Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money is in the books and
dealers’ and collectors’ reviews of this year’s installment, held Aug.
1 to 5 in Denver, are mixed.
The U.S. Mint’s launch of the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Coin set
on the show’s opening day frustrated collectors as they waited in line
with dealers, each permitted to purchase as many as 500 sets for
$29.95 each. A slow check-out process and long lines meant that many
collectors spent their buying time waiting as the set quickly went to
“currently unavailable” online.
New information on the 1866-S No Motto coins:
Also in our last weekly issue of the month, John Kraljevich Jr.
goes into what George Washington's ledger revealed, including how
many gold doubloons he had on hand.
The secondary market for these has been modest, leading many
dealers to cancel orders with the U.S. Mint and freeing up sets for collectors.
Many dealers reported that the product launch took some life out of
the bourse floor, and grading submissions of the new coins clogged
on-site grading at Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic
Guaranty Corp. The rare coin market relies on on-site grading at major
shows to create liquidity for coins and to provide fresh material to
be traded; when this stops, so does business for some dealers,
especially at the wholesale level.
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Both wholesale and retail business seemed sluggish in Denver and
many questioned the suitability of the location as a site for a major
coin show. Despite resistance to returning to the metropolitan Chicago
site of Rosemont, Illinois, consensus seems to be building toward a
stable location for the flagship ANA show that makes sense from both a
dealer and collector perspective. Further, as more collectors
gravitate toward the internet for their auction buying and retail coin
dealer purchases, fewer feel a need to travel to attend shows.
Dual auctions by official co-auctioneers Heritage and Stack’s Bowers Galleries meant that auctions
were occurring almost constantly during the show. Heritage totaled
$30.8 million while Stack’s Bowers Galleries saw nearly $20 million in
ANA auctions, including the top lot, a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar
graded PCGS MS-64 with a Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker that
brought $2.82 million.
Many have pointed out that as collecting moves online, collectors
buy and sell more quickly than in the past. Evidence of this trend
could be seen in the many re-offerings at both major auctioneers, such
as a historic Judd 2 1792 pattern cent graded Fine 15 by NGC with a
Acceptance Corp. sticker that sold for $235,000 at Stack’s
Bowers’s Aug. 3 Rarities night. The price was more than the $218,500
it brought at a 2006 American Numismatic Rarities auction, but much
less than the nearly $300,000 it sold for at Heritage’s 2012 Florida
United Numismatists sale.
Though just 10 are known, nonspecialist collectors may prefer its
Silver Center cent counterpart, while others might be holding off for
a better example, like the Very Fine 35 example that sold for $352,500
at the 2016 FUN auctions.