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PAN Show Report: October 25, 2003

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I took about two hours from my annual family visit to Pittsburgh this past weekend to visit the PAN show. For me, it was a waste of time. I usually am interested in certified, rare date gold coins, particularly any pre-Civil War New Orleans gold and Dahlonega $5's. I saw one 1842-D SD ICG XF-40 $5, which is a coin that has made a few ebay circuits without being sold. It was not a bad coin, and I considered buying it. It was offered for $1500. The trouble is, for me, it is easier to buy when I am put in the right frame of mind by seeing a lot of nice coins that interest me. This was the only coin in the room that I had any inkling of going home with...and I didn't.


One dealer (I do not remember) had a tremendous number of rare date certified gold coins, a couple of pre-1800 eagles, C and D mint quarter and half eagles, stuff that normally would make me drool. The trouble was that the coins were all in SEGS, PCI, and NCS holders with both disclosed and undisclosed problems.


(Aside: Is it me, or would you rather buy a NCS coins with problems clearly described or a SEGS/PCI coin in which you know there are problems, but not the extent?).


This same dealer who had the problem certified gold coins also led me to conceive Robert's Coin Show Pet Peeve #437: When dealers spread out all of their common date Morgans and Walkers but stack their rare date gold coins (or whatever else you happen to be looking for) in the back of the case so you have to ask to see what they have.


There was lots of gold, but most of it raw. As usual, lots of Morgans, Walkers, Frankies, proof sets, bullion coins, etc. I met PTVetter (briefly), and he seemed very nice. Tom Reynolds, the large cent specialist, was there, and his table was half usual size, but the quality was clearly all there. To me, it appeared that there was a lot of buying/selling, but the transactions appeared to be for lower dollar coins. I did see one deal get done in the lower (darker) level of the parking garage. It was dark enough that the deal would have to be considered sight-unseen!


It's a good thing that I had a great Steelers victory the next day to brighten my weekend--oh yeah, I sat drenched in Heinz Field and watched them lose to the Rams! Well, at least I have great family in the 'burgh!

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Thanks for the report - always the best part of these boards!


Personally, I know just enough to stay away from PCI/SEGS, etc., so I'd rather see a coin in an NCS slab with its problems disclosed.


(Best of all, of course, is a coin without problems!)

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Thank you for the report. As DaveG has mentioned, these reports are terrific to read. You specialize in a fairly tough area of numismatics, so I would think that you might almost become conditioned to disappointment.

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