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Baltimore Review-Three Days of Coins!

13 posts in this topic

I've been away at the Baltimore show the last three days and have not checked the boards during that time. I did however, have a great time checking out coins and meeting with friends old and new. Personal interactions and collector coins make up the beginning of the post and dealer material on the bourse makes up the end of the post. If you can stand to read another review of the show I would encourage you to sit back and enjoy.


Typically, I arrive at this show on Thursday, but could not make it until Friday of this year. I was on the bourse before the public was allowed in and made my way to njcoincrank's table. He had some wonderful pieces and also generously gave me information on a coin that I own, which is something I have found him to readily do. After quite a while with njcoincrank it was time to hit the floor and meet up with bigmoose. As usual, bigmoose brought show-and-tell coins that would knock the socks off of anyone. Included in that were killer toned IHCs and a silver Erie Canal medal featuring what appeared to be Pan and Zeus on the obverse and, of course, commemorating Clinton's Folley (NY Governor DeWitt Clinton, that is). wink.gif


I was then able to meet michael and chinook/codhok for the first time. The three of us shared some coins we brought for each other to look at and then michael and I spent the next two or so hours together talking coins and having lunch. I swear, there were times where I thought that I was in the presence of the Breen encyclopedia brought to life, after it had been carefully edited to remove many of its errors. smile.gif It's also funny to anticipate those coins that you just know other collectors will not like and michael did not disappoint me when I showed him coins I believed he would be less than impressed with. 893whatthe.gif As an aside, if anyone wants an attractive matte proof Lincoln they are going to have to persuade chinook/codhok to part with some of his hoard. I was not successful. confused-smiley-013.gif


DaveG was there with a terrific, original CB dime that he refused to part with and he was with CharlotteDude who had a superbly beautiful early gold coin with him. DaveG also introduced me to Tassa for the first time and I believe Tassa was surprised by my appearance; doesn't everyone realize that the green demon PCGS icon I use is a photo of me? 893scratchchin-thumb.gif EVP stopped me and gave me an education on certain Trade and Seated dollar issues while we blocked the aisle in the center of the bourse. It's nice to get a free education! smile.gif Mark Feld was also there, looking very casual, and if anyone wants a supply of originally toned, attractive Seated material they best get in touch with him before his inventory disappears out the door. The first day flew by and ended up with a very tasty dinner with bigmoose, EagleEye and several others.


Day two was quite short for me because a significant number of dealers were packing up by one in the afternoon. I do not know if this is typical of Baltimore because I usually do Thursday and Friday, not Friday and Saturday, but I found this disconcerting. I met up with EVP again...and again...and again...and again...was he stalking me? 893whatthe.gif893scratchchin-thumb.gif Julian was the last dealer I spoke to and he graciously allowed me to examine both of his raw proof Columbian half dollars while he tended to other customers. One of the halves appeared to be in the original, purple velvet box of presentation, though I do not know if these were truly presented in such a box.


After that, I was on the road to visit supertooth and family, who had kindly offered me a place to stay for the evening and all the food and drink I could take! thumbsup2.gif Folks, supertooth is the real deal if you are looking to learn about WLHs and he owns just about every one from the early years in mid-grade. Unfortunately, he would not part with those that I had to have. mad.gifwink.gif We sat at a table for eight hours passing coins between us and his son, who is also a knowledgeable collector. I spent the night there and the next morning we did the same thing for another two hours until it was time to go home. Fortunately, I was able to bend supertooth's mind in serious ways with the toned coinage I brought to share. I think supertooth's wife was about to charge me rent... 893scratchchin-thumb.gif


As for the bourse, I found the show frustrating.


-There were significant numbers of very nicely toned Morgans to be had and many of these were likely Battle Creek coins. I didn't ask the prices on these coins so I have no idea as to their levels at the moment.

-There was a seemingly ample supply of mid-grade, certified 1893-S Morgans on the floor, as per usual, but they seemed to be a little more scarce than previous shows.

