My Day at the CSNS Coin Show in Chicago



My day at the Central States Numismatic Society nets two new coins for my collection and a whole lot of fun.

It is a rare treat for me to attend a major coin show, so when the opportunity arises, I usually try to make the most of it. Since I live a little less than 3 hours? drive from Chicago, my latest opportunity presented itself a couple of weeks ago Friday at the annual Central States Numismatic Society coin show.

With every show I attend, the experience of the previous show helps me to prepare for the present show. For instance, last time I learned that most dealers do not accept credit cards on the bourse floor by having to walk several city blocks to find an ATM. This time I loaded up with cash from my local ATM before leaving for the show.

So, with cash and ID?s in hand (One year my wife did not have her ID with her, and they almost did not let her in) and a day off work, my wife and I hopped into the car for the drive to Chicago. Personally, I have found that Friday is the best day to attend a show. The advantage to Friday is that most people who might attend the show over the weekend work on Friday. With a smaller crowd and earlier attendance comes the first pick of coins available at the show.

Another important aspect of preparation is to know exactly what you are looking for and how much you want to pay for it. I had one coin in my target list, and I was looking for an MS-65, 1901-O Morgan Dollar. When we arrived at the show, I immediately embarked on a scavenger hunt to find my treasure. A lot of the fun of a coin show is in the hunt. I must have searched through more than a dozen glass display cases full of coins before I found a dealer that had just what I was looking for and at a fair price.

Now with my treasure in hand and money left in my pocket, my attention turned towards adding another type coin to my collection, and I resumed the hunt. However, in my search for early coppers, I did not find a suitable certified example to add to my collection. It seems when dealers pack to go on the road, they like to pack their heavy hitters and for the second year in a row, all I could find were MS examples and rare lower grade coins. One dealer whom I have seen advertised in several periodicals left me his card and invited me to call him when he got back home, so I just might take him up on that.

While on the hunt to fill holes in my type collection, I found a dealer with two MS-63, 1883 no-cents nickels. Needing this fairly common and inexpensive coin for my collection, I reveled in the fact that I could choose the better of the two in a side-by-side comparison. Furthermore, the dealer gave me a great quote on the coin, and it was a sale. Now with two nice coins in hand, I called it a day.

My poor wife, on the other hand, is quite bored with the hunt and the many conversations I enjoyed with other coin-collecting zealots. However, she seemed to enjoy the educational displays and spent most of her time there. I must admit, several of the displays were appealing to me also, and in particular, an ancient?s display with coins from all the places the Apostle Paul from the Bible visited on his journeys. As an extra special treat, the owner of the display approached us and talked about the coins and other artifacts in his set. This owner was also quite innovative with his display design in that he had the coins elevated in the display on a piece of glass with a mirror behind the coins so you could see the reverses. I left hoping the owner of the display won an award for his very handsome and informative display.

Overall I had a very enjoyable day, and I am looking forward to the ANA show in Chicago this coming August. Until then, may you enjoy unearthing the treasures for your collections.





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