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Coin Road Trip- Seattle or Bust!!

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In October, I plan to go on a road buying trip from CA to Seattle, WA. I want to stay in Seattle for 3 days. Now I've been here several times and have done all the tourist stuff. How about some local recommendations on interesting sights that are secret to only the local folks. I love touring oddball scenery and buildings. Any tips? 893scratchchin-thumb.gif





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Here's something you might find as interesting as I did when I took the tour. Quite fascinating! Wish I could explore it all as they only show you less then half of what's there.


Seattle Underground


And if you get the chance to get down to the waterfront and piers 48 to 70, make sure you stop by Ivars Acres of Clams resturant. Best clam chowder I've ever had. Pier 59 is the home of the Seattle Aquarium and somewhere there, is a Ye Olde something-or-other Shop. Amazing, weird, wild and off-beat stuff worth perusing. Kinda like a Ripleys Believe It Or Not shop.


With only three days, I think this would be the one area I'd recommend any traveler take in first.


Hope you have fun and the weather cooperates!



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I just returned from a very poor buying road trip. The sights were great and the northwest is beautiful this time of year, but the coin shows and shops were very stinky.


Left last Friday for the Sacramento, CA. show. It was advertised as 100+ tables, barely 40 dealers showed. Mostly the same recycled stuff, very few fresh coins, very poor retail attendance. I purchased one commem and sold a few one ounce silver rounds. Grade D-


Traveled Saturday to the Grants Pass, OR show. About 20 dealers, mostly mom and pop set ups, with little or no high end material. Lots of lower end foreign and one dealer with a nice assortment of collector coins, otherwise poor attendance by the public. I did three go rounds in about 45 minutes. Grade D


I stopped by two Medford OR dealers and purchased a couple of commems.


Traveled Sunday to Portland OR show. About 40 dealers showed up. Very good selection of material, some fresh, some recycled. Lots of high end slabs, with a very good mix of foreign dealers. I purchased one super colored commem. However, dealers said public attendance was poor. Location was great, free parking, free admission. I'm sorry to say the public just did not show. In addition, there was a city marathon that closed off major streets near the show. Grade B


Traveled to Tacoma, WA. I stopped by a dealer and bought a super colored commem. I hit two local shops, with nothing outstanding. Did lots of sightseeing about the Tacoma area.


Headed to Olympia, WA. I stopped at two shops, nothing that grabbed me, poor selection of coins


Headed back to CA via Oregon coast. I stopped at the Tillimook cheese factory and bought some cheese and trinkets. Stayed in Newport, OR. The towns on the coast have grown since I last visited 5 years ago. Weather was foggy most of the way. Drove from Newport, OR, to Central Coast via Redwood National Park and the Redwood Hwy. 850 miles in 15 hours. Spent less than $2500 on coins the entire trip. frown.gif I was looking to spend 5 times that. I enjoyed WA and was hoping to see Mt. St. Helens pop her top, but no go, only a burp.


Conclusion: It appeared many of the shops I visited did not stock or retail high end coins. The dealers told me that what they get through the door goes onto ebay or is sold wholesale quickly. The result, poor selection for collectors who walk through the door and slow business on the retail end.The three shows that I attended appeared NOT to be supported by the public. This is very sad for dealers who try to make a few bucks retail, yet do 90% of business wholesale. Ebay has definitely hit the smaller shows and shops, and the net result is the death of the local coin shop and reluctance of the mom and pop dealers to set up at shows.




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Unfortunately, I am not surprised by much of what you experienced. frown.gif


It would seem to me that coin shop owners who are not close to highly populated areas would rather not keep higher end coinage in stock. After all, this is a higher overhead and by blowing the coins out, through relationships with other dealers or through ebay, the shop owners keep the money turning over. Also, while there are a ton of coins out there, there simply aren't a ton of really nice coins out there, in my opinion.


The lack of attendance by the public is disheartening. This has not happened on the east coast, at the shows I have been to. Perhaps it was due to nice autumn weather?

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