From the Road Report Archive

January 29-February 7, 2009: The Long Beach Expo


The Exciting Conclusion:

Truth be told, it wasn’t that exciting.  Rather it was sort of a typical Saturday in LB, with mostly families and visitors looking around, and not too many serious transactions taking place (at our table or anywhere else that we could see).  In fact, in all the years we’ve been coming here, we’re hard pressed to think of a single major transaction that we’ve done on a Saturday at this show.

Usually it’s a lot of sitting and waiting, then collecting a few last checks and some final grading submissions, packing up and heading out to catch our flights.  And that’s what happened on this day.

Lack of Saturday fireworks aside, the show was pretty decent for us overall, which meant that it was, as reported here earlier, better than we expected.  Considerably.  And that’s encouraging.

Also encouraging are the cool NEWPs we have from the show (and before) which we will be unleashing in a new EB on Tuesday.  Contained within will be all sorts of interesting things from the low hundred dollar range to a max of $335,000.  So there should literally be something for everyone (unless you had your heart set on spending more than $335,000 for a single coin, in which case we cannot help you).

Looking ahead, our next scheduled event is not until the ANA in Portland in March, but that doesn’t mean we’ll be hanging out in the office in the meantime.  We have several trips planned to meet with customers this month, and if all goes well we’ll have some very cool new stuff to offer in future EBs that has not been on the market in years.  And when we say years, we mean Y-E-A-R-S.

So you might want to keep an eye out for that.

DW & JA

 

Day 9:

Let’s talk about the bourse floor today.

Friday was a pretty busy day, with quite a bit of show traffic, including most of the usual suspects and a number of new faces all coming to the table and looking at all sorts of things.

But, like at FUN, a lot of the things we are selling are in the more moderate range, including some nice affordable type and colonials at the few hundred to several thousand dollar price points.

It wasn't like people weren't interested in the expensive stuff.  They were, including some superb early type and several seldom seen colonial issues we have at the table.  In particular, our NE Shilling certainly drew oohs and aahs from collectors and dealers alike, including even the most experienced numismatists who apparently don’t see one for sale that often.  But while we did sell one colonial coin for just under $100,000, and another in the low 5 five figures, there are just not a lot of people spending big money for fantastic coins at this time, no matter how fantastic they are.

Instead, most of the people interested in such items just decided that they weren't comfortable making such a hefty purchase right now.

We did however receive a number of inquiries and proposals from various collectors to trade other coins for one or more of these big-ticket items (most of which were not of interest to us, but a few were compelling enough that we are seriously pondering them).  And while this always goes on to a certain extent, there is no question that it is more prevalent now than at anytime in the recent past, once again indicating to us that cash is tight (which is no great surprise for any of us who watch the news or read the paper).

Even taking all of this into consideration, I would say that the consensus view from other dealers we talked to was consistent with our own:  Sales so far at LB have generally exceeded most of our admittedly low expectations.  And, by most accounts, the market seems to be stronger than it was at FUN (which is not something we would have predicted at all).

Note though, that this is what we see from our vantage point (and have gleaned in conversations with other dealers).  Someone else in a different specialty, or set-up on the other side of the room (or at a different show in some other state) may have a totally different perspective.  Which is why we would not advise anyone to draw any sweeping conclusions based on one show, or one show report.

But it wasn’t all serious market analysis on Friday – there was also the fun bourse conversations and sightings.

Such as the appearance of at least one former NBA star and one well-known 80’s rocker at the show today.

And then there was the collector who stopped by to tell us how much he enjoys these blogs, though I don’t think he said it just to be mentioned in this sentence (since he insisted on remaining anonymous).  But I told him I would, and so I did.

But the most interesting interaction was with the man who stopped by our table with a black tee shirt with the word “ANARCHY!” printed on it.  Perhaps I showed my age (or my questionable taste in music) when I said to him “Cool - is that a Sex Pistols shirt?”

He responded: “Um, no.  ‘Anarchy’ is the name of a winery.”

Oh well.

But while we missed the boat on that one, not so for some of our purchases from the show, which we stumbled upon serendipitously (as opposed to specifically seeking out).

For instance I found a realy nice colonial while dropping off a coin at another dealer’s table.  And John bought a beautiful foreign coin he spotted in some unknown guy’s case as he walked to the snack bar. 

Yet when we methodically went up and down the aisles looking for such coins we both came up dry for new purchases.  Fate is a fickle mistress, I guess.  And once again we have seen that this is an amazingly inefficient business in which buyers and sellers may not find each other (unless they take a particular route to the snack bar).

But it seemed to work out for us in this case, contributing to a pretty good Friday.

Our last day out here is tomorrow, and so we’ll be recapping that and offering some final thoughts about the LB show in this space in just about 24 hours from now.
 

Day 8:

There was some interesting market information on Thursday in the Heritage 1 PM colonial auction session, so I thought I'd devote today's RR to this topic.

First, the room was about typically full, and all of the typically seen suspects were there in person or were being represented.  But the results were not that typical at all:

Lot #2, the Oak Tree Shilling, Noe 4 variety in an NGC 63 holder, realized $21,850, as compared (according the Heritage archives) to the $29,900 it brought in February 2006, and the $23,000 it brought in May 2008.  So the 3 year trend on this item looks slightly like a ski slope.   What is not shown on the Heritage site is that this coin originally brought 'only' $18,400 in the Ford sale in October 2005, making the ski slope look a little more like a glacial moraine.  Also, it is interesting to note that this coin was purchased at the Ford sale by our very own Dave Wnuck, who did so by mistake while really meaning to bid on a different lot (hey it does happen occasionally).  But in those heady days of rising prices, all you had to do was slab a coin and consign it to the next auction to make an outsized profit.

Lot #9, a pleasant looking St. Patrick Farthing in a PCGS XF40 holder brought $9,775.  That ties the highest price ever realized for a coin in this grade matching the $9,775 for a different coin in September 2006.  What may not be known is that the coin sold in 2006 was significantly better, and immediately upgraded to XF45 back then.  So by all accounts, Thursday’s result was a very strong one.

Lot #17, a 1724 Hibernia Halfpenny in an NGC MS64 holder, brought $948.75, a surprising result given this coin's history.  Our story begins in January 2005, when this same piece sold raw for $1,840 as lot #88 in the Ford sale.  It next appeared in Heritage’s July 2008 auction in a PCGS AU58 holder and realized $1,955.  Nothing unusual there.  And then it was ‘upgraded’ from PCGS AU58 to NGC MS64, losing much of its originality and half of its value in a little more than 6 months.  I’m not sure what that tells us other than that upgrading a colonial from an original PCGS 58 to a less original NGC 64 might not be the best profit maximizing strategy at this point.

Lot #64, a 1773 Virginia Halfpenny in a PCGS MS65RB holder ex-Ford, brought a robust $4,600.  This was a very nice example of this issue on an unusually broad planchet with full denticles on both sides, which may explain why it brought a new record price for one of these – more than double the $2,070 it brought in the Ford sale in January 2005.

Lot #87, a Vermont Baby Head in a PCGS VF20 holder, sold for $2,530.  As compared to the $4,312.50 this exact same coin brought in January 2007.

Lot #95, a 1787 Fugio Copper in a PCGS MS65 holder, brought a very robust $11,500.  That coin was decent, but nothing spectacular, yet still managed to set what I believe is a new record price for a coin in this grade level (by nearly 20%).

Lot #117, a striking 1783 Washington Draped Bust Restrike in silver in a PCGS PF65CAM holder with a CAC sticker, realized $8,050.  That’s quite a bit less than the $9,775 this same coin brought in January 2008 as a PF65 without the CAM designation or the CAC sticker.

What can we conclude from all of this?  I have several thoughts:

1. 
On balance, I thought this session was stronger than the FUN show auction.

2.  It’s getting quite a bit harder to predict prices in these sessions, even if you have the amount of historical information and background knowledge of the coins that we do.

3.  It appears that the coins are generally (but not in every case) selling for what they are actually worth in today’s market, and that, at least in the colonial realm, the holder grades, CAM designations and CAC stickers are generally (but not in every case) not making much of a difference.  If true, I'd suggest that this is a positive development for people who collect coins, as opposed to plastic.

4.  Some people are continuing to pay strong money for the coins they really want, though they aren’t always picking the best pieces in our humble opinion.

So what does this mean for CRO?  It means we'll be continuing the strategy that we have been using all along, trying hard to find nice, original coins and selling them to collectors who appreciate them as such, which we believe makes sense in any market environment.  Especially this one.

Tomorrow's Road Report will focus mostly on what's happening on the bourse floor, which has been pretty active so far.

The End.


Day 7:

Wednesday in summary form:

We had another not-that-early start, allowing time for leisurely blog writing and CRO ad finalizing before breakfast.

