Whitman Baltimore Expo show report
One highlight of the show was the U.S. Mint’s booth, which
included some nice displays of offerings from the Mint (including two upcoming
releases, the March of Dimes special proof set, and the 2015-W Buffalo gold
coin) as well as a superb collection of old paper money from the Bureau of
Printing and Engraving.
The Mint launched the new 2015-W American Silver Eagle at
the show, and the staff at the booth told me that in the morning there was a
long line of buyers for this coin. The grading services booths for NGC,
PCGS, ANACS, and ICG, were conveniently located close to the Mint booth.
I asked one of the staff members at NGC about what kinds of
modern coin submissions he was seeing other than the 2015-W Silver Eagle, and
he mentioned the five-ounce silver America the Beautiful coins such as the 2015
Homestead coin that was issued recently. The P version of that coin is on
back order at the Mint’s web site but was available at the show, and I picked
one up myself that was of very nice quality.
As I have noticed for years at this show the majority of
coins on display are classic American issues, which is what the typical
attendee is interested in. Bullion issues were also well-represented unless
you were looking for something hard to find like the 2015 Canadian 1.5 ounce
silver Polar Bear, which is mostly only sold within Canada. As usual
modern world issues were in rather short supply.
I checked out the new, mammoth edition of the "Red Book" that
was launched at the show, which is of telephone-book dimensions coming in at
over 1,500 pages.
While eating lunch I saw next to someone from one of the
grading services, who mentioned he is a collector himself, and that he
specializes in Mexican silver Libertad coins. Like me he is excited about
the new 7-coin Libertad proof set coming soon, that I discussed recently.
The most interesting comment I heard at the show was from a
dealer commenting on the fiasco that transpired when the 2014-W Kennedy gold
half dollar was launched at last year’s ANA World Fair of Money in
Rosemont. He said that $40 million was lost by dealers and other buyers
trying to make a quick profit on show release-graded examples only to see
values plummet quickly, and that this incident “broke the modern coin market”
because a loss of that size has many lasting effects.