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Show Report: ANA, Kansas City, 4/9/2005

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I ended up spending only six hours at the ANA show in Kansas City, so this is necessarily a shallow "show report". The brevity of my stay at the show was because my brother (who lives in Kansas) abruptly decided to visit my Mom at Fort Leonard Wood (MO), so I cut short my show time in order to meet up with them and enjoy some family time. So my discussion is only for Saturday 10:00 am through 3:30 pm. Incidentally, the Hyatt where the show took place was the scene of the collapsed balcony disaster of about 25 years ago - eerie!


Traffic seemed surprisingly light for what's supposed to be such an important show. I was also surprised that the number of dealers seemed on par with a typical regional show, say in St. Louis or Chicago. Furthermore, at least half the dealers were the same folks I'm used to seeing at any larger midwest show! So I didn't get a sense of much "new blood" for my browsing interests.


Dealers seemed much more "business-oriented" than the typical regional show, with very few interested in just simply sitting and "talking coins". I can understand that to some extent, but it wasn't like there were massed hordes of collectors crowding up the bourse. In fact, the apparent amount of traffic was somewhat inflated by the young numismatists who were in attendance. I was impressed by the neat little trivia challenge the ANA set up for our future coin collectors, and witnessed Pinnacle Rarities and Ray Burns, among others, handing out free coins to the kids.


Offers from dealers on coins I wanted to sell ranged from tepid to downright non-existent. I'm currently trying to actively prune "generic" coins from my inventory, but even offers to sell some of these coins (high-grade late-date wheats, Washingtons and Franklins) at 10% to 20% below greysheet bid drew blank responses from most dealers. I did end up lightening my load by about ten slabbed wheats to a "specialist" (whose offers were unimpressive) and a couple of generic SLQs, but honestly, I ended up losing probably $50 on $1000 more or less in sales.


Dealers had a fantastic volume of inventory for sale - if you happened to love certified, generic blast-white Morgan dollars. Excluding gold - of which there was more available than at a typical regional show - honestly, I don't believe I've ever been to a show where the percentage of coins for sale was so dominated by blast-white Morgans! I'm not sure whether this reflects dealers making sure they have a good supply of generics for sale because there are so many buyers, or they have a good supply of generics because there are so few buyers, but I did not overhear a single customer asking a dealer "Say, do you have any generic blast-white Morgans in slabs for sale?"


I DID overhear several inquiries for mid- to upper-grade circulated Seated and Barber coins, though, especially Barber halves, but such coins were noticeably absent from dealer inventories. In my brief attendance, I found only two dealers with bust halves that interested me - Stu Keen and Bill Kelly. I couldn't afford anything Stu had, but I did stretch out and pay about double retail for a couple of coins in Bill's inventory. Both are stellar, including a sensational Chrismas Light coin in an NGC AU-58 holder. Frankly, the coin is a touch overgraded (should be AU-55), but maybe NGC gave it a boost for the phenomenal tone. Images to follow after I crack it out wink.gif ....


I saw three people from my coin club in St. Louis in attendance, and had lunch with Joe ("jaywalker" on the PCGS forum). Of course, I recognized several other

collectors from times when I was on the selling side. Joe picked up a handful of Peace dollars, including a stellar, original coin in a PCGS MS-64 holder. It has attractive rim toning on both sides.


Finally, I picked up four other coins, and since I have nothing else to write about, I'll go ahread and bore youi with excessive detail on each of my purchases:


1900 Liberty nickel: For some reason, this particular coin has always been one of my favorites, and I just buy them for the heck of owning them. Maybe I'll put together an UNC roll someday. At any rate, it's either a very nice MS-63, or a low-end MS-64,a nd I picked it up raw for $80.


1924-D Buffalo nickel: Fills a hole in my album. This is a bold, wonderfully original coin in VF-20, though it only shows about 80% of the Buffalo's horn, but it has that perfect eye-appeal one expects of a mid-grade mid-twenties branch-mint Buffalo. It cost me $45.


1836 Capped Bust half: Classic, original F-12, which is really nothing special, but I used up half an hour of this dealer's time and had to buy something. It cost me $45 as well, but it never hurts to have this kind of coin in inventory.


1811 Capped Bust half: Properly grraded AU-53 (raw), and exhibiting delightful, original surfaces, with a nice, dark ring of classic album toning around both sides. Potent luster glows and flashes beneath the perfect patina. It's the perfect, original-looking coin that is so difficult to locate in today's market. I paid an exorbitant price ($750) for this gem, but I don't care. You have to pay real money for real coins.


1871 Indian cent: I spent some time at J. J. Teaparty's table, speaking with Liz, who is one of my favorite coin people. She is one of those rare numismatists who hasn't become jaded by the daily grind of trying to eking out a living in coins! This is another coin for my album, and Teaparty graded it EF-45. It's a close call, and I'll probably list it as EF-40 in my set, but it has plenty of eye-appeal. Another reason I wanted it is that it might be a variety. There is an extra "serif" on the seven in the date, just below the normal serif. Cost was $350


1822 Capped Bust half: Stunning coin in an NGC AU-58 holder, but as stated previously, I think the correct grade is AU-55. But the important thing is that this coin has a brightly glowing ring of orginal album toning around the obverse that looks like it's battery powered. Fantastic coin, and it cost me a fantastic amount of money - $1000.


I'll post images when I get a chance later.



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Thanks for another fine report. I've only talked with a couple dealers, each had similar attendance experiences. I guess the downward trend has started.







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Intersting report and some fine sounding coins. thumbsup2.gif It'll be intersting to see, overall, how the show does.



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