We needed only a last few additional minutes of lot viewing at Heritage, which we zipped through efficiently at 11 AM.

We had a pleasant outdoor lunch with a couple of dealers we don’t normally have lunch with.

It appeared to me that the throng of people waiting to get into the bourse floor at 2 PM for dealer set-up was not as big as it was at some previous LB shows.

I was surprised that we didn’t see more cool coins on the bourse floor.  In fact (and this might sound self-serving, though I believe it to be true), the coolest stuff I saw was ours.

But we still managed to buy quite a few neat things on the floor.

Someone walked off with all of our booth chairs during the course of the afternoon, indicating that regardless of the state of the coin market, you’ve really got to keep an eye on these people.

We submitted a bunch of pent up grading, resulting in a hand cramp from filling out a big pile of grading forms as quickly as possible.  I doubt that will help the results though.

We sold a few inexpensive things during the afternoon, and have one high five figure item ‘in-play’.

Had dinner by the harbor and ate too much.

Thursday marks the first full day of the show with actual attendance by members of the collecting public, so we look forward to seeing some familiar faces at the table. 

And it’s also the kick-off of the Heritage colonial session at 1 PM, in which we will be active bidders on a bunch of stuff.  How successful we are will be reported here, in this space, 24 hours from now.
 

Day 6:

The first item on Tuesday's agenda would be Heritage lot viewing.  But since they wouldn't be set up and ready for us until about 11, that left plenty of time this AM to answer Email, work on our next ad, talk to a couple of customers on the phone, possibly sell two expensive colonials, watch CNN, and generally screw around.

But eventially it was time to meet Dave in the lobby and walk over to the convention center, during which we saw 41,337 red and black TED banners hanging from street lamps and on buildings throughout the city (for the 'Technology. Entertainment. Design.' conference going on at the same time as the coin show here in LB).

And while normally we wouldn't particulary care what other events were taking place during a coin show (since there is generally at least one other convention going on in most of the convention centers we frequent as we travel the coin circuit from city to city), this one scares me.

First of all, it's apparently huge - so big that it is being held all over town in multiple venues.  Second, some heavyweight guys will apparently be here, including people like Bill Gates (who I am guessing generates a massive geek-following wherever he goes).  Third, some of the roads in and around the convention center will apparently be closed over the next several days.  And finally, we've been told that nearly every restaurant in town is already booked for the rest of the week.

Which means there should be a ton of TED attendees, and media, and all sorts of other traffic which will likely make it either very difficult or impossible (or possibly just a big pain in the butt) for a regular old coin collector to actually get here.

So, let's hope I'm wrong.

Anyway, we did eventually get to Heritage viewing, where we found a bunch of familiar dealer faces already poring through coin boxes.

And we joined them, but not with very high expectations. 

Watching this sale build online on the Heritage site over the previous weeks, we didn't see a great many really sexy or interesting coins - just a couple of things here and there.  But when viewing everything in hand, we were surprised that we liked quite a few of them, and over the course of 4 or 5 hours of viewing we compiled a list of at least several dozen pieces to bid on.

And, even though the market for some stuff is definitely down, I'd be willing to bet that every one of these we'll be strongly contested, and I'll be stunned if we're able to buy more than a few.

Anyway, viewing completed, we headed out to a sensible dinner with a dealer friend which ran pretty late.  Which is why this blog is being written on Wednesday AM.

Our next RR will describe what happens next, including the all-important dealer set-up, during which we hope to sell some cool coins.  Possibly to Bill Gates.

 

Day 5:

Monday began back in the almost full Goldberg auction room, as we had a few bids in the morning on some nice type (and no bids at all on the other 98% of the coins in the session which were tired, cruddy, overgraded, etc.).  But again, even on things that weren’t once in a lifetime pieces (or pedigreed to Ted Naftzger, for example), prices on the small number of coins we wanted were really, really high.  Which meant we were swamped on most of them.

But that’s OK – can’t win ‘em all, and it doesn’t do us much good to buy anything for more money than we would want to sell it for, so we headed out to view lots at the Superior sale being shown up the road.

And we found a couple of interesting pieces there in a very thin catalog which was half coins and half rocks.  Seriously.  We’re not sure what exactly is going on these days, but it seems like every time you turn around someone is conducting an auction of brightly colored minerals. 

And while this must have geologists rejoicing, it wasn’t for us, so we headed out to Goldberg’s, picked up our coins, left our bids for the evening gold session with a dealer friend and headed down to Long Beach to get a jump on Heritage viewing starting tomorrow.

Which was a real good plan, except that we did not realize that Heritage wasn’t even here yet.  Instead, the hotel and the convention center were swarming with hair dressers here for the International Salon & Spa Expo.

And while this might sound intriguing, in reality it meant that every third person had blue (actually purple) hair, and every single person we saw all day was wearing tight, all black clothing.

As you can imagine, Dave and I fit right in.

So we opted for dinner here at the hotel, and then worked on our inventory in the early evening before crashing at about 11.

Tuesday we’ll (we hope) be lot viewing and working on the website.  We do not plan to get haircuts, but we reserve the right to do so if we see an especially exciting opportunity.


Day 4:

Good morning everyone – it is now 4:31 AM Beverly Hills time, I am feeling good after 4 hours of restful sleep, and it is time to write the blog!

And, of course, there is a lot to write about, since Sunday was Naftzger Auction day at Goldberg’s, with 476 deluxe middle date Large Cents which everyone knew would sell for strong money in any economy.  The question was how strong would strong be?

The answer turned out to be ‘Very’.

Most anything rare, or condition census, or with considerable mint red on it sold for a ton to a wide variety of dealers and collectors in the room, on the phones, and very occasionally on the internet.

Our first bid was on lot #2, the MS64 RD 1816 N2.  We liked it as a first year type coin and thought $12,000 hammer might be close (on a coin available in pleasing 64 RB for about $2,000, but never, ever seen in full RD).  And actually our bid was close, losing to a specialist collector by one increment (though we suspect he would have gone much higher had it been necessary).

The first really big number was the $110,000 hammer on lot #139, the first of two superb 1823 N-2s in the sale.  This was the MS65 coin, which many of us actually preferred to the MS66 example coming up next in the catalog (including the catalogers themselves, apparently, who chose to put the MS65 coin and not the 66 on the cover).

We actually thought the 65 had a chance to sell for more than the 66, but we were wrong, as that one hammered for juuuuuust a tick higher at $260,000.

Which left me wondering several things:

  1. Did the catalogers determine the lot sequence (and the cover coin) before they got the PCGS grades back?  That seemed possible, since in most every other case the “best” example of each coin (and there were multiple examples of many) was listed first.  And this is how most catalogers do it, letting everyone fight it out for the best coin, and then letting this inevitably high result influence the price of the next one(s).
     
  2. Would the 65 coin have sold for more if the 66 coin was auctioned first?  I’d say it almost certainly would have, since the immediate reaction after the 66 hammered for 260K was for a bunch of guys to jokingly ask if we could reopen the now seemingly very cheap MS65 lot.  The specialist dealer who bought it was not amused.
     
  3. Would anyone viewing these coins have considered lot #140 to be more than twice as valuable as lot #139?  The answer to that has to be no (with the possible exception of an extremely devout Registry collector).  If regraded, the 65 might be a 66 on a different day.  And vice versa.

Anyway, enough about that.

The rest of the coins went consistently well and occasionally wild, with certain results really notable in my mind.

Lot #398, the MS65 RD 1837 N16 being a good example.  Some of us thought the color was real, some of us didn’t, but the eventual buyer (a well known dealer who knows real red when he sees it) liked it enough to pay $31,000 hammer.  Indicating, once again, that old red copper coins are strongly in demand.

And then we came to lot #437, the amazing MS65 1839/6 (also plated on the catalog cover).  Which slowly made it’s way up from the mid 5 figures to well north of $200,000 over several minutes.  Which seemed like fair value in my mind, given that there is nothing else like it, and someone will always want to own it.

That was it for Naftzger, leading us directly (after a dinner break) into the March Wells sale of early copper.  These were in a very different category – not condition census material (by and large), just wholesome, choice coins including a very nice run of 1794 Cents and some lovely Classic Heads.

We liked a lot of these, and we formulated strong bids on nearly 2 dozen coins.  But we managed not to buy any at all in a session in which many sold for double our max bid, indicating that people are actively buying nice coins (and not just the once-in-a-lifetime type things in sales like Naftzger) for strong prices.

And with that, I headed out to catch the 2nd half of the Super Bowl (which turned out to be well worth the effort), leaving Dave to do the heavy lifting in the auction room.

Tomorrow we’ll be viewing, bidding and driving, as we head on down to Long Beach to get a jump on the Heritage sale.


