Rare Coin Road Warrior-Are We Having FUN Yet?
Dear Rare Coin Enthusiast:
Often times I can’t help but reflect on ALL the FUN I have had over the years playing with rare coins. Please don’t misunderstand what I am saying. Once you are in the business, it is not all fun and games. Business is business and if you don’t make a profit you don’t keep the doors open or the lights on-HA. Conversely collecting coins is supposed to be fun. Although many folks are both dealers and collectors, once you are a full time dealer, you are forced to look at a lot of aspects of the rare coin hobby/business in a different light.
At the age of 15 I realized I would never be able to afford to own the great coins I desired unless I bought and sold them as a dealer. Although the ownership is somewhat temporary, I get to ‘play’ with new coins virtually EVERY day. Recently a gentleman collector I met back in the seventies has decided he wants to become a full time dealer. I jokingly asked him if he was ready to come over to the DARK SIDE. Just like in the Star Wars movies there is an adversarial position between collectors and dealers somewhat like the conflict between the Federation and the Evil Empire.
Luke, Come over to the Dark Side…….
In fact, one of the largest companies in the country is referred to as the Evil Empire? They are NOT evil, but they are very successful and success and jealousy breed contempt. Frankly, I have come to believe that this jealousy and contempt is just about the money and the insecurity and greed that come with it.
One of the most interesting aspects of my friend coming to work in our business is how he has reacted to the dealer vs. collector controversy. Although I am not making ‘light’ of this ill will, I have to laugh. One of the first things he mentioned to me after one of his first shows working as a dealer is ‘how hard we (dealers) work’. His comments went something like this. As a collector when he came to a show, he strolled in at ten or eleven a.m., looked at coins for a couple of hours, had lunch with some fellow collectors, looked at coins for a few hours in the afternoon, and then went to dinner with some more collector friends.
Now, he joked he doesn’t even get lunch!
The ‘trade off’ so to speak is that as a dealer you get to look at LOTS of coins. Some of the more common and lower grade coins become quite mundane and many seasoned dealers are quite standoffish! Although we try and spend time answering questions from the public at shows, our time constraints just don’t allow it many times. The old saying, ‘time is money’, is very appropriate for the rare coin business. Most importantly for me and my friend is that a day ‘playing with coins’ beats working every time!
Over the last several years, I have had the time and wherewithal to pursue more ‘REAL’ numismatic material. I am always looking for value, but in addition I am looking for RARITY. Value and rarity often go hand in hand, but how about the coins that are both undervalued (especially in this market) and have true rarity. Most early U.S. coinage series are loaded with ‘rare dates’ let alone the huge number of varieties. The ‘balancing’ act is to find coins that have great demand too! There are lots of truly scarce items out there in numismatics that fall into the CATEGORY-the customer is more rare than the coin!
The discerning numismatist recognizes demand and buys accordingly.
The rare coin show schedule has been very active this year. With the addition of the third ANA show, as well as others, to the annual show schedule we had a very busy year. Next year promises to be more hectic as both PCGS and NGC have announced multiple ‘Members Only Shows’ next year in Las Vegas. As usual we will be attending ALL major U.S. Shows as well as many larger regional shows.
Recently we attended the Houston Money Show at the end of November. This year’s Money Show was a little ‘off’ business wise from last year. Although attendance was good and the Houston Coin Club does a super job coordinating the show, we noticed a significant lull in activity. Our show schedule for the remainder of the year includes both a PCGS Invitational in Las Vegas this week and a NGC Trade & Grade in Dallas next week. Both will be interesting barometers of the coming year’s business.
Next month’s annual Florida United Numismatists Show in Orlando starts a little later in the month because of the calendar, but this HUGE show is always good. Other shows of note in January include the San Jose, CA Coin Club Show and another PCGS Invitational in Las Vegas.
February is a busy show month with Manchester, NH and Long Beach, CA Shows being held the first couple of weeks and then both the St. Louis Numismatic Association Show and the Greater Chicago/Tinley Park Show being held the third week of the month. I believe both PCGS and NGC have Members Only Shows scheduled for February in Las Vegas also. Our show attendance for January through March includes:
San Jose, CA
Long Beach, CA
St. Louis, MO Table
PCGS Members Only Show Table
NGC Members Only Show Table
Whitman Baltimore Show Table
Bozarth Numismatics Inc is a full service rare coin dealer. We buy and sell PCGS, NGC, and CAC graded and approved high grade U.S. coins. We sell coins at shows and on both our website bozarthcoins.com and in our Ebay store bozarthnumismaticsinc. Because of our extensive show and buying travel schedule we can often locate those ‘hard to find’ items. We offer free confidential want list services and will call or email you ‘first’ if we locate an item for you. Thanks and Best Regards, Vic Bozarth/The Rare Coin Road Warrior.