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.