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RYK's SLNA Show Report Sunday February 15, 2009

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Sunday? Who would go to a multi-day coin show on Sunday? Work prevented me from going on Friday, and family activities (including a great 4th grade basketball game in which my son helped his team defeat their arch-rivals) prevented me from attending on Saturday. That leaves Sunday...


My son and I arrived at the show at about 10:30A, to find the promoters still charging admission to a bourse in which about 60% of the tables (110 or so table show) were empty. Most of the national guys were gone. In order to avoid the hefty $1 admission, you have to show proof that you belong to a coin club. I whipped out my ANA card, and this was sufficient.


Despite that there many unstaffed tables, those that were staffed seemed to be doing business. There were quite a few collectors present, including our own habaraca from ATS (Phil), and those who attended were there to do business. Absent, for the first time that I can remember, was James Garcia (earlyus.com, JamesEarlyUS, ex-Jade partner, etc.). Phil informed me that he had a personal matter that required him to be absent. It is usually a highlight for me to share newps with James, check his newps out, and usually buy a coin or two from him. But not this time... :(


For the size of the dealer turnout, there was a fair bustle of activity. Generic gold and silver, including AGEs and ASEs seem to be the talk of the bourse. The poor guy selling toned Morgans and Frankies was not having a great show, but the ones with the bullion were buying and selling in frenzied fashion. The people who attended earlier said that Friday was packed--it was difficult to get down the aisles, and that Saturday started pretty busy and fizzled as it got later.


What did I see? I saw three very nice mid-grade circulated 1799 dollars. If I did not have one and were looking for one, this would have been a show to buy one. I saw two 1844-C quarter eagles, one in a 10 holder and the other in a 50 holder. It's a pretty scarce date, so I was quite surprised to see two. I saw only one No Motto $10 (an 1851-O in NGC AU-50) and zero Type I Double eagles. There was a surprising amount of early gold, and I see that the PCGS Genuine holders are beginning to be better distributed in the marketplace. I saw very few of the new NGC edge-view holders (only two that I can remember). There were lots of colorized SAEs and state quarters. One or two dealers who had some exonumia. I saw one pattern (the relatively common J-208) and very few colonial coins and none that were out of the ordinary.


I used this show to try to teach my son about cleaned versus original. We stood in front of an unattended case nearly full of Barber dimes in flips. I showed him a few that were obviously cleaned, and a few that looked original. Then, I quizzed him on some, and he seemed to be getting it. It was also somewhat nostalgic for me because when I was his age, I collected Barber dimes that graded "Smooth", and I pointed those out to him, as well. He seemed to enjoy the exercise because as we looked at other cases, he would point out coins to me that looked original vs. cleaned.


While speaking with a purveyor of toned Morgans, another dealer chap across the way noticed my Steelers cap, and we started talking about football. We both went to the same college, and after further discussion, I revealed that I also graduated from med school there (which meant that I could no longer buy a coin from anyone within earshot no matter how forcibly they asked ;) ). He then invited me to take a look at a mole. I dutifully reported to his table, game him my opinion, we chatted a bit more and parted company. I have never been called upon to give a dermatologic consultation on the bourse before, and I know that my radiology colleagues here are chuckling as they read this. :D


After about an hour, my son got bored, took out his itouch, sat at a vacant table, and commenced doing what he does with that thing while I finished the bourse. After about fifteen minutes, I got back to him, and he showed me a book that someone had given him. It was the Zyrus Press Bowers book on US Silver dollars, which some adult kindly gave to him. He was appreciative but indifferent, and after perusing the book, I joined him in the state of indifference. Bowers must be saving his best for Whitman.


We left the show without spending a penny. There was little that caught my eye. I thought about buying a proof SAE from the guy with the mole, but I had little enthusiasm for it. I gave my son an ex-Space Monkey bust half as his coin show gift (it was better than any we saw on the floor), so he was content.


I was frankly pleasantly surprised with what I saw on this Sunday, the fourth day of this show. It was more active than what I would have expected three years ago at the same show. I am sure that the coin market is suffering along with everything else in this economy (mostly because Longacre keeps telling me so ;) ), but I would not have known it from my experience today.


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The dealer should have given you the ASE in lieu of on-the-spot dermatological consultation fee!


Thanks for the report, sounds like your typical coin show, minus a few players.


I’m surprised the toned stuff was not moving as well as bullion…sign of the times?

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