Cole Bank got to meet Brooks Robinson, center, March 27 at the Whitman Baltimore Coin & Collectibles Expo. Also in the photo, left to right, are Jeff Idelson, president of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, and Lori H. Kraft and Michelle Hudson of the Whitman Expo staff.
The display of coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard of U.S. gold coins, the appearance of Hall of Fame third baseman Brooks Robinson and opening day sales by the U.S. Mint of 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins combined to help bring record attendance March 27 during the first day of the Whitman Baltimore Coin & Collectibles Expo.
Mary C. Burleson, president of Whitman Publishing Co., said attendance during the entire expo March 27 to 30 was higher than for previous installments of the convention.
“Our attendance numbers, for both dealers and free public attendance, exceeded our numbers for the prior year spring Expo,” Burleson said. “Dealers reported a very active wholesale and retail business being conducted on a sold-out bourse floor. The Saddle Ridge Hoard exhibit, the United States Mint exhibit, and the launch of the [National Baseball Hall of Fame] commemorative coin program helped to create one of the most exciting shows in years.
Although the firm cited record attendance, Lori Kraft, general manager for Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo LLC, said April 2 that the expo does not release specific attendance figures.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ March 26 to 29 expo auction, which featured the Cherry Blossom Collection and other consignments, brought total prices realized from the live floor sessions of more than $11.8 million. The total includes the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee added to the final closing hammer price of each lot won.
Cherry Blossom time
The auction sessions were led by the $1,116,250 realized for a gold Nobel Peace Prize medal awarded to Argentinean Carlos Saavedra Lamas in 1936.
Among the additional highlights offered was the Cherry Blossom Collection of 39 U.S. gold coins of the 19th and 20th century, in Proof and Mint State condition. Those coins collectively realized nearly $2.7 million.
Included was a 1912 Indian Head $10 eagle, graded Proof 68 by Numismatic Guaranty Corp. It realized $117,500.
The coin is one of an estimated 40 to 50 examples of the 1912 Proof gold $10 eagle extant from a reported original mintage of 83 coins.