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What Kind of Summer for Hobby?
June 09, 2008

Though the calendar does not officially declare it summer, the weather certainly does and in a way so does the numismatic calendar.

The Baltimore show concluded over the weekend and now the show schedule thins out. The question that I ask annually as routinely as a doctor's office takes blood pressure is will commercial activity maintain an active pace or will it recede to a slow and easy pace as hobbyists take up their summer activities?

My next scheduled show is the International Paper Money Show in Memphis the last weekend in June. The second summer Florida United Numismatists convention will also be held the same weekend.

Both shows are looking to find a home on the calendar. Memphis used to be anchored to Father's Day weekend until the convention center and hotels got better paying guests.

Summer FUN in West Palm Beach is in its second year and is still looking to establish itself in the hobby routine. Last year's show was held in July and it was a good start. This year's show is expected to build on the prior one.

Would-be hobby vacationers know it is easier to skip coin shows than it is paper money shows because there are so few of the latter. Memphis is the big paper money show on the calendar, so the paper money segment of the hobby will not yield to the temptation to slack off until after it has concluded.

The large fluctuations in the bullion market argue for coin collectors to pay more than the usual summer attention to coins. This goes double for dealers.

So what is my conclusion?

Perhaps the old-fashioned notion of combining business and pleasure will prevail. FUN has a beach. Memphis has Graceland and nearby gambling, so show goers could find a reason to stay in both areas longer.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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