We took off for Baltimore on the tail end of a snow storm and bounced around from start to finish. Thankfully, that was the only problem we encountered. I started the day before the show opened, viewing auction lots for customers. We offer this service to our clients to prevent them from buying anything that is not the cream of the crop. When I was done, I could not recommend bids on any lot. To me, it was a conglomeration of recycled stale inventory coins thrown in the auction along with the odd decent piece. I was shocked at the overall dismal quality of the lots. This was a sale that the price conscious could buy a coin on the cheap thinking they got a bargain, until they try to resell.
Our show opened with the usual bang and dealer flurry. In the blink of an eye, we sold six figures. We are thankful for knowledgeable numismatists that appreciate high-end original coins. By the time we set up, a lot of neat pieces were gone. Retail traffic and attendance was good with a mild buzz on the floor throughout the show. Even buying was decent. Some dealers and collectors save their premium quality coins for us to see and buy. In many instances, it’s the only way we can find nice material. Again, I was thankful for such an opportunity.
The new baseball coins were released and sold by the mint at the show. Many dealers made hundreds of dollars per coin selling to promoters and speculators. This seems wrong to me! At some point, who ends up holding the bag on these over-priced over-hyped modern issues? When promotions end and buyers need to sell, these can be huge disappointments.
The Saddleridge hoard coins were on display. I spoke with Don Kagin when he came buy our table to say hi. I said that it was a nice numismatic treasure but I hated that the coins had to be so conserved, the color on them didn’t look right at all! If a collector needs a date from this hoard, good luck….just don’t expect the coins to look like your other gold pieces. PCGS also made a special gold insert tag for them.
I was also asked about a former dealer that supposedly stiffed clients of hundreds of millions of dollars in bullion. This dealer was already sanctioned by the government for running a Ponzi scheme. With a little due diligence, it would not have been hard to uncover. To me, it’s the old adage of don’t expect the leopard to change his spots. How do newsletters recommend a dealer like this when there are many with pristine reputations they could deal with or align themselves with? Oh well, another black eye for the industry. The dealer that was led out of the F.U.N. Show in handcuffs was back doing business in Baltimore. I hate to say it but the coin industry needs to police itself somehow.
We came back from the show with many new purchases that are out to CAC. We also have already sold many of the coins we brought back. Look for new pieces to appear on our website over the next couple of weeks. Call or e-mail us anytime.