Day 3:

Is there anything more inconvenient than switching from one hotel room to another in the middle of your stay?

There probably is, but I cannot think of it right now.  You see I had a suite for the first couple of days of my stay here so that I could meet people in my room without having them sit on my bed (as an aside, I remember being at a sales meeting years ago when about 5 of us were sitting on the CFO's bed in a hotel working out some new pricing model.  I vowed then that I would never, ever do that again under any circumstances, and I'm proud to say that I haven't).  But now that my meetings were over, I figured I'd move to a regular room and save myself the extra $100 a day.  Hey, why not?

Which required me checking out, hauling my stuff to the bellman, checking back into a new room and generally wasting about an hour in the process.

But once done, I was ready to head down the block to Goldberg's for my first look at the Naftzger, March Wells and other items in their two phonebook-sized (but not big phonebooks) catalogs.

Upon arrival, it was pretty crowded, with most (but not all - some were conspicuously absent) of the usual suspects poring through the nice copper, apparently as slowly as possible.  Seriously.  If you're in a hurry at one of these copper auctions, you're pretty much out of luck, as these guys can spend an unbelievably long time looking at each coin.  I don’t fault them, of course – they should take whatever time they need to feel comfortable with what they’re looking at.  I just prefer not to be behind them in the lot viewing queue.

But eventually I saw everything that I needed to, including a slew of really amazing copper in the Naftzger consignment in all sorts of mega-grades certainly destined to bring new record prices.  Still, as I went through them there were many instances in which I preferred the coin(s) graded 65 to one in 66, for example.  And based on my discussions with other collectors and dealers present, that was not an uncommon view on a number of the pieces, and may very well be reflected in some seemingly counter-intuitive auction results on Sunday.

And then Dave arrived from airport in the mid-afternoon and went through all of the same pieces much more quickly in the now far less crowded room.  Which left us a bit of time to compare notes and hone our bidding list before we had to head back to the hotel and get ready for the Goldberg function at Morton’s.

And that was terrific, with about 50 collectors and dealers hosted by the Goldberg’s and wined and dined in impressive (and much appreciated) fashion.

Which ended on the late side, but not so late that we didn’t finish the day in the lounge at the hotel shooting the numismatic bull with a collector friend.

Sunday cannot help but be action packed, as we’ll have the Naftzger and March Wells auctions, the latter finishing up as the Super Bowl is already underway in Tampa.  Which means that tomorrow’s RR will probably feature some good stories about multi-tasking.

Until then -
 

Day 2:

If you like coins, Friday was a really good day, as we had a lot of cool ones spread out all over the unusually high kitchen counter in my not-especially-luxurious hotel suite.  It was a little like viewing coins in an unpopular bar, which while not ideal, was better than doing it in the lobby.

Yes - it was customer meeting time here in California, as we haggled, traded, bought and sold coins over a few leisurely hours before heading for lunch in the mid-afternoon.  At which time the restaurant here was closed, relegating us to the lobby lounge in which we were the only diners in an almost entirely empty room with no windows.  Imagine the ambiance!

But despite the setting, it was a lot of fun, with some serious and some amusing conversation about coins and non-coins too.

Once concluded, I headed out to lock up the coins, then went back up to the room to do paperwork, answer emails and make a bunch of phone calls before dinner.

But I ended up crashing unceremoniously on the couch at about 6 PM instead. 

And I might well have slept straight through 'til morning if not for the gracious hotel staff who delivered a complimentary fruit plate (with a bottle of Cognac!) to my room at about 7 PM by bursting through the door unannounced (i.e. without knocking or anything).

And while I like a complimentary fruit plate and some Cognac as much as you do, I was very pleased that they didn't burst in when I was doing anything either highly secretive or terribly embarrassing (or both).  Phew.

Tomorrow the auction-related activities begin, as Dave arrives and we head off to what we expect to be packed lot viewing at Goldberg's, followed by a special Goldberg dinner event at Morton's with a number of other dealers, lots of collectors, and, very possibly, more Cognac.

And we will describe the goings on in vivid detail, right here, tomorrow.

 

Day 1:

Unbelievably, our LB show is starting today(!), as we head across the country for some customer meetings, followed by a metric ton of lot viewing, a spate of auctions and, eventually, the show itself (which doesn't even begin until a week from today).

But we aren't complaining. 

First of all, the weather sucks in New England at this time (unless you like ice dams on your roof - then it's perfect), and any excuse to get the heck out of there is welcome. 

Second, what could possibly be better than buying, selling, discussing, drooling over, flipping, grading, studying and generally reveling in rare coins?  Exactly.  Nothing at all. 

Particularly these days, when you can't turn on a TV or radio without getting blasted by non-stop discussions about layoffs and Rod Blagojevich.

And, in times like this, a fun diversion into hobbies is just what the doctor ordered.

Which is what we hope to provide in our daily Road Reports from the left coast, sprinkled with current market dynamics delivered straight from the horse's (i.e. Dave's) mouth, unvarnished, in typical CRO we-call-'em-as-we-see-'em fashion. 

So stay tuned for that.

 

Road Report Archive

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Prologue: After just a quick 6 hour and 20 minute flight (seriously - I think I did it faster in an old DC-6 once) your author arrived in balmy SoCal for what figures to be an interesting LB Expo replete with buying and selling ops on the bourse floor, and some cool tokens and medals in the HA auction...

April 26-30, 2016: The Central States Show in Schaumburg, IL

April 26th:  Day 1 There are a lot of good reasons to take the very first flight out in the morning: The airport is less crowded then...

April 14-16, 2016: The Chicago International Coin Fair

April 14th:  Day 1 I woke up on Thursday numismatically disoriented (as sometimes happens on these trips), first thinking I was home, then in Baltimore, and finally in my college dorm room before I snapped out of it and remembered that, no, we are at the glorious CICF show in Chicagoland, and it’s time to get going...

April 6-8, 2016: The EAC Convention in Charlotte, NC

Prologue: I have good news everyone.  I have determined that it is a LOT easier to pack for a trip when you never actually unpack from the previous one...

March 31-April 2, 2016: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: After an extreeeeemely busy couple of weeks in the CRO offices (which included a brief buying excursion at the Manchester, NH show) we are about to embark on what might be the the most jam-packed April in CRO history, starting in Baltimore and then continuing on to Charlotte for the EAC show, then Chicago for CICF, then home, then in Chicago AGAIN for CSNS...

March 2-5, 2016: The ANA National Money Show in Dallas, TX

Prologue: Good morning website visitor and welcome to this our first installment of the ANA RR written here at my airport gate while a guy seated across the aisle not 6 feet from me is devouring an Egg McMuffin like a scene from the water hole on Wild Kingdom...

February 2-6, 2016: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Whilst it seems like just yesterday I was witnessing a medium-sized brawl at our gate at Long Beach Airport as we waited to depart this fine city the last time, that was actually 4...

January 24, 2016: The Westford Monthly Show, Westford, MA

No, we do not normally write a Road Report about a local show that we did not even take a table at, but this time we figured what the heck, let's do it...

January 5-9, 2016: The FUN Show in Tampa, FL

January 5th:  Day 1 Good morning and welcome to this our first full-blown RR of the year, delivered to you in living color from scenic but surprisingly loud (what is that constant noise that sounds like an industrial dryer in the hotel?) Tampa, Florida, and not the usual Orlando location for this show...

January 2, 2016: NY International Lot Viewing at the Waldorf

Normally we wouldn't write a Road Report for a mere auction viewing trip, but we're going to make an exception in this case for two reasons: To highlight the challenge this overlapping NY International vs FUN Show schedule presents for dealers like us, and To get full credit for the amount of travel hardship we're willing to endure to acquire cool coins for the site...

December 3-5, 2015: The Houston Money Show

Prologue Good morning coin enthusiast, and welcome to this the first Houston Show RR we've written since 2007 (that being the last time we attended this non-regularly scheduled CRO event through the years)...

November 5-7, 2015: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: I have to say we are as enthusiastic as ever about this event, partly because it's always a great show in this venue, partly because this fall installment includes the Colonial Coin Collectors Club Convention and partly because we have not attended a major show since Long Beach in mid-September and are thus champing at the bit for some major coin activity...

September 16 - 19, 2015: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Hard to believe it's been a month since our last event, but a quick perusal of the calendar (remove it from the wall, flip to August, turn the page to September) and indeed that is the case...

August 10-15, 2015: The ANA World's Fair of Money

Prologue Well, it's here, the year's largest and best attended coin show, the one that always seems to have the coolest displays, largest number of auctions, most interesting stuff for sale and biggest variety of U...

