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Will Collectors Pay to Play?
May 25, 2011

New good ideas in numismatics are as rare as they are in life in general.

That is why I found a recent announcement from the American Numismatic Association particularly interesting.

At this summer’s ANA convention in Rosemont, Ill., Aug. 16-20, the ANA will be offering tables to collectors and dealers on a daily basis in one section of the hall.

Executive Director Larry Shepherd hopes this will provide an opportunity for some dealers to taste the big event for the first time without the expense of a table for the whole show. It could also attract collectors who might want to sell off some of their holdings.

Bourse tables at ANA aren’t cheap. They are highly coveted by the nation’s top numismatic firms who go to great lengths to get the same location year by year.

Will anybody be interested in tiptoeing into this top annual event?

Price of a table for opening day is $400. The second day costs $300. The following days are $250 each.

Those prices are far cheaper than the bourse fee for the full event, but how many people are there who might consider them to be reasonable for one day at the show?

After all I am the one who gets telephone calls from people complaining that subscription solicitations vary by a dollar or two and demand to know the reason why.

How will $400 hit them.

We will find out.

As a concept, it will bring in new people and new inventory. Both are good things where the standard cry is a lack of fresh material.

I am in favor of trying this. It might work.

But then again, some people will only see what looks like a high price rather than the door to the opportunity it represents.

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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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