It is time again to prepare for the upcoming Early American Coppers annual show, set May 3 to 6 in Buffalo, N.Y. For those who have never attended an EAC show, it is a coin show like no other. It is reminiscent in size of the bourses you would have attended in the 1960s.
Attendees and dealers begin arriving on Thursday morning. Many arrive early to spend time catching up with collectors of like items.
Thursday afternoon brings setup for the dealers. Many collectors continue to socialize in the lobby, bar or rooms until the reception.
Every year, a reception with food and drinks is held, paid for by member donors. This is the official meet and greet that begins the convention. Old friendships are rekindled and new ones developed. It is an informal gathering of collectors with similar interests. You can imagine that there is no lack of conversational subjects.
After the reception, happenings are held in special rooms. One room is devoted to Colonial, half cent, large cent and silver coins. Here, specific die marriages are “called out” prior to the convention for study.
Collectors bring their coins to be displayed with the other pieces in attendance. Everyone has the opportunity to closely inspect the coins for enjoyment or die state study. Participants usually hold considerable conversation about the coins between the oohs and ahs of an appreciative audience.
Friday morning brings the opening of the bourse. Here is a chance to purchase new coins for your collection. You will not be distracted by the hordes of Morgan dollars and Walking Liberty half dollars at this show. Nearly everything in the cases is either copper or silver from the first U.S. Mint. Buying, selling and trading is the order of the day.
Educational seminars will run the entire day that everyone is invited to enjoy. Just come on in and grab a seat and learn.
Friday night has no particular event scheduled. Most attendees break off into groups to visit a local restaurant for dinner and refreshments. There is never a lack for anything to do as impromptu meetings and show and tell sessions often spontaneously break out in any convenient place.
Saturday morning brings the reopening of the bourse and more educational presentations. The limited-size bourse lends to a quick review of the coins available and offers most the chance to view the displays put together by attendees. This is another great educational opportunity.
In an exhibit, someone has taken the time to tell a story with his collection for the enjoyment of everyone. You can usually find the person responsible and talk to him about his passion.
Saturday evening brings the auction. You have to be a member of the EAC to bid in the sale. Interested collectors will have viewed the lots during the previous two days on the bourse floor and decided what they are willing to bid on the lots. We have a lively, fun sale interspersed with lots of other items donated for the benefit of EAC. Even if you are not a bidder you can come to view the show.
Sunday is for cleaning up loose ends and saying goodbye after the EAC Board meeting in the morning. The bourse is open until 3, but many of the dealers and collectors will have left to catch a plane home.
The members of the John Reich Collectors Society have been a part of the show for a few years now. We are very appreciative that the copper guys have invited us to their party. We look forward to a great show.
Brad Karoleff is a vice president of the John Reich Collectors Society and editor of the club’s journal. He can be reached via email at email@example.com.