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Back from FUN
January 11, 2010

Whew. It feels good to be back home after five days on the road. I have brought things back from the Florida United Numismatists convention that feel like they should be measured in gross tonnage when I try to lift them all.

The most important things I bring back are my impressions of the state of numismatics as the year begins.

Yesterday for the first time in my life I saw ice on the streets of Orlando. Bourse floor activity at the convention was anything but icy.

There was a consistent buzz on the floor. Even Sunday morning had an audible buzz as I was saying my good-byes at 11 a.m. To be sure it was a soft buzz, not the strong one of a crowded bourse floor, but the usual Sunday morning echo chamber effect of the large hall was definitely missing.

The coin market is not hot, but it is active. After the housing mortgage crisis of the past couple of years I feel a little bit on edge when I see the table-top signs on the bourse floor offering to lend money for today’s special rate of 7.25 percent.

I know finance has always been a part of this hobby, but I can’t recall it ever being quite so visible to average hobbyist before.

Does this mean we are building our marketplace on financial sand?

It is a question that should be kept in mind, I think.

Thanks to all who stopped by the booth and said “hello” or stopped me in the aisles to do the same. It is much appreciated. It is both interesting and useful to see what everyone is thinking.

Congratulations to all of the members of the FUN team for putting on such a wonderful show. Some 8,500 people had registered by the close of business Saturday and it was hoped that Sunday would raise that total to 10,000.

Due to home builders taking the entire convention center next year as they did in 2005, the 2011 FUN show will be in Tampa.

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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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