Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast,
I am excited about the upcoming American Numismatic Association Show in Chicago. Although the January Florida United Numismatists Show is larger, the ANA World’s Fair of Money is ‘THE SHOW’ of the year. I attended my first ANA Show in St. Louis in 1979. One of my closest friends Bill Shamhart, who was a high school classmate and is now a highly respected numismatist and fellow dealer also attended with me. The trip to the St. Louis ANA was a high school graduation present from our respective parents.
I can still remember the awe I felt when I walked into the St. Louis Cervantes Convention Center bourse floor. The show was impossibly huge. As an 18 year old kid I had attended only one Central States Numismatic Society Show that was anywhere near the size of the ANA. Wow! Both Bill and I had been buying and selling coins through Junior and Senior High School. We were already hooked on numismatics. I had been carrying a small ‘coin wallet’ around with me since the age of 13 and had attended dozens of smaller shows, but I had never seen anything like this!
As 18 year old red blooded young men we were especially impressed with the lovely young ladies hired from a local modeling agency to show auction lots for Steve Ivy’s ANA Rare Coin Auction. Bill and I viewed every single lot in the auction at least once and tried to meet every one of the young ladies employed to show the lots. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that I had hair back then. At eighteen years of age, the ‘sky was the limit’ and I was at the show early every morning and left late every night.
The coin market was HOT in the late seventies. PCGS did not exist. The numerical grading scale wasn’t widely accepted yet. Most coins with ‘nearly’ full detail were called Choice BU or Gem BU. Unfortunately most of these Choice and Gem BU coins were not Choice or Gem BU coins. There was a ‘free for all’ frenzied atmosphere to the bourse floor. The bourse floor was mobbed and a slider BU coin with pretty toning was GEM BU. Fortunately we have seen some major changes in the coin market since 1979.
At the 1979 ANA I ‘walked’ boxes for another dealer for the first time. Joe Flynn from Kansas City gave me a large box of BU Morgans to sell. Although I didn’t sell a lot of coins for Joe, I did sell a few and was able to buy and sell a lot of coins of my own. Some of my greatest memories are of the dealers I met there. I saw Kevin Lipton ‘flip’ a coin to Jay Miller of New England Rare Coin Galleries and make a $1000 in just a couple of minutes. I met David Bowers and Virg Marshall-the Penny Merchant. I bought a couple of gorgeous commemorative halves in original boxes from John Pasciutti with RLH (Bobby Hughes) Enterprises. These were guys I had been reading about in Coin World for years.
A lot of years have passed since my first ANA Show. I already knew I wanted to be a coin dealer in 1979. I had a ‘greysheet’ and said I was a dealer, but truthfully I had NO IDEA how to support myself on a full time basis as a coin dealer. Fortunately, the rare coin business is blessed with dozens of gentlemen and ladies who will gladly share their expertise with those who GENUINELY want to learn. Many of these ‘mentors’ have freely shared their expertise with me over the last several decades. The key to gaining that knowledge from these experts is to put the love of numismatics FIRST and the pursuit of profit SECOND.
The American Numismatic Association Summer Extravaganza begins late this week in Chicago’s Rosemont Convention Center. This year’s ANA is really two shows. The Professional Numismatists Guild and the ANA are sponsoring the PNG/ANA Pre-Show with dealer set-up Friday August 12th. The PNG/ ANA Pre-Show will be open to the public Saturday the 13th through Monday the 15th. The ANA Show itself will have dealer set-up Tuesday the 16th and the public are admitted Wednesday the 17th through Saturday the 20th. Although I encourage any and all to attend, you should be aware that the PNG/ANA pre-show will not have the various Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and collector displays on exhibit. The PNG Pre-Show is smaller and more dealer oriented.
Sherri Bozarth, my wife and ‘the boss’ here at Bozarth Numismatics, and we will be attending both ‘shows’ for the duration. Please come by our table #1155 and introduce yourself. Let me know what you collect or have for sale or trade. We will offer you a ‘cupcake’ and try to help you with your numismatic needs. At Bozarth Numismatics we strive to be the dealer that lets you ‘Have your cake and eat it too’!
Best Regards, Vic Bozarth.