-Several dealers were excited about the plus signs scattered through the Greysheet for early commems and one dealer told me he was putting away some of his nicer early commems in anticipation of more aggressive movement in this long slumbering segment.

-Similar to DaveG's observation, I think O-mint gold was less available than in previous shows.

-Also, if you were looking for original, mid-grade WLHs from the early years then you were essentially shut out, regardless of whether you wanted raw or slabbed material.

-Tons of cleaned Barber coinage was on the floor, and the original coins tended to be graded higher than I would have accepted.

-A particularly distubingly AT Hudson commem, in a SEGS MS65 holder was being offered and the dealer had a sticker on it stating it was AT and that the coin could be had for MS63 money, which I thought was much more forthright than many sellers would be.

-I saw quite a few mildly, yet attractively, toned proof IHCs and these seem to now be the object of higher ask prices than in the past.

-Wayne Herndon had the greatest assortment of DBHs in mid-grades of anyone at the show, especially of 1801 and 1802 coins, and I am including Sheridan Downey and Osburn in that comparison.

- Osburn's table was very busy and he said that his material was moving extremely fast.

-Truly superbly toned coinage was almost non-existant, which is different than in past years where you could find one or two coins; though the prices would always be high.

-There were what I believed to be an unacceptably high number of questionably toned coins in NGC and PCGS holders present and being offered at premiums.

-I saw fewer Trade dollars than expected, but more Seated dollars than expected; however, keep in mind that I am far from expert in either of these markets so this could simply be my distorted view.

-I stopped by Legend and they were kind enough to let me examine three coins that I asked to inspect and these were the MS67 Lafayette dollar, the 1915 proof Barber half from the 1915 proof set and the recently sold ex-ANR 1940-S WLH; the Barber half was everything they said it would be plus more.

-As I passed one dealer's table I overheard him telling someone who was offering coins that he would only buy what appeared to be original type and that he wasn't interested in dipped coins, this so delighted me that I stopped at the table and spoke with him at length before buying a completely original and gunky coin; a shout out to Kaminski Coin Company of Wisonsin Dells, WI.

-An unexpectedly large supply of Hawaiian was present, with every denomination save the dollar spotted, though the great majority had been cleaned.


No doubt I am forgetting many things at the moment. My haul consisted of a dark and problem-free circulated Maine commem, a completely original F12 1907-S Barber half and an 1830 half-dime that I believe to be undergraded in a PCGS MS64 holder. I paid a lot for the coins, but I like them! smile.gif

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Tom, as usual an excellent show report!!! Glad you didn't check the prices on the Battle Creek Morgans,a Coin Show is not the ideal place to have a heart attack wink.gifgrin.gif

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It was truely my pleasure to meet you Tom. I was really impressed with your MPLs. The Washies, well...... wink.gifgrin.gif


And as Michael also stated, you are one tall dude. Glad to see you shaved the beard grin.gifgrin.gifgrin.gif

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Tom- That's a great report. Your highway photo reminds me of Montana and $1 cost Morgans in 1960's!! Very good explaination of original surfaces on your website too--thanks.

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oh sh*t successful beyond our wildest dreams


you would be shocked how many rich people that are behind tables on the bourse that absolutely know nothing about coinage


and are surly rude and seem like they are snitches in hell when they are not on the bourse


a motley crue of characters insane.gif

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Michael it was nice to meet you at the show. Again I am sorry I couldn’t join you for lunch, I was so busy those I actually had to skip lunch on Friday. I am glad to hear the show was such a great success.

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I'll echo Tom's comments about Kaminski Coin!


I spoke to Joe Kaminski for a few minutes early on Friday morning. This was his first Baltimore show, and he's going to be back.


He has a great inventory of original, mostly mid-19th century US coins. In fact, his coins were so attractive that his was the only table that, when I went back in the afternoon, the coins I had looked at in the morning had been sold!

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