The bourse floor of the Florida United Numismatists convention Jan. 5 to
8 in Fort Lauderdale was bustling with collector activity, as
thousands of hobbyists made their annual pilgrimage to attend the
The numismatic excitement was tempered Jan. 6 by the fatal shootings
of five people and the wounding of nearly a dozen more in the baggage
claim area of Delta Airlines Terminal 2 at the Fort
Lauderdale/Hollywood International Airport, not far from the
convention. The chaos forced the shutdown of the entire airport for
hours, trapping thousands of travelers, including many who were
heading home after attending the convention.
Cindy Wibker, FUN convention coordinator, said the shootings likely
had an effect on Jan. 7 attendance at the show.
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“The total was at 8,000 over the 4 days, she said. “Public
attendance was down a little from previous years, but the dealers felt
that those who came were serious buyers and told me they were happy
with the business they conducted at the show.
“Saturday seemed particularly slower than a usual FUN show for the
public, perhaps due to the airport incident that occurred on Friday. I
don’t know how much that impacted attendance versus our change in location.
“Anyway, the dealers left happy so it all seemed to be okay in the end.”
The FUN convention was held in Tampa the last two years and has been
held more often in Orlando than in any other location. Fort Lauderdale
last previously hosted the FUN show in 2005.
public sessions of United States coins realized more than $42 million,
spearheaded by gold bars recovered from the SS
America, U.S. gold coins, and the only unbroken example of a
1942 experimental cent produced in glass that topped $70,000.
Error coin specialist Fred Weinberg said a collector stopped by his
bourse table believing he had an example of the glass experimental cent.
Weinberg said the cardboard flip said “Hollenbeck/Kagin 1965,” but
the person wasn’t sure if his father bought it in 1965 from the
numismatic firm or acquired it years later.
Weinberg said the piece was one of the experimental pieces produced
“The plastic color was yellowish, and it appeared to have three
distinct ‘cracks’ on the piece, not ‘creases,’ ” Weinberg said. “I
couldn’t take it out of the cardboard 2x2, so I can’t be certain if
they were die cracks or something else.
“I told him to submit it to Professional Coin Grading Service or
Numismatic Guaranty Corp.”
Lack of American Eagle silver bullion coins
Some bullion dealers lamented that 2017 American Eagle silver and
gold bullion coins were not yet available during the convention; they
weren’t offered for sale to authorized purchasers until Jan. 9.
Dealers indicated they could have sold tens of thousands of the new
calendar year’s coins if they had been available earlier.
During the Jan. 6 meeting of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, numismatist John
Frost provided extensive details on a dangerously deceptive
counterfeit 1872-S Seated Liberty half dollar for which he said at
least four examples, all in About Uncirculated condition, have so far
Two of the known examples were graded and encapsulated as genuine by PCGS.
Mark Borckardt, senior cataloger for Heritage Auctions, delivered a
nearly 90-year-old homemade coin album to David W. Lange, NGC’s
director of numismatic research and a collector of early U.S. coin albums.
The homemade album was made by now-105-year-old numismatist Eric P.
Newman when a youth, with his father, sometime before the 1930s,
before commercial coin albums were introduced to the hobby.
Lange received the album from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic
Education Society courtesy of numismatist Stuart Levine, who is
overseeing the selection and dispersal of items from the Newman
Collection, whose proceeds benefit the society’s philanthropic endeavors.
During the National Silver Dollar Roundtable’s Jan. 6
banquet cruise through the intercoastal waterway, numismatist John W.
Highfill received the NSDR’s Lifetime Achievement Award that now bears
his name, for 35 years of service to the organization he helped found.
PCGS held a luncheon
on Jan. 6 and NGC on Jan. 7 for collectors with registry sets of coins
from the respective services.
PCGS encapsulated 100 1977 and 100 1977-D Eisenhower copper-nickel
clad dollars for distribution to attendees to the Jan. 6 event.
a number of 2016-D Kennedy copper-nickel clad half dollars for its
More 2017 FUN Coverage:
‘Great Beards on Coins’ exhibit
wins top award at FUN:
Sam Gelberd is the recipient of the Heritage Auctions Award for
Excellence in Numismatic for 2017 at FUN for “Great Beards on Coins.”
FUN convention attendees caught up
in the terror in Fort Lauderdale:
Coin conventions, are annual gatherings of collectors and
professional numismatists sharing mutual hobby interests. They can
be chaotic, not life-threatening.