July 15-18, 2015: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: Welcome coin blog enthusiast to this pre-show, palate teasing, amuse-bouche edition of the RR designed to set the stage for the summer edition of the Baltimore Expo which we hope will be scorching...

June 3-6, 2015: The Long Beach Expo

June 3rd:  Day 1 Having arrived in Southern California late on Tuesday evening, your author hit the ground running on Wednesday...

April 30-May 3, 2015: The EAC Convention in Irving, TX

Prologue: Rest easy and be calm CRO website visitor, we are back from our extended, non-work-related tour of Italy (during which your author ate 63 arancini and at least 111 caprese salads) and ready to dive back onto the U...

April 9-11, 2015: The Chicago International Coin Fair

Prologue: Aah yes, the CICIF show, CRO's once annual opportunity to formally and completely devote ourselves to the 'Dark Side' (as in world coins, you know, the ones made in or circulated in places other than the good ol' US of A)...

March 24-28, 2015: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue Words are perhaps inadequate to express your author's enthusiasm for the upcoming Baltimore Expo (the first of three to be held during the year), but as this is a written blog I am going to try real hard anyway: Yes, we are reeeeeaaaaaally looking forward to this one because business is typically fan-tastic here, with a plethora of dealers, a plethora-and-a-half of enthusiastic collectors and the best mix of colonial, U...

March 4-7, 2015: The ANA National Money Show in Portland, OR

Prologue Top 10 reasons we are excited to attend the ANA Show in Portland this week: 1.   We haven't had a show here since 2011...

January 28-31, 2015: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: I'm not a meterologist, but I have concluded after carefully analyzing a decades worth of data that the absolute best way to predict a blizzard in New England is to look at the schedule and check the dates of the year's first Long Beach Expo...

January 7-10, 2015: The FUN Show & Auctions

Prologue: Ladies and Gentleman: Welcome to your 2015 Numismatic Year! And what better way to kick-off the new year than to attend the FUN Show in Orlando, where the weather is warm (at least so far), the wholesale activity has already been humming, the show grading has been submitted and the auction lots have been thoroughly viewed and vetted (and let me tell you, that was no mean feat considering that there are about 7,000 of them here to look at, many are complicated and time consuming and we’ve had to spend more time than usual re-grading, looking for hidden problems and figuring out what we like enough to actually bid on)...

October 29 - November 1, 2014: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue With the greatest of ease and not so much as one travel hiccup, misstep, misshap, lost bag, delay, detainment or quarantine, we have arrived in Baltimore once again for what we exect to be a thoroughly delightful Expo experience...

October 9 - 11, 2014: The PNG New York Invitational

October 8th:  Prologue Go ahead, try to guess the last time that CRO set up at a show in New York City...

September 3 - 6, 2014: The Long Beach Expo

September 3rd:  Day 1 Having arrived in Long Beach the previous evening and still operating on east coast time, I woke up crisply at 3:13 AM on Wednesday, tried to go back to bed, mostly failed, and eventually got up for good at 5ish...

August 4 - 9, 2014: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL

August 4th:  Day 1 After months of anticipation, weeks of preparation, and hours of coin price tag sticker-ification (literally – I think we finished pricing everything at 2 o’clock Monday morning), we were 103% ready for the start of the ANA World’s Fair of Money 2014...

June 25 - 28, 2014: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

June 25th:  Day 1 Landing in Baltimore bright and early on Wednesday morning, I hurriedly grabbed my bag and jumped into a cab which I had no way of knowing would be driven by one of those guys who is either flooring it or jamming on the brakes continuously for the entire ride...

June 4 - 5, 2014: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Yes, it is indeed time for another exciting installment of the thrice annual Long Beach Expo...

May 1-3, 2014: The EAC Convention in Colorado Springs, CO

May 1st:  Day 1 Greetings from sunny Colorado Springs, where your author delightfully finds himself for another exciting edition of the Early American Coppers Convention...

April 22 - 27, 2014: The Central States Show in Schaumburg, IL

Prologue: Greetings Road Report reader and welcome to this our first installment of the 2014 CSNS report, a very fine event held in a convenient semi-suburban location very close to the last show we attended not even two frickin' weeks ago...

April 10 - 12, 2014: The Chicago International Coin Fair

Prologue: We are delighted to be attending the Chicago International Coin Fair this week, a world coin only (or at least ‘mostly’) event held in familiar Rosemont, Illinois right on the same street as the ANA show in August...

March 27 - 29, 2014: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue Aaaah yes, the Baltimore show, one of our favorite events of the year, particularly this March installment...

March 13 - 15, 2014: The Bay State Show in Marlborough, MA

March 13th:  Day 1 During the course of a year, most of the major shows we attend are in elephantine convention centers in large urban areas, like Baltimore, Long Beach, Orlando, etc...

February 25 - March 1, 2014: The ANA National Money Show in Atlanta

Prologue: Good morning coin collector, coin dealer, industry professional or random person that has accidentally stumbled upon this site and welcome to this the first installment of our Atlanta RR, this penned here in New England before we have even gotten on the darn plane...

January 29 - February 1, 2014: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: And this time, we are all Guinea Pigs. Well, sort of, as we descend upon SoCal for the Long Beach Expo just as we always have...

January 6-11, 2014: The FUN Show in Orlando, FL

Prologue Ah, the Fun Show, that relaxing post-holiday jaunt to sunny and warm (um, warm-er) Orlando for what is always an entertaining, exciting and productive show...

November 5-9, 2013: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: After a ~5 week hiatus since the Long Beach show we are primed and ready for the always excellent Baltimore show, as evidenced by the fact that we will be down here at the crack of dawn on Tuesday before most of the rest of the numismatic world has shown up...

September 24-28, 2013: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Having thoroughly recovered from the Philadelphia show, I leaped out of bed at 3:30 AM on Tuesday, threw together enough clothes for another 5 days on the road and then bolted out the door for my ~6 hour flight to southern California...

September 18-21, 2013: The Whitman Philadelphia Expo

Prologue: Important travel update: I was informed today at the airport security screening that I could leave my shoes on, which either means that they think I’m a senior citizen (possible), or the rules have changed without anyone posting about it on Twitter (unlikely)...

August 12-17, 2013: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL

August 12th: Day 1 Greetings Road Report reader, and welcome to this the first installment of the ANA World’s Fair of Money RR Extravaganza (which will not include a detailed description of the Official ANA Pre-Show, since I did not set up at that...

June 19-22, 2013: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: Let’s compare this summer installment of the Whitman Baltimore Expo to the spring and fall versions of this event: Size: This one is a smaller, more intimate affair, with fewer dealers and tables (though I expect there will be more than enough coins on display to satisfy even the most voracious of numismatic appetites)...

June 5-8, 2013: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Good morning Road Report reader and welcome to this our 1st installment from the year's 2nd Long Beach Expo...

May 8-11, 2013: The ANA Money Show in New Orleans

Prologue: Not that I am not excited to attend shows in other venues (because really I am), but this one is special, taking us to fabulous New Orleans, LA for coin-filled days and evenings offering enough entertainment options to satisfy even the most adventurous numismatist...

May 2-4, 2013: The EAC Convention in Newark, OH

Prologue: Good morning and welcome to this first installment of the EAC RR written before we depart for this not-that-easy-to-get-to event located outside of Columbus, OH...

April 24-27, 2013: The Central States Show in Schaumburg, Illinois

April 24th:  Day 1 As CRO embarks on three (3) shows over the next three (3) weeks, you are reading the very first of what will be a veritable ton of Road Report entries (if you print them all out on heavy 14pt stock, which is of course not necessary since you can always find them here on this site arranged chronologically)...

March 13-17, 2013: Whitman Baltimore Expo and Auction

March 12th:  Prologue After a several week hiatus between shows, I was psyched to wake up at 3 AM on Tuesday, thrilled to drive to the unbelievably crowded airport, excited to get on the plane and zip down to Baltimore, jazzed to scoop up my luggage at baggage claim, delighted to hop in a filthy cab and very, very happy to stride through a cold rain into the hotel lobby here in the Inner Harbor at about 8...

February 6-9, 2013: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Here is what I notice about flying to Los Angeles: 1.  It seems like the flight is slightly longer each time...

January 8-13, 2013: The FUN Show

Prologue: Good morning people and welcome to this the first RR of 2013, written before I have actually gone anywhere (and even before I have started packing, a reflection of the fact that your author has not had the opportnity to write one of these since November and simply could not wait any longer)...

November 13-17, 2012: The Baltimore Expo and Auctions

November 13th:  Prologue No one likes a good coin show more than your author, but I have to say I am looking at this one with perhaps just a little trepidation only because I fully expect to be completely, totally and thoroughly exausted (even more so than usual at one of these events) by the end of it...

