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My day at the Central States Numismatic Society Show

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A wonderful day with my with my wife culminated with the addition of an 1834 Bust Dime to my 7070 type set.


Going to a major coin show is a treat that occurs all too infrequently for me. The last time I went to a major show was the August 2011 ANA show, so I was particularly eager to attend the Central States Numismatic Society show on Thursday April 25. Typically, I like to attend major shows on either a Thursday or Friday because I find that the crowds are much smaller, and the selection of coins is better earlier in the show. Anyways its a good excuse to play hooky from work!


Over the years, I have learned that to get the most out of attending a show requires a little preparation. The first thing I did in preparation for the show was to establish a budget. This is especially important because you can easily spend a lot of money before you know it. Next, I prepared a couple of submissions for NGC in order to save the cost of registered shipping to Florida. Finally, I prepared a want list. With so many distractions on the bourse floor, a want list of coins with desired grades helps you to stay focused.


With that, my wife and I hopped into the car for a short drive to Schaumburg, Ill., just west of Chicago and OHare International Airport. Once registered, the first thing we did was drop off my submissions at NGCs table. Next, I sought out a dealer that I had bought a coin from several years ago. That dealer ( Osburn Rare Coins) so impressed me that his is one of the tables I always visit. After a little chitchat, I showed the representative a want list for the type coins I still needed to fill my 7070 type set. He then pulled out every coin he had available that fit my descriptions.


One of those coins, an MS-61 1838-O Seated Liberty Dime had me salivating, but alas; my budget did not allow for it. Nevertheless, it is always fun to dream since the New Orleans Mint opened in May of 1838 with the striking of 30 Seated Liberty Dimes. Another dime with die clashing caught my eye, but it too was outside my budget. The only dime within my budget was a XF-40 1834 Bust Dime, and it was a sale. Interestingly, most dealers do not like to process credit cards at coin shows, so I paid for the coin with cash. Paying in cash has its advantages because when its gone, its gone! Spending my entire budget on one coin, the only thing my wife and I had left to do was enjoy the show.


As we were gingerly walking across the bourse floor, we stopped at the ANAs table to say hi, and before I knew it, my wife signed up as an associate member. For her membership fee, she came away with a few very nice parting gifts. She ended up with two very old canceled bank drafts, two old stock certificates, a Buffalo Nickel, and a Liberty Head Nickel.


One of my favorite things to do at a coin show is to view the educational exhibits. The exhibits there had something for everyone, including US and world coins, medals, tokens, and notes. While my wife and I were perusing an exhibit of two-cent pieces, an Abraham Lincoln impersonator filled us in on the history of the two-cent piece.


The day, however, was not without a certain degree of drama as the fire alarm sounded, and we were asked to evacuate the building. While we were on the way out, I wondered how they were going to secure all those coins. Oh well, at any rate, it was a perfect time for us to go to the IKEA store only a few blocks away to purchase three Jansjo desk lamps for my new macro photography rig. (I will have more to write on that later, but my coin photography has made a quantum leap).


Just a word to the wise if you have never been to a major show, never buy anything in the concession area, they will rake you over the coals! For instance, my wife and I were resting in the concession area enjoying our overpriced sodas when I overheard a fellow collector complain that he paid $12 for a sandwich, chips, and a drink. Since we were going to the IKEA store anyways, we had planned to eat in the cafeteria there. There my wife got an order of baby-back ribs, and I got an order of Swedish meatballs, complete with drinks, for $17!


Usually at these events, my wife placates me with a smile, since this is really not her thing. I'm like a pig in slop, and she's like a fish out of water. However, this day was pleasantly different. After we returned from the IKEA store, we walked from table to table, as she pointed out the coins she liked, and I answered her questions. This made my day!


My wife loves teddy bears, so naturally, she was drawn to the Pandas, and in particular, this years Pandas. Since my budget was essentially busted, I promised her a Panda when we return for the ANA show in August.


Another show highlight was the conversation I had with the founder of Wings concerning the grading of world coins. For those of you not yet aware (I myself only found out about this recently), Wings is attempting to become a CAC like service for world coins. Down the road, it will be interesting to see if this service takes off.


Finally, our day complete and our bodies exhausted, we returned home after an enjoyable day together. Please enjoy the picture of the 1834 dime I am attaching taken with my new rig and stay tuned for a special Coin of the Month to be released on Mother's Day. So then, until next time, happy collecting.




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Hi Gary,


Very nice report on Central States. I couldn't agee with you more on your point about arriving on a Thursday or Friday for a major show. Its not uncommon for many dealers to have already packed and left their tables by mid afternoon on Friday.

Also critical is having a good "game plan" going in to the show which includes the areas you covered , ie having a budget, a want list, etc. Congrats on the 1834 Bust Dime, a nice addition to your Type Set and expertly photographed ! I am a big aficionado of the reverse eagle design on the Bust coinage. I can also relate to your wife's interest in Panda's as my "better half" is also drawn to them, they are a very nice series with the obverse Temple motif always constant (except for date) and the reverse displaying the new year's panda design.

One security issue I would like to add for all is that if you have a show badge, please take it off when leaving, there is no need to walk around advertising yourself as a coin dealer or collector.

Best Regards and much continued success !!!


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Thanks for the report, and congratulations on a nice addition and staying within budget. I don't get to the major shows often (Baltimore and Orlando are both a long way from SC). ANA had a show in Charlotte 20 years ago or so but haven't been back since then. I happened to be in LA a few years ago at the same time as a Long Beach show but that's been it for the majors. Maybe after retirement, but until then our local shows, on-line and the CS boards are about my only sources.

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Thanks for the great write-up, Gary. I just wanted to mention that I have introduced my significant other to my hobby by buying her some pandas and koalas and she is thrilled with them. I know ziltch about modern coins so I went with MS 70 1oz silvers. ~ Jack

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Hi Gary- glad you enjoyed the show. Kind of stinks you spent your budget so fast, but if you find a coin that you really want it may not be there later- so smart pulling the trigger. Nice coin for your type set!

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