Greetings Rare Coin Enthusiasts, My name is Vic Bozarth and I am the Rare Coin Road Warrior. My wife Sherri and I attend nearly 40 shows a year to buy fresh to the market coins for our customers. We attend all major U.S. Coin Shows, as well as most large regional and state coin shows. I am a ‘bourse floor’ dealer. I have never worked in a coin shop and the ‘action’ on the coin show bourse floor is rarely boring. During the last three weeks we have attended two of the biggest rare coin shows the country has to offer. Both shows were busy, but let me try and fill you in on the news from the ‘floor’.
Both the Long Beach, CA and Baltimore, MD Shows are held three times a year. And, of the three shows held in each location, the Summer Shows are generally the slowest with the lowest attendance. At both shows there were some dealers on vacation. Weddings, graduations, and vacations are usually the biggest culprits for lower attendance in June, but this year most were pleasantly surprised with the good business done at both shows. In addition, both the Heritage Long Beach Auction and the Stacks/Bowers Baltimore Auction were heavily attended and bidding was brisk.
Good shows are good shows more often than not and the improving coin market is helping. Indeed, I have been writing for a couple of months about increased demand from dealers ‘stocking’ coins. Most coin dealers stock merchandise, but the trend for quite a few years has been to just buy product that can be readily sold or coins that are always in demand. Many dealers have gone from stocking a resale inventory to just bottom feeding on coins they can buy back of bid. As the old saying goes, ‘the times they are a changing’.
Dealers are actively looking for coins to STOCK. Prices AT THESE LEVELS are very attractive to dealers. In other words, dealers feel coins are poised for a big move. Would you rather have cash or would you prefer a nice collection or group of rare U.S. coins. Dealers are buying coins to both stock and/or hold. Lots of dealers who have predominantly done bullion business for the last several years are buying nice coins because they have seen bullion levels quadruple (or more) and rare coins remain relatively unchanged in price.
At Baltimore sales were good. What we really noticed was the demand FROM OTHER DEALERS for coins at set-up. Our usual brisk wholesale business was nearly double. While the price levels are not moving demand is accelerating. Collectors too were out in strength looking for particular coins, but we had three different collectors come back to find the coins they had looked at had already been sold-to other dealers! We don’t ‘blow out’ new fresh inventory at bid-we can’t replace it. Knowledgeable dealers were willing to pay a premium for NICE FRESH coins.
I worked the floor in Long Beach from set-up through Friday afternoon and the story was the same. During set-up dealers were two deep at tables of dealers known to bring fresh inventory to the show. At Baltimore also dealers were elbow to elbow vying for the best NEWPS-new purchases. Most dealers we spoke to commented about the lack of nice coins available for sale at both shows.
Last week (between Long Beach and Baltimore Shows) we attended the Sharonville, OH Show held each year by Paul Padget. Paul runs a great regional show and this year was somewhat smaller but well attended. Being bracketed between Long Beach and Baltimore didn’t help either. In any case, we were able to buy some nice coins both before and during the show. There are lots of coins in the Buckeye State.
The Summer Show Schedule tends to build until the ANA World’s Fair of Money Show held this year in Chicago in August. There are several great shows on the Summer Schedule including the Summer FUN Show in Orlando, shows in Chicago, Colorado Springs, CO, Clearwater, FL, Ontario, CA, St. Louis, MO, and Manchester, NH. We will be attending the Colorado Springs, CO Show, the Summer FUN Show in Orlando, FL, the Ontario, CA Show, and the St. Louis, MO Show near the end of July.
The Summer ANA Show is ten days of non-stop coin action. We will be there for the duration in Chicago for the middle of August. We will have tables at both the PNG/ANA Pre-Show and the main event ANA Show. Both of these shows are being held at the Rosemont Convention Center near O’Hare Airport in Chicago. This year the PNG/ANA Pre-Show is being held in the same facility as the ANA. For the most part dealers are optimistic about Chicago. Most feel Chicago is an equitable and viable location for the ANA annual show and this year’s show will be a big indicator of future success in Chicago.
We often take traveling to a show for granted. We do it professionally. If you have the luxury of having a good show in your area you should definitely attend-you’ll enjoy it. If you plan on traveling to a larger show out of your area please make your arrangements in advance. Most large shows sell out of the ‘show rate’ rooms at least a couple of months in advance. We often book at least three months or more in advance for the larger shows.
Bozarth Numismatics Inc. is a full service rare coin company. We sell coins on our website bozarthcoins.com, our Ebay Store bozarthnumismaticsinc, and at coin shows. We offer free want list services and can often find those ‘hard to locate’ items because of our extensive show schedule. We also offer professional services including auction representation, appraisal services, and grading consultation. Our show schedule through August includes the following shows:
Colorado Springs Coin Club Show, Colorado Springs, CO June 30th & July 1st only
FUN Summer Show, Orlando, FL July 6-9th
Ontario, CA (BUYING ONLY) July 15th
St. Louis Coin Show, St. Louis, MO July 28th & 29th only
PNG/ANA Pre-ANA Show, Chicago, IL August 12-15th
ANA World’s Fair of Money, Chicago, IL August 17-20th