November 9-10, 2012: The Bay State Show in Marlborough, MA

November 9th:  Day 1 Although I kept thinking it was Thursday, and I did get lost on my way to the show, I did eventually find my way to something called the “Best Western Royal Plaza Hotel” in unfamiliar Marlborough, Massachusetts, walked in the door, and stood in the line to collect my show credentials...

November 8, 2012: Lot Viewing at Stack's-Bowers in NY

Hello and welcome to this one day, quick hitting, extra special, bonus edition of the Road Report (an RR Mini, if you will) in which we 1) Detail today's journey to the Stack's-Bowers offices in NY and 2) Offer some admittedly not-that-keen insight into a day in the life of a coin dealer...

October 17-20, 2012: ANA National Money Show in Dallas

October 16th:  Prologue After a month+ since our last installment of the RR it's finally time to hit the road again, straight to the Fall ANA Show in the heart of Texas...

September 5-8, 2012: The Long Beach Expo

September 4th:  Prologue I am pleased to report that this, the first installment of the Long Beach Road Report, is being written from the comfort of my flight to California, in a window seat that will not recline, strategically surrounded by young children who were all screaming earlier, but have since stopped...

August 4-11, 2012: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Phladelphia

August 3rd:  Prologue After months of anticipation, weeks of preparation, hours of sorting inventory and 7 minutes of shoving clothes indiscriminately into a suitcase, I officially declare myself prepared and ready for the 2012 World’s Fair of Money...

July 31, 2012: Heritage Lot Viewing in Philadelphia

I am delighted to provide this Bonus RR about my day-trip to Philadelphia made exclusively to view Heritage auction lots, a previously unplanned, hastily arranged visit made necessary by the challenges of this year’s cumbersome ANA show and auction schedule...

July 18-20, 2012: The PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas

Prologue: After a quick 5 and a half hour flight from New England on an airplane comfortably cooled to 43 degrees in the cabin, I have arrived in well-lit Las Vegas in anticipation of another entertaining and productive PCGS Members Only Show...

June 27-30, 2012: Baltimore Expo and Auction

Prologue: Good morning coin enthusiast! We are pleased to present this the first of five (5) reports from the Baltimore Show (though this one is being written from the airport in New England where your author is sitting at 4:48 AM waiting for one of the 11 restaurants in this Terminal to open and sell him a coffee)...

May 30 - June 2, 2012: The Long Beach Expo and Auctions

May 29th:  Prologue Welcome to this the first installment of our LB RR, a carefully crafted pre-trip summary typed by me (JA) mere moments before I zip off to the airport for the looooong trip west...

May 7-12, 2012: ANA National Money Show in Denver, CO

May 7-8: Pre-ANA Seminar Good morning people: While our readers may have come here expecting to see exciting news about our flights from New England, or possibly something about a lost bag, instead you are going to get some heavy-duty numismatic content as I describe the two-day ANA-sponsored seminar that I (DW) attended, along with a dozen other men and women, prior to the show...

May 2-6, 2012: The Early American Coppers Convention in Buffalo, NY

May 2nd:  Day 1 While it would have been nice to wake up Wednesday, have a leisurely breakfast and then calmly fly to Buffalo, it turned out to be one of those ridiculous mornings where nothing goes right, you can’t find your phone, and the incredibly important box of coins that was shipped to you and that you desperately need to take with you to EAC has not yet shown up in your PO Box when you go check at 7:30 AM...

April 17-21, 2012: The Central States Show in Schaumburg, Illinois

April 17th:  Prologue This week’s blog will be a departure in several ways from our typical CRO Road Report...

April 4-6, 2012: The PCGS Las Vegas Invitational

No question about it – traveling from New England to Las Vegas and back over just a few days requires several things: A mega-commitment to do everything we can to find new cool coins for the site...

March 20-24, 2012: Baltimore Expo and Auction

Prologue Good morning coin collector, coin dealer, industry professional or person(s) who have stumbled upon this website accidentally while attempting to do an internet search for “Coin Operated Laundry”, or “Do it yourself dog grooming"...

February 29 - March 3, 2012: The PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas

Just back from the latest PCGS Show in well-lit Las Vegas, Nevada, we are pleased to present another Top 10 observations from this show: 1...

January 30 - February 4, 2012: The Long Beach Expo and Auctions

Prologue: Good morning everyone - And while it seems like ages since our last Road Report 3 days ago, we are again delighted to be back in the numismatic saddle and jetting off to yet another show, this one waaaaay across the country in sunny (I just checked the forecast) SoCal...

January 25, 2012: Stack's-Bowers Americana Auction in New York

Just back from our annual pilgrimage to the Stack’s (now Stack’s-Bowers, of course) Americana Sale, we are pleased to present this quick-hitting, no-holds-barred, profusely illustrated auction recap Part I for your reading pleasure...

January 3-8, 2012: The FUN Show

Prologue: And then, suddenly, the 2012 FUN Show is upon us, requiring your author to re-assemble the CRO travel kit (the components of which always seems to get widely dispersed between shows), grab a flight to Orlando and then emerse ourselves in what we expect to be a high-quality, 6-day, numismatic experience in which we offer some cool, new, never-before-seen rarities (including a collection acquired just days ago), try to buy every interesting coin we see, and engage in some deluxe socializing at various local restaurants...

December 13-16, 2011: The PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas

While most of the numismatic world was out Xmas shopping, or possibly  trimming their trees, I attended the PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas show so that I could then make the following observations about it right here in this space: The Palazzo Hotel venue is nothing short of spectacular, with palatial rooms, access to more shopping than most malls, more dining options than most cooking shows, one of the most comprehensive gyms I’ve ever seen in my life and, of course, night life that continues through daylight hours (though frankly it is very hard to tell which is which around here)...

November 15-19, 2011: The Baltimore Expo & Auction

November 15th:  Day 1 The good news is that I slept very well in preparation for today’s trip to Baltimore...

November 10-12, 2011: The Bay State Show & C4 Convention

Prologue: Ah yes, after one major snow storm, some extended power outage, followed by some impressive Indian summer with temperatures reaching almost 70 degrees (during which your author may or may not have been seen wearing shorts around the office), we are prepped and ready for our first show in nearly 30 (thirty) days...

October 12-15, 2011: The National Money Show in Pittsburgh, PA

October 12th:  Day 1 Optimistically, I headed down to the hotel lobby on Wednesday morning, walked briskly out the front door and stepped directly into a fine mist which would have been excellent for growing orchids, but which was unpleasant for the couple of block walk to the convention center...

September 14-17, 2011: The Whitman Philadelphia Expo

Prologue Since we just got back from Long Beach, and I have spent most of the time since then unpacking a suitcase whose handle was ripped clean off by an airline who shall remain nameless (Virgin America) and then immediately repacking a new one, you might think we'd be a little tired of this traveling thing...

September 7-10, 2011: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Good afternoon Road Report reader, It should by now be obvious that team CRO was not in California for the festivities (i...

August 13-20, 2011: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL

Prologue: Good morning coin collector, coin dealer, industry professional or someone who has just found us accidentally while doing a Google search for "Coin Operated Laundry in Rosemont, IL" but is now systematically reading each and every Road Report which has appeared on this site since 2005 - And, in our humble opinion, this one figures to be as entertaining as any of them, since we anticipate no shortage of numismatic activity to write about...

June 14-18, 2011: Baltimore Show and Auction

June 14th:  Day 1 For CRO, our Baltimore Show began at precisely 3 AM on Tuesday as your author leaped out of bed, began packing like a crazy person, jumped in a cab and made it to the airport well in advance of the first flight to BWI departing at just after 6...

May 31 - June 4, 2011: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue We'll be doing a truncated version of the LB show this time, which is to say that we will be here for every waking moment of it, but not here for the preceding Goldberg auction in Beverly Hills which has, by this time, already taken place (which explains why we did not write anything about that)...

May 11-13, 2011: Early American Coppers Convention in Portland, OR

Prologue Just when we finally have (almost) all of those post Central States show loose ends tied up, it's time to hit the road again, this time for a looooong cross-country trek to scenic Portland, Oregon for the always entertaining EAC Convention...

April 27 - April 30, 2011: The Central States Show in Chicago

Prologue We are delighted to be back in Chicago, and when we say Chicago, we of course mean Rosemont, Illinois, famous for a small cluster of hotels, a large, utterly non-descript convention center and for being sort of near Chicago (but not so close that it does not take at least an hour to get there during rush hour)...

March 29 - April 2, 2011: Baltimore Show and Auction

Prologue Today will be what numismatists refer to as a “very long day”, as we wake up shockingly early, head to Baltimore, view coins at Stack’s-Bowers for hours and then roll straight into auction session #1 starting at 7 o’clock and ending 700-something lots later...

