Paper Money

Future of paper money show in Memphis attracts comments

A portion of the bourse floor for the 2014 International Paper Money Show in Memphis, TN.

Coin World image.

Rumors swirled online recently about the possibility of moving the International Paper Money Show out of Memphis, Tenn., but no decision has been made as yet, according to show owner Lyn K. Knight.

“Currently we do not have a contract [for 2015] that we like but we do have a set of dates we are working on that should work,” Knight said. After the 40th annual show in 2016, “I will actively work on moving if airline connections do not improve.”

Knight of Lyn Knight Currency Auctions in Lenexa, Kan., purchased the IPMS from the Memphis Coin Club in 2009.

At the time of the purchase, Knight said the show would stay in Memphis and was “penciled in” by the Cook Convention Center for Father’s Day weekend through 2017.

The first show managed by Knight’s company, LFK Tradeshows Inc., was held in 2010.

Rumors swirl

Comments about a possible new city for the show were made by paper money dealers and collectors July 8 on the U.S. & World Currency Forum at Collectors Universe.

Participants in the discussion offered opinions on where they would like to see the show moved to if it becomes necessary: Kansas City, Kan.; St. Louis; Denver or Colorado Springs, Colo; Dallas,; Virginia Beach, Va.; Washington, D.C.; Tulsa, Okla.; New York City; Nashville, Tenn; Atlanta; Las Vegas, Nev.; Pittsburgh or Philadelphia, Pa.; Phoenix, Ariz.; New Orleans; Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach in Florida; Omaha, Neb.; the area of San Diego or Los Angeles; and Indianapolis.

Some discussion participants suggested a different city each year, reminiscent of American Numismatic Association conventions in years past.

Participants who would support a move most often cited the cost of flying into Memphis and noted that it is difficult to make airline connections to the city.

One participant said that he loved the Memphis location but the show does need a change to some place that might bring in more public.

IPMS history

The first several Memphis paper money shows were held at the Rivermont Holiday Inn, located away from the downtown area of Memphis; it was later moved to downtown Memphis.

When the idea of an all-paper money show was first announced more than 30 years ago, paper money collectors were ecstatic at the thought, according to articles in Coin World in the years following the first IPMS in 1977.

The idea of an all- paper money show was something that had never been tried before, but Mike Crabb and fellow collector, the late Bob Raby, and other volunteers from the Memphis club, were determined to make it work.

For paper money collectors the word “Memphis” soon became synonymous with having a good time with their hobby.

Knight’s affection for the IPMS was celebrated in 2006 when he sponsored a multipanel booth with large photographs of notable collectors and dealers from the past to the present to mark the 30th anniversary of the show.

In 2002 the Memphis Coin Club briefly discussed moving the show from downtown Memphis to Tunica, Miss., after a series of scheduling conflicts at the Cook Convention Center. Tunica is the site of nearly a dozen casinos and is located about 36 miles south of Memphis. 

However, the majority of dealers were opposed to moving the show, and Memphis has remained the hub of the paper money universe each year during the summer. 

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