Reflections on the ANA Show in Philadelphia 8/20/2012

on 20 August 2012. Posted in News

With great anticipation, Paul and I drove off on Monday morning to Philly.  We encountered the usual traffic snarl at the G.W. Bridge in New York but the ride was not bad.  At the loading dock we were directed to where we could bring our material in.  Again, no problems.  Monday evening we met a numismatic book dealer that had received a $6,900 “move-in” bill from the union workers.  He may sell a few thousand dollars worth of books for the whole show!

Another dealer wanted to move himself in.  He was directed to the end of the loading dock, moved himself in and received a $13,000 bill from the union for move-in!  In Baltimore, the move-in charge may be $30 to $100.  When is the ANA going to balance out their take from a show and the welfare of dealers who support them?  No wonder the membership enrollment is dropping.  The ANA has their hand out for everything they can get.  It absolutely stinks.  Philly is a nice historic city but unless you read the fine print carefully on the ANA contract you could be subject to horrible expenses.  Come on ANA, we need people on the board that are full time dealers that cater to retail customers in a professional manner and know what to avoid so dealers can make a show worthwhile.  Philly….never again for us.

Laura Sperber told me she is going to run for the ANA board.  I urge all RCNH friends to vote for her.  I’ve been asked to run myself but I don’t think I can make the commitment.  We need a shake up before the membership dwindles too much.  The next few years the show will be in Chicago…a better choice.  To me, Baltimore would be the best choice.

I want to thank all the dealers and collectors that came by to compliment us on our top quality coins we sent the ANA Summer Seminar grading courses.  Once again, the ANA dropped the ball and didn’t return our coins to us when they said they would.  These things that happen year after year and time after time shows a disconnect between the ANA, member dealers and member collectors.

The show was a bit of a disappointment.  Limited collector traffic and a union rally on Saturday really dampened attitudes.  The big union rally forced the closure of many downtown streets and some bridges.  Our business was primarily with knowledgeable dealers.  The old guard of knowledgeable collectors is pretty small.

The auctions appeared to be very strong with much interest in problem-free original scarce pieces.  One of our dealer customers acquired a rare $200,000 plus Half Dollar but he wanted $265,000 to flop it.

The attitude of dealers and collectors was good.  No real buzz of activity on the floor.  Collectors that did come by our table were very friendly.  No real neat collections came out at the show.  We sold a nice very rare, low grade Half Dime but it went to another dealer.  Nicer coins are going to auction and sellers are willing to wait a few months for settlements.  I would recommend that people attend auction viewings to see multiple examples of the same coin.  When they do this, and see what coins hammer for, they will get an idea of which coins are nicer for the grade than their counterparts.  Collector knowledge is really lacking now.  You can’t get it from viewing scans of coins.  If newer dealers know nothing about a P.Q. coin from an altered coin, how are you ever going to learn?  In fact one of our new customers ordered an original circulated Two Cent piece and returned it because it was not cleaned…oops, I mean bright!

We are always happy to assist people in any way we can.  Don’t be a stranger, call or e-mail our numismatists and you will receive our undivided attention.  While you’re at it, check out our inventory.  You will see some great coins.  Sorry we didn’t acquire many new coins at the ANA, we don’t want to compromise our standards.

Best Wishes,


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