US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for April 5, 2021: ANA-PNG spat

The Professional Numismatists Guild will hold its first PNG50 in Dallas in July.

Image courtesy of PNG.

The spat between the American Numismatic Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild does no one any good, and officials of both organizations need to get together to mend their broken fences.

The ANA is the largest coin collecting organization in the world and the PNG is the largest dealer organization in the United States. Together, they represent the two most important communities in the collecting field: collectors and dealers.

For some 40 years, the annual summer ANA convention was preceded by PNG Day, in which PNG member dealers could set up shop a day before the nonmember dealers, so as to trade among themselves or with their invited guests. The invited guests could include collectors; PNG dealers handed out free admittance tickets to clients and other collectors to grant them access to the bourse floor on PNG Day.

That access is now gone, with the ANA’s replacement of PNG Day with Dealer Day. Dealer Day at the 2021 ANA World’s Fair of Money (assuming that it is held, with the most stringent of COVID-19 restrictions gone in August) will take place on Aug. 9; the show opens to the public on Aug. 10. Access to Dealer Day will not be free, and to gain access, one must either purchase a bourse table at the convention or hold a resale certificate, federal tax ID or tax license. Most collectors will not be able to participate.

The ANA, of course, can conduct its annual convention as it sees fit. However, the PNG reaction is justified, since, according to the dealer organization, the ANA made its decision without consulting the PNG or giving it an opportunity to plead its case for a 2021 edition of PNG Day.

For the ANA, the gain should be financial, with the funds received from Dealer Day table and individual access fees. The organization loses, however, any goodwill it once had with the PNG and its dealer members.

The ongoing pandemic has derailed the regular convention schedule. The 2020 ANA World’s Fair of Money had to be canceled, as were a lot of other coin shows.

All of us hope that the 2021 edition of the ANA show can be held, safely, with minimal disruptions due to COVID-19 protocols.

In the meantime, ANA and PNG leaders need to meet, safely, to decide how repair the damage that is already done. The hobby can ill afford a breakdown in the relationship between two of its most important entities.
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