American Numismatic Association officials announced on Jan. 7 that Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Heritage Auctions will share the title of the official auctioneers of the World’s Fair of Money for the next four years.
The firms’ various auctions will take place during both the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 5 to 8 and during the Professional Numismatists Guild/ANA Numismatic Trade Show held immediately before the main ANA show, Aug. 2 to 4.
When asked why the ANA went with two auction houses rather than a single firm as had been the norm, the ANA’s legal counsel Hollie Wieland cited a confidentiality agreement that prevented the ANA from discussing the reasoning behind the decision or the financial implications to the ANA.
Wieland said that the decision to select both firms was voted on by the 2011–2013 board, and that Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers worked together to submit a joint bid.
She added that the two auction firms were going to work together with the ANA on scheduling, but said, “We’re [the ANA] not getting caught in the middle of how the firms schedule their auctions.”
Coin World asked Wieland to address a concern dealers and collectors have raised at recent ANA town hall meetings, that the various auctions take business away from the dealers with tables on the bourse floor. In response, Wieland cited the New York International Numismatic Convention and its various auctions that run before and during the show as a possible model for the ANA to follow going forward.
For example, at the 2014 NYINC, eight firms held auctions before and during the show (some in partnerships). Traditionally, the ANA has had a single firm acting as its official auctioneer.
Jake Sherlock, the ANA’s marketing and communications director, said that the Heritage and Stack’s Bowers auctions would enhance the existing educational programming. He also said a broader group of auctions could have the potential to increase attendance at the World’s Fair of Money.
ANA Executive Director Kimberly Kiick stated in the press release, “ANA members and show attendees will be able to consign to and purchase from two auction companies that have a long and successful history with the ANA.”
She added, “Both of these wonderful auction houses have been big supporters of our educational mission for many, many years, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to have both as the Official Auctioneers.” ■