US Coins

Monday Morning Brief for Jan. 15, 2024: Starting the year right

The board of the Florida United Numismatists prepare to open the 2024 FUN convention, which has been considered a strong start to 2024 by many.

Image by Larry Jewett.

There’s a certain amount of optimism that flavors current prevailing thought for many in the numismatic business. The source of that optimism is the 2024 Florida United Numismatists convention, just completed at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.

Recent past FUN conventions were victimized by circumstances that denied them a chance to realize their potential. There was, of course, the pandemic, and then continued concerns about air travel kept some from attending for a few years. This year, little stood in the way of allowing the show to succeed, and success was obvious from the start.

It didn’t take long for the crowd to flood the floor. Throughout the first day, they just kept coming, and attendance had to be among the highest seen compared to past shows.

People arriving is only one indication of success because, if the people aren’t buying or selling, they’re not making a difference. For the most part, early returns from those who went to Orlando to do business indicate they were reasonably satisfied.

By the time Saturday rolled around, some dealers had departed, but those who remained benefited from the increased attendance, people still eager to see what was on hand. In particular, the budget section at the rear corner of the bourse floor was hopping through the morning and afternoon.

Attendance at educational programs and special sessions was a touch higher than in the past, giving a good indication that the public is out to learn, adding stability to the hobby beyond whim purchases. Organizers hit a sweet spot in finding a good balance of activity to complement the massive bourse floor, one of the largest seen in recent years.

The show wasn’t perfect —leaks in the convention center roof impacted some areas when heavy rain hit, and a well-publicized arrest was made. These factors were out of the organizers’ control, but the arrest at least was testament to a commitment to security.

Whether momentum continues remains to be seen, but the 2024 FUN show starts the hopes for the new year aiming at a fairly high level.

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