March 15-19, 2011: The ANA Money Show in Sacramento

Prologue Good mornng everyone: I am pleased to say that I am all packed, completely ready and just about to zoom to the airport for an entire frickin' day of travel en route to the ANA Money Show in delightful Sacramento, CA...

February 18, 2011: The Local Country Auction

The other day a collector remarked about how we regularly mention Stack’s, Heritage or other major auctions here on the site, but never say "boo" (his word, not mine) about other sales...

February 2-5, 2011: The Long Beach Expo

February 2nd:  Day 1 Truth to be told, I'm just happy I was able to make it here at all to write this exciting edition of the RR, since that was very much in doubt right up until my flight was de-iced for the 3rd time (never a good sign) leaving New England...

January 26-28, 2011: Stack's Americana Auction

January 26th:  Day 1 Good morning everyone, Today we’ll be discussing our trip to Stack’s annual Americana Auction, in which a slew of early American coins, medals, exonumia and other assorted hoo-ha is auctioned off right in the heart of NYC, this year in a 2-day, 306 page, 2,812 lot affair...

January 3-9, 2011: The FUN Show

January 9th:  Day 7 We are pleased to be back home in New England in extremely cold, unpleasant conditions with a big pile of snow just outside the window, as opposed to the awful sunshine and palm trees we had to endure over the last week in Florida: But now that we are here, it is of course time to recap the just-ended FUN show in earnest...

November 11-13, 2010: The Bay State Show & C4 Convention

November 14th:  Day 4 In past years on Sunday at this show we’d stroll in around 10 AM with a coffee and a donut, pack up all of our stuff, say our good-byes to all of the C4 guys we only see once a year, and then leave...

November 2-6, 2010: The Baltimore Expo and Auctions

November 6th:  Day 5 Whilst I planned an early start on Saturday, I was not thinking 2:19 AM, which is the precise time I was awakened by 4 or 5 drunken revelers who were either re-enacting the entire chariot race from Ben-Hur, or possibly practicing the long jump (not sure which) in the hallway just outside my hotel room...

October 27-30, 2010: Coinfest and the Heritage Auction

October 30th:  Day 4 As noted yesterday, one of the other dealers (Colonel Steve Ellsworth, who occupied the table directly next to us) told me that, surprisingly, at the last several shows he attended Saturday was the busiest day...

September 29 - October 2, 2010: Philadelphia Expo & Auctions

October 2nd, 2010 - Day 4: Did you know that the coverage of the Ryder Cup golf started at 3 AM on Saturday, east coast time?  It did, and I know that because I was awake and watching it after sleeping poorly and not for very long...

September 22-25, 2010: The Long Beach Expo and Auctions

September 25th - Day 4: While it would definitely make for a more exciting RR to say otherwise, the reality is that Saturday was not very eventful, as I just cleaned up a few loose ends, collected the last couple of checks and headed out at about midday...

September 11, 2010: The Colonial Numismatic Barbecue

In one of the highlights of this (or any) numismatic year, yesterday we attended the numismatic barbecue held annually at the lovely east coast home of a serious collector / good customer / gracious host...

August 5-14, 2010: The Boston ANA Pre-Show(s), Show and Auctions

August 14th - Day 10: I am now comfortably back home after the best ANA we have attended in several years, which can be summarized as follows: Boston (and the Hynes Convention Center specifically) was an excellent venue in almost every way with plenty of cool things to see and do nearby...

June 16-19, 2010: The Baltimore Expo and Auctions

Day 4:  Saturday I think we could most accurately describe Saturday as a minor mad-house, with a lot of stuff going on all day, including some concentrated wheeling and dealing with many different people all over the room (some, but not all, of which was successful), picking up the last of our thoroughly appropriate grades received from PCGS, a very brief period of the lights going out in the convention center, some very successful check collecting (though we had our doubts for a few minutes there), extremely entertaining show and telling (including a stunning coin that we compelled a serious collector to sell us), a very soggy but still acceptable tuna sandwich for lunch, some last second consignments to the major auction houses on behalf of collectors and dealers alike, some typically hectic packing and shipping coins for photography and, finally, some late afternoon high-tailing it to the airport (from where I am now typing this installment of the Road Report)...

May 29 - June 5, 2010: The Long Beach Expo and Auctions

Day 8:  The Exciting Conclusion Actually, it was exciting, as we did a little more business on Saturday (including selling a fantastic PCGS 65+ Saint we had acquired at this show), picked up our last Heritage lot, then began the process of packing everything up like crazy, pausing only to reflect on the week that had been...

May 19-22, 2010: Whitman Nashville Expo

Day 4: With Saturday came the largest crowd of the week, which should not be interpreted as me saying that there was a large crowd...

April 27 - May 1, 2010: The Central States Show in Milwaukee, WI

Day 5: Saturday started off quite well, thank you, with the sun streaming into my hotel room window (after a violent rain storm the night before), and an email saying that our offer on a cool coin (which we had been trying to buy for weeks) had been accepted...

April 22-24, 2010: The EAC Convention in Annapolis, MD

Day 3: As noted here yesterday, I was thinking that Saturday might be another busy and active day on the bourse floor, with lots of customers, exciting new purchases and almost non-stop writing of long and detailed invoices...

March 24-27, 2010: The ANA National Money Show in Ft. Worth, TX

Day 4: Saturday John bolted out of Texas at 2:30 AM (actually it was probably more like 8, but he likes to exaggerate), leaving me, David J...

March 2-7, 2010: The Baltimore Expo and Auctions

Day 5: Saturday began as they usually do at these shows, with us packing up and checking out of our hotel, then schlepping heavy bags across town to the convention center in what could probably best be characterized as an inconvenient pain in the neck...

January 30 - February 6, 2010: The Long Beach Expo & Auctions

Day 8: For those of you who expected this last installment of our LB Road Report to be written and up early on Sunday morning, please note that I did too...

January 25-27, 2010: Stack's Americana Auction in New York, Part II

While John did his lot viewing at Stack’s on Friday last week, I, David J. Wnuck, headed out this Monday for the car + train trip into Manhattan...

January 22, 2010: Stack's Americana Auction in New York, Part I

Good morning everyone, and welcome to this special bonus edition of the RR recapping my one-day jaunt down to NYC for some intensive lot viewing at Stack’s...

January 4 - 10, 2010: The FUN Show

Day 7: It would be ideal to start this FUN show wrap-up by describing each of the 23 choice early copper coins we purchased from a little old man who walked into the show on Sunday, but since that didn’t happen we’ll begin instead by saying that (even though that one imaginary guy was not present) there were still quite a few people in the room...

November 19-22, 2009: The Bay State Show & C4 Convention

November 22, 2009:  Day 4 Well, after much activity on the previous days, and a late night at the auction on Saturday, we were pretty tired on Sunday...

November 9-14, 2009: Baltimore Show and Auctions

November 14th:  Day 6 Get away day is always a lot of fun, since it means we need to get up earlier than usual, pack, check out of the hotel and then haul our luggage to the convention center, usually in a rain storm...

October 9-11, 2009: Coinfest! in Stamford, CT

October 11th:  A Day of Rest  Sunday started off extremely nicely, as instead of hanging out in my hotel room in the morning (which unfortunately has been the custom for a few years now), I got myself down to the gym, worked out, had breakfast, packed up my stuff, checked out and then walked down to the show at about 9:30 to get ready for the 10 o’clock opening...

September 22-26, 2009: The Philadelphia Expo and Auctions

  September 26th:  And, in Conclusion Let’s pick up Saturday’s action at about 10:02 AM, when, just as I arrived at out table, another dealer walked up and informed us that on Friday he had sold a couple of pretty big coins that we jointly owned...

September 4-12, 2009: The Beverly Hills Auctions & The Long Beach Expo

September 12th:  Leaving, On a Jet Plane Here I am, back in the same airport terminal I visited just a few weeks ago after the ANA, and little has changed:  The restaurant options are still lousy, and the security guy on the Segway is still roaring through the terminal at about 35 mph...

August 3-9, 2009: The World's Fair of Money in LA

August 9th - Day 7: I’m writing this in Gladstone’s, a loud restaurant and bar with extremely mediocre service in LAX’s Terminal 3, but still the best option available (just ahead of Burger King) for unwinding after 7 long, tiring days of ANA-ing...

June 25-27, 2009: The MidAmerica Coin Expo in Schaumburg, Illinois

Saturday: Well, we were ready for something (anything) out of the ordinary on Saturday, but it turned out that wasn’t necessary, since it ended up being a lot like any weekend day at any show anywhere in the country...

June 10-13, 2009: Baltimore Coin & Currency Expo

Day 3 (Saturday): Day 3 started with your author checking out of his hotel, and thus saying farewell to his bizarre (and bizarrely large) hotel room...

