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Attendees' Opinions Mixed on World's Fair of Money
By David C. Harper
August 15, 2007
Was the American Numismatic Association convention held Aug. 8-12 in Milwaukee, Wis., a case where the glass was half full or half empty?

In evaluating commercial results, it all depends on whom you ask.

"It was a very good show," declared U.S. coin dealer Wayne Herndon of Oakton, Va. "It was very busy. It was pretty much nonstop the whole way through."

What made the show successful for him were mid-priced coins, he said. "Type, Bust, Seated, Lincolns in -63, -64 and -65," Herndon explained.

The happiest dealers were in the paper money field.

"Paper money is as strong as ever," said Jess Lipka, Flemington, N.J. "This show started slow but ended with a bang. Friday afternoon and Saturday were constantly busy. The paper money people definitely had a better show than the coin people."

Sergio Sanchez Jr., a Miami dealer, called the show "gangbusters" for paper money business.

Not all dealers were as pleased.

"There was a marked absence of public attendance at this convention," said world coin dealer and auctioneer Rick Ponterio of San Diego, Calif. "My show was adequate. Sales were reasonable. Purchases were pathetic," Ponterio said as he ticked off a mental list. "My sales were nearly all to other dealers."

Token dealer Dick Grinolds of Minneapolis said, "I would call it decent, but it was more of a grind-it-out type show than a big-sale type show.

"There was a different feeling from last year. Denver started big and then slowed down. This one slowly got better and better every day.

"So-called dollars are extremely hot, and Civil War tokens have been good and are remaining steady. In tokens, the effect of third-party grading is beginning to be felt," Grinolds explained.

Tom Culhane, The Elusive Spondulix, Union, N.J., said, "It was very good for so-called dollars, Philippines and U.S. patterns, very good for collector-based areas. There were a lot of coins available because of Stack's sale (the weekend before the show). A lot of coins went to the grading services and when they came back they went away. There's not an overhang of inventory.

"I think the market may have gone through a little dip but I think it looks very promising over the next couple of months," Culhane forecast.

Allouez, Wis., dealer Mike Schiller called the show VF-35. His reasons were "weak retail sales, very little public. We didn't get any wholesale business."

Santa Rosa, Calif., dealer Jack Beymer called the show very good. "We had a lot of retail participation and a lot of wholesale participation. It seems that the market is going very well."

Encino, Calif., error dealer Fred Weinberg, observed, "I actually sold more error coins retail than I expected." He called the show very active. "I thought (it was) well attended by the public."

Did the public turn out or stay away? Were sales good or weak? It all depended on who was asked. The autumn collecting season is coming and then we will be able to judge whose results most reflected the present commercial environment.



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