Coins and history met in Philadelphia during the American
Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, Aug. 7 to 11.
The ANA reported that the show attracted 8,810 visitors, with the
ANA adding 446 new members at the convention. While attendance
numbered fewer than the 10,204 visitors reported for the 2010 ANA
convention in Boston or the 9,113 who attended the convention near
Chicago in 2011, the figure represented an improvement compared to the
7,727 who attended the 2009 show in Los Angeles.
Convention General Chairman Kerry Wetterstrom said: “It was a very
successful convention and our local volunteers and ANA staff worked
tirelessly to ensure that a fun time was had by all. Collectors came
to Philly, purchased a coin or two, and left without solving the
debate of who had the best cheesesteak!”
Dealers packed the bourse floor, with the ANA reporting that it
sold 497 tables in 2012, down from 509 in 2011. Sixteen mints from
five continents were represented in the ANA’s World Mint Promenade.
Among the participating mints were the United States Mint, which had
various heritage assets on exhibit and offered demonstrations by the
engraving staff from the Philadelphia Mint, and the Royal Mint from
Great Britain, which exhibited examples of gold, silver and bronze
medals for the London Summer Olympics.
The Museum Showcase featured among its exhibits a selection of
coins from the first Philadelphia Mint loaned by the American
The official ANA auctions by Stack’s Bowers Galleries realized
$41,874,401 as of Aug. 8. The firm presented nearly 7,000 lots across
its various categories. This total is a slight improvement from the
firm’s 2011 total of just over $40 million.
Topping the auction offerings was the firm’s sale of a unique
1873-CC Seated Liberty, No Arrows dime, to an anonymous bidder for
$1.84 million. The piece was part of a 111-coin set of regular issue
Carson City Mint coins — the Battle Born Collection — that realized
nearly $10 million.
Heritage Auctions held its sales immediately prior to the ANA show
and realized more than $27.5 million, slightly less than the $31
million that it realized in 2011 in Rosemont. Leading the Heritage
offerings was a 1907 Saint-Gaudens, Roman Numerals, Sans Serif Edge,
Ultra High Relief gold $20 double eagle, graded Proof 58, that sold
for $1,057,500, followed closely by a Proof 65 Cameo 1802 Draped Bust
dollar that found a new home at $851,875.
Fifty-three competitive exhibit awards were presented at the show,
selected from 51 exhibits. David Menchell received the Howland Wood
Memorial Award for Best-in-Show for his exhibit “Taking Care of
Business: A Selection of Early Philadelphia Merchant Tokens Issued
Prior to the Civil War,” and the Rodger E. Hershey Memorial People’s
Choice Award, selected by convention attendees, was given to Albert C.
Bobrofsky for “Money: How Sweet it Is,” an exhibit of chocolate candy
in the form of money.
Arthur and Prudence “Prue” Fitts, of Wolfeboro, N.H., received the
ANA’s top honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award at the banquet on
Aug. 10. ■