US Coins

Editorial Opinion: Coin shows provide more than just a place to buy and sell

The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, held in metropolitan Chicago (Rosemont, Ill.) from Aug. 13 to 17, provides collectors with a unique educational opportunity: the chance to look at thousands of coins.

Much is said about the value of formal education programs like the ANA Summer Seminar, but collectors with a plan and a disciplined eye can get an exceptional hands-on informal education at a major show like the ANA convention.

From the rare coin auctions before the show by Heritage, to the official Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions held closer in time to the show, more than 15,000 lots will be available for viewing and bidding either at floor auctions or through online only auctions. Looking at lots and then checking prices realized, remains one of the best — totally free — educational experiences a collector can have.

When else can you compare dozens of examples of the same issue, in various grades, side by side, and examine them under nearly ideal viewing circumstances at your leisure?

Then there is the ANA Museum Showcase, which features rarities from the ANA collection including the Bebee example of the 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent piece, alongside rarely seen treasures from private collections.

The Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection will be displaying some of the modern era special strikes that were introduced to the hobby in the August Coin World Special Edition. Are these strikes special presentation strikes, produced specifically for inclusion in the NNC? Karen Lee and her team at the NNC have prepared a presentation so visitors can judge for themselves.

Of course, dozens of competitive educational exhibits from collectors around the country will be available for viewing and close study. Sixteen mints around the world will present their new coins to the American market at the World Mint Promenade.

Perhaps the best learning opportunity may come from looking behind the glass at dealer cases and chatting with the dealer behind the table. One shouldn’t be afraid to ask questions as to what makes one coin finer or more expensive than another.

Simply put, an entire world of learning opportunities is available at coin shows for those who avail themselves to them. While reading about coins is wonderful, nothing replaces the experience of looking at and handling actual coins.

And if you’re heading to Rosemont, make sure you drop by Coin World’s booth (907/1006) to say hello; we’d love to hear from you.


Steve Roach

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