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Ready to Take Off?
April 28, 2011

When I arrived at the Central States show yesterday afternoon, I found the market had much more energy than I did. After a four-hour drive to Rosemont in the rain, I was ready to put my feet up for a while, but fortunately, the Central States crew made it so easy to get in and unload the Krause Publications display and the newspapers and magazines, that I was happy to ignore my sense of fatigue to get the job done.

I think $48 silver and $1,530 gold had something to do with the high level of market energy, though it wasn’t just bullion that was providing the fuel. Collector coins were holding their own as well.

Mike Schiller and James Thompson were already heading out the door when I ran into them as I came in.

“Outstanding” Schiller declared of his business on PNG Day.

“I moved a large amount of bullion,” he said. But that wasn’t the sum total of the Allouez, Wis., dealer’s experience. “We were very successful as far as finding some really neat collector coins.,” he said.

In terms of dollar volume, Schiller’s transactions in bullion were 6.4 times greater than the collector deals, but profit margin on bullion is much narrower.

I told Schiller I would not reveal the dollar amounts. Naturally, for competitive reasons, dealers like to play some things close to the vest.

Naturally, with conventions, there is a social component. I spent time meeting and greeting people. I stopped by the SilverTowne table and said hello to founder Leon Hendrickson. The firm is selling a new book about him, his wife and business, and I eagerly paid the $20 for an autographed copy. I look forward to reading.

Unfortunately, Leon’s wife Ruhama died last year on Aug. 13 last year and did not live to see the finished book, though without her contributions, the book would not have been possible.

I also have it on good authority that Mary Todd Lincoln, who enjoyed the Baltimore show so much, will be here tomorrow to visit with collectors.

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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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