week in between the Long Beach Coin Expo and the ANA National Money Show in Irving Texas was spent with my eldest son Andrew (now 13 believe it or not!) traveling across Southern Florida following the Boston Red Sox during MLB Spring Training. Andrew and I started in Fort Myers, where the Red Sox spend a majority of their spring at JetBlue Park (or Fenway South as the locals call it). I find the seating more befitting of our current structures as I do the park in Boston, built to fit the bodies of the masses back in the early 1900’s! We got in a game in Fort Myers and then followed the squad to Jupiter and West Palm Beach. All in all we saw games versus Pirates, Astros and Cardinals; tried some great burger joints and started working on our “farmers tans” after pretty silly looking burns in the candy-cane tradition. If you have kids that enjoy baseball, I can’t recommend Spring Training enough. Andrew and I talk about our experiences all year as we look forward to our next adventure. This was our fourth Spring Training trip. Andrew reports that we will be doing this forever! Sounds good to me!
Florida wrapped up with a stop in Baltimore and finally a trip to Boston before preparing for the ANA NAtional Money Show in Irving. The weather has been particularly brutal the past few weeks, after record highs in February, March and her Lion have reminded us it is still winter in New England. Please bring on the Lamb.
Departing the winter blitz, I headed south yet again. Irving Texas, home of this years’ ANA National Money Show. The show opened for dealer set-up on Wednesday afternoon and, after an uneventful day, I headed to my hotel room to work on new purchases and prepare for the shows retail opening on Thursday.
As many of you know, the ANA National Money Show is hosted in a different locale yearly. This years show in Irving featured a smaller than normal bourse area. Actually, the small size I found shocking to the eye. Fewer dealers appear to be traveling for the Spring ANA. In contrast, the World’s Fair of Money will be in Philadelphia this summer, a strong retail area drawing its base from both the Baltimore/DC and New York/NJ area. That show will most likely feature 3x the dealer booths in comparison. It was apparent early on that Irving would be a wholesale powered show. By Friday morning, having sold 2 coins and 1 book retail, I took to the floor to move some of the older inventory to dealers that could use Seated and Bust material. Within minutes of leaving my booth I found success moving a bundle of coins to a few of the wholesale buyers and also found some want list coins in other dealers cases. The ability to get out on the bourse for a while really paid dividends and helped rescue me from a show result that was heading towards an all time dud.
My favorite part of the show was the wonderful dinners I enjoyed with some of my very favorite dealers on the bourse. A lively group sharing some really funny travel stories, some of which I shared of my own experiences on the bourse and traveling in general. A future book perhaps? For now, personal memories I cherish and giggle-still at the conversations as I type this blog.
Baltimore is next up. Initial weather models are showing perhaps yet another whopper of a storm developing off the coast and turning into a monster Nor’Easter. Early forecasts have this one affecting the Baltimore/DC area on Tuesday/Wednesday next week before heading North. It is a long way off at this point, but a storm like that would be an unmitigated disaster for the Whitman Expo, with dealer drop off and set up scheduled for Wednesday and Thursday morning. Many dealers come into town early to wholesale. A big storm like that, should the forecast pan out, would be an absolute nightmare for those trying to fly into the area. Fingers crossed for sure. I’ll be there, ahead of the storm, neither sleet nor snow nor wind nor rain slowing me down.
Speaking of Baltimore, I will be at booth 1028 with full inventory and with books for sale, both hard-bound and spiral-bound. Come visit me! (see: SeatedDollarVarieties.com or DickOsburn.com for more information).
After all this travel, a well earned (in my humble opinion) rest will come after Baltimore in the form of a month-long gap between shows. I will be at the Central States Coin Show in the Chicago area in late April. I do not plan to have a table at this show, but will be happy to bring specific inventory if requested to do so ahead of time. I also will be hosting a presentation on Liberty Seated Dollars on behalf of the Silver Dollar Roundtable. I’ll post a blog with more information about my presentation as Central States nears.
I’ll be posting new purchases (NEWPS) this week. Keep your eyes peeled for an email update. If you’re not currently on our email list, sign up here…
Here’s a quick preview of upcoming NEWPS to be posted (pricing and attribution to follow)….
1862/1 Three Cent Silver PCGS MS66
1803 Half Dime PCGS F12
1835 Half Dime PCGS AU50 Large 5C
1807 Dime PCGS VG08
1865-S Seated Dime PCGS VF25
1805 Quarter PCGS VG08
1843-O Seated Quarter PCGS FR02 Large O
1854-O Seated Half PCGS AU58 CAC
1891 Seated Quarter PCGS MS64
1839 Seated Half PCGS VG08 No Drapery
1874-CC Seated Half PCGS AG03 CAC
1874-S Seated Half PCGS AU58
1877-CC Seated Half PCGS AU50 Closed Bud Med CC
1878-CC PCGS G04
1846-O Seated Dollar NGC AU58
1871 Seated Dollar PCGS XF40
To my friends in New York, New Jersey and New England…. May you stay warm, not lose your power and make many, many snowman friends. Be safe everyone!
Brian P Cushing