Last week’s editorial posed some questions about ways to keep the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money as the top U.S. coin show.
The U.S. Mint has one answer: launch new popular coin issues at the show.
The Mint’s $3.33 million in sales at the show of the new Reverse Proof 2013-W American Buffalo 1-ounce gold $50 coins and the robust aftermarket for the coins that were sold at the show provided an essential dose of life and vitality to the bourse floor.
Yes, one had to wait in line for several hours to take advantage of the opportunity to buy a limited number of coins. Yet, those who were patient (or had patient spouses willing to wait in line) were rewarded with coins that weren’t possible to get in-hand any other way. Those who submitted coins to major grading services for show grading received special ANA labels that have seen secondary market premiums.
It makes sense for the Mint to continue to launch coins at the show.
There’s an eager base of collectors and dealers. Each year the media is looking for an angle to “sell” the show, and the potential to buy a coin that could quickly go up in value is certainly a story with solid mainstream news potential.
Deputy Mint Director Richard Peterson has said that the success of the American Buffalo sales at the show taught the Mint the value of funneling key product launches to major shows like the summer ANA.
Especially as the Mint continues to get creative in creating popular products aimed at U.S. coin collectors, assuming that collector demand holds steady, the launch of new coins at major shows could be a key element in ensuring the relevance of major coin shows and establishing value for those attending. ■