By Vic Bozarth – Bozarthcoins.com
Another ANA’s World’s Fair of Money annual convention is now behind us. Often touted as ‘The Numismatic Event of the Year!’ this year’s ANA truly lived up to all the hype and expectations of both collectors and dealers in attendance. Indeed, I have often had less than complimentary things to say about how ANA conventions are run. This year’s ANA event was not only the biggest in recent memory, but it was the best ANA that collectors and dealers have attended for quite a few years. Personally, I must admit publicly ‘I was wrong’.
The ANA staff deserves the highest of compliments. Not only did they pull off the largest numismatic event of the year, but they did so with an unusual and quite welcome balance of consideration for both collectors and dealers. Larry Shepherd the ANA Director, Rhonda Scurek the ANA Show Coordinator, and the entire ANA staff did a wonderful job with this year’s show.
Admittedly, balancing the desires of collectors and the needs of dealers is most often a thankless task. Yet, the convention venue in Rosemont, IL was more than adequate and the events and exhibits were top notch. Yes, there were some ‘snafu’s’. BUT, overall the resounding majority of both collectors and dealers left the show with a smile on their face.
We arrived at Chicago’s O’Hare airport on Thursday the eleventh. The pre-show event schedule included a large Heritage Auction at an off-site Hotel near the Rosemont Convention Center. Attendance was good and bidding was aggressive. On Friday the 12th the PNG/ANA pre-show opened with a PNG membership meeting and early dinner at the convention center. The PNG meeting was very well attended. Activity during the two hour Friday evening dealer set-up was quietly frenzied because the bourse hall was incredibly large and the 80 PNG dealers with tables were spread out all over the room.
This year’s cooperative effort between the ANA and PNG didn’t start off perfectly. There was some miscommunication on both sides and only PNG dealers were allowed to set-up Friday night while the other 30 non-PNG dealers who had tables were not allowed to set-up until noon on Saturday. This ‘exclusivity’ was wrong and resulted in the ANA being able to sell only 30 pre-show tables. Indeed, the membership at the PNG meeting overwhelmingly voted to invite ALL ANA World’s Fair of Money pre-show table holders to be able to set-up at the same time at next year’s convention in Philadelphia.
This serious oversight was addressed and new rules agreed to by both representatives of the ANA and PNG will allow ALL table holders to set-up at next year’s pre-show at the same time on Saturday morning. Once again, I must say I am quite pleased with the cooperation shown by both the ANA and PNG. My feelings personally are that both the PNG and ANA need to act proactively to ‘attract’ all dealers to all shows. The more people who attend bring more coins which allows more business which is, in turn, better for all involved.
The pre-show was held non-stop through Monday afternoon when the ANA Show dealer set-up started. Although the room dwarfed the approximately 110 tabled dealers in attendance, virtually all pre-show table holders reported they had good shows. Another convention, Comicon, for science fiction and comic book enthusiasts was being held at the Rosemont convention center during the pre-show. Attendance for Comicon was staggering with lines to get into the show stretching outside and around the convention center itself. Parking and hotel space were completely overwhelmed and many coin dealers and pre-show attendees were unhappy with the parking shortage. Fortunately the Comicon convention ended prior to the start of the full ANA show.
Dealer set-up for the ANA itself was busy from the start. Buying on the bourse floor as well as the Stacks Bowers ANA Auction was strong and often frenzied. Rising gold bullion price levels are fueling brisk dealer to dealer trading. Although trading was very busy throughout both shows, nice numismatic material is in quite short supply. Both dealers and collectors were hard pressed to find any quantity of scarce material. Rare and desirable items went quickly and more often than not at above dealer wholesale levels. In fact, the general feeling among dealers is that prices must go up to force more material onto the market.
Rising bullion prices are bringing more common type gold coins and bullion related items out, but scarce numismatic items are in very short supply. Sales were brisk throughout the show and I expect this to continue at least through the end of the year. The bullion frenzy is pushing our market, but collectors and dealers alike know they must buy good material now because it will likely cost more next time around. Demand for coins is much higher now than the supply of coins available at current market prices.
Next year’s ANA Summer Show will be in Philadelphia which hosted a dynamite ANA World’s Fair of Money in 2001? We are looking forward to next year’s show in Philadelphia, but we are quite pleased that the ANA will be returning to Rosemont, IL for their annual Summer Show for the 2013, 2014, and 2015 conventions. Rosemont/Chicago is a great centrally located show venue.
Our upcoming Autumn and Winter Show schedule is exciting and busy. Listed below are the dates and locations of the shows we will be attending. Part of the fun of attending coin shows is the great people we get to meet. Please stop by our table at any of these fine venues and introduce yourself. Because we attended both the ANA and ANA pre-show and spent nearly 80 total hours on the bourse floor we were able to buy quite a few nice coins. We have added dozens of neat new purchases to our website, Bozarthcoins.com. Please check our website or Ebay store.
Bozarth Numismatics Show Schedule for September through December includes:
Long Beach, CA-Buying Only
Phildelphia, PA/Whitman Coin Expo.
Las Vegas, NV-PCGS Trade & Grade
Pittsburgh, PA-ANA Fall Show
St. Louis, MO-National Silver Dollar Show
Dallas, TX/NGC Trade & Grade
Baltimore, MD/Whitman Coin Expo.
Houston, TX-The Money Show
Ontario, CA-Buying Only