May 27-30, 2009: The Long Beach Expo

The Exciting Conclusion: It proved to be a typical Saturday at LB, which is to say that we spent our time packing up and standing in the astonishingly slow post office line, as opposed to buying and selling coins...

May 13-16, 2009: The Whitman Atlanta Coin Expo

Day 4: It may surprise you to learn that Saturday was the most crowded day of the show. Though a weekend crowd at most shows is typically one with a high percentage of parents with young children and others out for a look-see, and that was the case here...

April 28-May 2, 2009: The Central States Show in Cincinnati

  Prologue: If this is Tuesday, we must be off to Ohio for the surprisingly long CSNS show. Amazingly, we’ll have PNG dealer set-up late this afternoon, PNG day on Wednesday and then a regular coin show from Thursday through Saturday, which should give us more than enough time to buy and sell, schmooze, grade, view lots, attend the HA auction, bid on the good stuff and generally conduct as much coin business as possible before leaving town...

April 16-17, 2009: The EAC Convention in Kentucky

Day 2: Can you imagine staying in a hotel in which every single person you see (other than the waitress and some guy – presumably a staff member – painting a hallway) is a coin collector or dealer?  I can, because this is exactly what it's like here, including at breakfast this morning, when I entered the restaurant and recognized absolutely everybody at every table...

March 23-29, 2009: The Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Postscript: I did finally make it home, by the way, but not before my cab from the airport was pulled over by the police for speeding (a first for CRO) and a massive 45 minute argument errupted while your author sat in the backseat, quietly wondering what the appropriate etiquette is in this situation...

March 19-21, 2009: The Bay State Show in Boston

Day 3: I wasn't expecting much on Saturday, and that's exactly what I got. A decent crowd rolled in, and I had a few lookers, but a grand total of (add the 7, carry the 1 ...

March 12-15, 2009: The ANA National Money Show in Portland, OR

Day 4: No matter how carefully we plan, or how much time we have to pack up everything and head to the airport, it always seems to turn into a fire drill at the end of a show...

January 29-February 7, 2009: The Long Beach Expo

The Exciting Conclusion: Truth be told, it wasn’t that exciting.  Rather it was sort of a typical Saturday in LB, with mostly families and visitors looking around, and not too many serious transactions taking place (at our table or anywhere else that we could see)...

January 14-15, 2009: Stack's Americana Auction

This just in - it was very, very cold in New York.   It was also not very crowded on the streets and sidewalks, which might have been because everyone was huddled in doorways trying to keep warm, or because the economy has taken its toll on people hanging out in NY shopping and going to Broadway shows...

January 3-11, 2009: The First Show & FUN Show

Day 8: And at 2 PM, mercifully, it was over.  But not with a bang, it was more like a slow creeping death like when a plant gets sick...

November 18-22, 2008: Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Day 5: I thought for a minute there our show was going to end on an extremely high note, as it appeared we were close to selling an expensive federal coin in the waning moments (during the packing up phase of our departure, right after our second lunch, but before Dave scaled the back table for the ceremonial removal of the CRO banner), but alas if it is going to be, it will be happening by phone later, and not here in person...

November 13-16, 2008: Bay State Show and C4 Convention

Day 4: I found out what Dave bought at the auction after I left:  a New Jersey copper, a Vermont copper, a USA button, a Fugio with a counterstamp (first we can recall seeing) and 2 unusual items destined for the "Wnuck Collection"...

November 7-9, 2008: Coinfest!

Finito! What were the top five things that happened on Sunday at Coinfest?  Good question - let's take a look: 1...

October 21-22, 2008: Stack's 73rd Anniversary Auction

Day 2: Wednesday began with the gentle sounds of a guy throwing a large steel trash can against a dumpster at 5:24 AM directly outside my hotel window, which was a nice (though fairly typical) way to wake up in NY...

October 15-16, 2008: The 2008 Silver Dollar & Rare Coin Expo

This will be a bonus Road Report, as I flew out to the St. Louis show for just a day and a half to try to buy coins on the floor, sell a few things, view some Scotsman and Heritage auction lots, see a few customers and gather sufficient anecdotes to write the following recap: First, you will be pleased to know that my flight out was uneventful, and pleasant, in the sense that it was not as horrendous as most flights we take these days...

September 13-20, 2008: The Long Beach Expo

Post Mortem: I have four things to say today: I apologize for this being so late.  Frankly, I was exhausted after the show (but not too exhausted to go play golf over the weekend)...

August 19, 2008: The Coin Collection at Colonial Williamsburg

I am pleased to offer some bonus Road Reporting from my vacation side-trip to view the extensive colonial and early American coin holdings (including pieces on public display, as well as the cool stuff hidden away in the top-secret vaults) at quaint Colonial Williamsburg...

July 26-August 3, 2008: ANA Week

And in Conclusion: It seems like about a month and a half ago we were sitting in the Stack's ANA pre-show auction buying some cool coins, and it feels like a few weeks ago when we sold our first coin on the floor on Monday during the ANA PNG-Day set-up, and just a few hours ago when we sold our last coin (a red unc...

July 8-12, 2008: MidAmerica Coin Expo

The Post-Game Show: Surely Saturday would be slow and uneventful, right? That's what we expected, figuring that serious collectors who planned to come would have shown up on Thursday and Friday (for first shot!), leaving us to cool our collective numismatic heels on Saturday before packing up to leave at day's end...

June 5-7, 2008: Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Airport Report: I always enjoy these last-day reports from the Baltimore show, as I typically write them in the airport terminal across from Wendy's (which is somewhat nostalgic, since in 1990 I loaned my car to my brother while I was studying abroad and he dumped a gigantic Wendy's Chocolate Frosty all over the interior, then attempted to clean it with Armor-All, which took the finish off the leather seats)...

May 24-31 2008: Long Beach Expo

Day VIII: I have a little more time to write today, so brace yourself for a full dose of Road Reporting...

May 8-9, 2008: Early American Coppers Convention

Day 2: I arrived at the bourse this morning right here in my hotel at 8:50 for my anticipated entry at 9 and discovered that most people had been there since 8...

April 15-19, 2008: Central States Numismatic Society

Conclusion: Actually, it was exciting, as the positive vibe continued here at CSNS. But let's start at the end: Dave and I headed out at about 4:15 to catch a flight, but even as we were leaving it seemed like the room was still surprisingly full, with about 60% of the dealers still at their tables (though most were in serious 'packing-up' mode at that point trying to get everything organized before they booted us all out)...

February 26-March 2, 2008: Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

The Exciting Conclusion: Well, we weren't the only people on the bourse floor on Sunday, but about 75% of the dealers had vamoosed and the collector traffic could be best described as ‘hardly anyone was here'...

February 13-16, 2008: The Long Beach Expo

Day 4: True to form, Saturday at Long Beach evidenced all 11 of our standard final-day-of-the-show activities: Having a customer ask for a specific coin which you had on display starting on Wednesday all the way through until about 20 minutes earlier, at which you had boxed it up and delivered it to the post office for shipping home...

January 15-16, 2008: Stack's Americana Auction

Because we hadn't quite had our fill of coins at the FUN show, we were delighted that Stack's had scheduled their annual Americana auction (plus some cool world coins and notes in a total of 4 robust catalogs) for Tuesday and Wednesday this week in NYC...

January 5-13, 2008: The FUN Show

Day 9: In addition to our normal commercial goals at a show, our plan for Sunday was to finish shipping out coins, tie up the last remaining loose ends and methodically complete and audit our show paperwork...

November 29-December 2, 2007: Bay State Show & C4 Convention

Conclusion It's 1:13 PM on Sunday as I begin writing this final installment of the Road Report, and I'm already home in my living room, sprawled on the couch completely exhausted by the week's activities (and there were many)...

November 13-17, 2007 - Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Airport Report: Having carefully calculated Baltimore traffic conditions, I am now in the airport precisely two (2) hours before my flight and ready, willing and able to crank out the last installment of the Road Report for this show right here at my gate...

October 26-28, 2007: Coinfest

Day 3: I'm typing this comfortably seated on my couch, back at home, after a very nice Sunday at what turned out to be a superb Coinfest show...

October 16, 2007: Stack's Ford XX and XXI and 72nd Anniversary Auction

Part I: (Silence). That was the sound of us trying unsuccessfully to hoist our bidding paddle in the air at what was, apparently, the last and final evening of John J...

September 23-29, 2007: Long Beach Expo and Surrounding Auctions

Day 7: A quick 5 hour red-eye flight across country (which included no sleep whatsoever), and we're back in New England now and finally able to post the last (and, based on our emails, much anticipated) Road Report from the September, 2007 Long Beach Expo...

