For all the attributes the 43rd New York International Numismatic
Convention possessed — including its status as the major show in the
United States for collectors of world coins — the 2015 event might be
as notable for what it wasn’t.
There were no marquee named collections with their own catalogs
heavy enough to hold open a door, and no record-busting rarities
soaring through the stratosphere in price. Still, the event delivered
as promised as the epicenter of international numismatics, as slightly
more collectors than arrived for the 2014 event passed through the
elevator doors to the 18th floor of the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in
Though public show hours were conducted from Jan. 8 through 11, the
real action began on Jan. 4 with auctions. During the course of eight
days, 10 firms combined to conduct nine auctions offering a total of
Final figures aren’t in, and firms did not report prices in the same
manner, but the auctions realized north of $32.4 million dollars. That
figure is down from the $36.1 million tally reported last year, but
two firms did not include buyer’s fees in their totals this year, and
the Gemini Numismatic Auctions Jan. 11 sale total is not yet disclosed.
According to NYINC convention chairman Kevin Foley, 1,996 people
attended this year, with 165 professional preview participants willing
to pay $100 to get a head start on buying before public hours opened.
Strong dollar a factor
Those numbers are ever-so-slightly higher than 2014’s figures of 156
preview and 1,922 regular attendees, but multiple observers told
Coin World informally that the bourse floor felt less congested in 2015 than in
Foley acknowledged that multiple factors changed the look of the
2015 show, noting that attendance may have been affected by the
strength of the U.S. dollar.
However, the upside for U.S.-based collectors, Foley said, is that
“a stronger dollar makes it cheaper and easier for people to buy from foreigners.”
Some of these circumstances that affected the show are beyond the
control of the organizers, Foley pointed out.
The increase in the number and enforcement of cultural property laws
might have had a “chilling” effect on people bringing material into
the country, Foley said.
The changing look includes the dealer composition, with a handful of
new attendees filling slots otherwise unavailable in years past.
The show is locked in through 2021 at the Waldorf-Astoria, but —
good news for dealers and collectors who’ve carped about the time
conflict with the Florida United Numismatists show — for at least two
years, the conflict is abated. In 2017 and 2018
the NYINC show is to be held on the weekend following the FUN show.
“There are a lot of people who want to attend both shows,” Foley
said. “It’s not like we’re in competition with each other; we’re just
at the mercy of the sites.”
New York is the city that never sleeps, and so it was that auction
participants lost some sleep, as bidding for several auctions extended
into the late night (or morning) hours of 1 a.m. or so. Attendees and
bidders connecting via live bidding technology contested multiple
rarities, none more notable than the unique 1897 gold sixpence from
1897 South African sixpence
The unique 1897 South African sixpence led Heritage Auctions’ NYINC
World Coin auction, and was the top lot overall during the marathon of auctions.
The Proof coin was once part of the Royle Baldwin Collection, and has been off the
market since the 1930s. The New York auction was its first auction
appearance ever. Graded Proof 63 Cameo by Numismatic Guaranty Corp.,
the coin was estimated to realized $250,000 to $350,000. It realized
$329,000, including the 17.5 percent buyer’s fee.
Coin World will report further both in print and online, with
additional auction results from the show as well as educational
presentations and interviews with attendees.
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