August 3-12, 2007: The ANA World's Fair of Money

Day 10: The lamps have been turned off. The coins have been put away. The invoices and receipts organized and collated...

June 28-30, 2007: Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Finito: Saturday didn't start well. Upon checking out of my hotel, I had to admit to the incredibly attractive woman at the hotel reception desk that I had eaten a Pop-Tart from the min-bar in my room and that it should be added to the bill...

June 21-24, 2007: MidAmerica Coin Expo

If this is Sunday, we must be back in New England after another successful coin show, another interesting coin auction, and another opportunity to talk coins with another group of local collectors...

May 26-June 2, 2007: Long Beach Expo and Surrounding Auctions

  Epilogue I'm pleased to report that I'm back in New England as I type this final chapter of our Long Beach saga, having taken the red-eye, crossed the country and slept a good, solid 14 minutes since leaving the show...

May 22, 2007: Stack's Ford XVIII and Henry Leon Auctions

We planned to bring home a lot of loot, and that's exactly what we did. From the 3 PM kick-off of the Ford session through some early Americana, an exuberant session of several hundred colonials, US type coins, etc...

May 9-12, 2007: Central States Numismatic Convention

Day 4: After a generally tepid beginning, and then some bright moments, the show ended with a pretty quiet Saturday relegating this year's CSNC to 'Decent' (as opposed to 'Blockbuster', or 'Nuclear-White-Hot') status on the patented CRO Coin Show Rating-o-Meter...

April 26 - 28, 2007: The Early American Coppers Convention

A Surprisingly Lively Affair I don't have official figures, but I'm guessing this was an all-time EAC attendance record...

March 30, 2007: Bay State Show, Boston

There is a measure that we numismatists use to gauge the quality of a coin show: If your lunch is longer than your time on the bourse floor, it's probably not a blockbuster event...

March 20-24, 2007: Baltimore Coin & Currency Convention

Epiloque We were about half packed up, organizing paperwork and just about ready to head out the door late Saturday afternoon when it walked up to the table: A coin prominently listed on a number of our customer want lists, available right then and there and looking pretty good, raw, in an old tattered envelope...

March 15-16, 2007: Charlotte Mid-Winter ANA

Make it funny This whole thing started when I left for the Charlotte ANA show. John said to me: "Since I'm not going to the show, you must write the Road Report...

February 22, 2007: Trip to the Bennington Museum

We have a special bonus 'Road Report' today, recapping my trip to the Bennington Museum (in Bennington, Vermont, of course) to view the collection of Vermont colonial coins...

February 9-18, 2007: The Long Beach Expo

Day 9: We have unplugged our table lamps, shipped home several enormous boxes of auction catalogs, rolled up our banner and have closed the book on another LBE...

January 25 - 26, 2007: The Money Show of the Southwest

After some extensive advanced planning (which began last week), I decided to make the trip to Houston this week for the 50th annual Money Show of the Southwest...

January 11 - 12, 2007: The NY International Show

This one was really different. First of all, it was held at the Waldorf-Astoria on Park Avenue on the 18th floor on something called the 'Starlight Roof', a setting perhaps better suited for a fancy wedding reception in a movie starring Audrey Hepburn...

January 1-6, 2007: The FUN Show

Day 6: Sorry for the delay getting this last installment posted - I flew out on Saturday night and got back home at midnight feeling awfully tired and rundown...

November 29 - December 2, 2006: Bay State Show and C4 Convention

Put a positive fork in the Bay State Show, which ended Sunday after a fun-filled and very productive 4 days in downtown Boston...

November 8-11, 2006: Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention

This time the Baltimore show was pretty much like every other time: Good. Very good. In fact, it was better than we thought it might be...

October 19-20, 2006: St. Louis 'Silver Dollar' Show

While Dave was in New York looking at all of the cool, rare and high-end stuff at the various Stack's auctions this week, I was in quiet St...

October 17-18, 2006: Stack's Auctions

I packed up my lot-viewing psyche, my loupe and halogen lamp, my 'What would PCGS grade this thing?' prognostication hat and trucked on down to New York for the impressively diverse series of auctions at Stack's this week...

September 18-21, 2006: New York Invitational Show and Auctions

If I said to you that the New York Invitational Show would be held in Manhattan in a place called the 'Metropolitan Pavilion', what would you expect? Perhaps a grand ballroom? 30 foot ceilings, intricately carved columns and the requisite large ornate chandeliers? Not quite...

September 9-16, 2006: Long Beach Expo and Pre-Auctions

Let me tell you, there is nothing like the Long Beach Expo to test your luggage packing skills. 8 days, two hotels, all of our show materials and everything we need to view and evaluate lots...

August 11-19, 2006: Denver ANA

I've now received ANA show feedback from a number of collectors and dealers and I've read a blog or two on other dealer sites and articles in various chatrooms, all of which make me wonder whether we attended the same show as everybody else...

July 14-17, 2006: Baltimore / Washington Coin Expo

I don't want to get all emotional here, but I love the Baltimore show. The venue is good, the the turnout is strong and the mood is excellent, people are buying and selling with gusto and there are, generally speaking, a lot of nice coins from which to choose...

July 1-7, 2006: ANA Summer Seminar

What could be better than a week of intensive numismatic activity surrounded by other numismatists in an idyllic mountain setting? Well, actually, a lot of things, but for the purposes of a numismatic-related website, I'll say 'nothing'...

June 21-24, 2006: Mid-America Coin Expo

We packed up late Saturday after a rather unexpected little show here in Chicago. Generally speaking, the Mid-America Expo is a nice regional event...

May 26-June 2, 2006: Long Beach Expo and Pre-Auctions

Our 8 day, 20,000 coin, 3 major auction company, 19 auction session, 3 days of wholesale activity and 3 days of actual coin-show odyssey began on Friday, May 26 when we arrived in Beverly Hills...

May 23-25, 2006: Stack's May Auctions including Ford XIV

We like coin auctions as much as anyone, but this week at Stack's was pushing it. We had 4 separate catalogs to be offered in three separate sessions over a three-day period which, of course, would end just in time for us to catch that flight to the Long Beach Show...

May 4-6, 2006: EAC Convention

If you like personalized attention, want to focus in-depth on one fascinating and important area of US numismatics, enjoy seeing displays of some of the finest early American copper coins in existence, and think you might want to do all of this in a decadent resort atmosphere, then you most certainly would have enjoyed attending this year's EAC convention...

April 26-29, 2006: Central States Numismatic Convention

We arrived in Columbus on Wednesday morning and were one of the few (only?) dealers to stay until Sunday morning, thus not missing a single moment of exciting midwestern numismatic activity...

April 6-8, 2006: Atlanta ANA

First the really important part: Thursday evening I had dinner at Canoe, a restaurant about 10 miles from the show, which had been recommended by coin dealer-gourmet Andy Lustig on the PCGS forum...

March 16-18, 2006: Baltimore Show

This week its going to be down and dirty: If you've read our last several Road Reports, you'll know that we are not prone to hype or hyperbole, so when we say that we returned home Saturday evening from Baltimore still reeling from what was the best show we have ever had (by a significant margin), we mean it...

March 10-11, 2006: The Bay State Show in Boston

We had a 'quick-hitter' of a show this time around. Dealer set up was Thursday afternoon, we displayed all day Friday and then packed-up mid-afternoon on Saturday...

March 1-2, 2006: Palm Beach Show

I hope no one has been waiting for a long and exuberant write up about the Palm Beach Show in which phrases like 'white-hot market' and 'we had our greatest selling show ever' would appear...

February 9-11, 2006: Long Beach Expo

In what surely must be the unlikeliest of travel stories, we returned from the Long Beach Expo on Sunday flying from California directly into the blizzard here in New England and actually arrived a few minutes ahead of schedule...

January 28, 2006: Heritage’s Jules Reiver Sale

We just returned from one absolute endurance test of an auction - the $8.5 million Jules Reiver Collection auction conducted by Heritage and held at their Dallas headquarters...

January 16, 2006: Stack’s Ford XIII Auction

The latest installment of the John J. Ford collection – the French Colonial Coins and Tokens and Betts Medals Part I - came to auction at Stack’s on Monday in frigid New York City...

January 6-10, 2006: FUN Show

We returned from Orlando late Saturday night after a nice week at the show and the related auctions. Our overall assessment is as follows: Sales were very strong as everyone seemed to be in a buying mood...

December 8-11, 2005: Baltimore Show

We just returned from the Baltimore Show and are still sorting through our new purchases and following up on a number of new deals that came up during the week...

October 19, 2005: Stack's Ford XII Auction

Wasn't it just yesterday I was sitting in a cramped room breathlessly waiting for Ford I to begin? Actually that was 2 years ago...

 


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