From the Road Report Archive

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.  That’s not an exaggeration - and I would not be at all surprised to see a newsflash on CNN someday soon about this guy running over some elderly passenger who was absent mindedly walking to their gate and not realizing they were in the high speed lane.

Anyway, I am out of harms way, and I've got plenty of time before my flight, so I figured I'd conclude our LB RR right now, and not keep everyone waiting until tomorrow night.  And so, without further ado, let's get started:

I got to the show at precisely 9 AM on Saturday, ready to efficiently zip right into the bourse (per the posted dealer hours) and get some work done. But much to my surprise the door was still locked up tight, so I (and the hundred other dealers who had by then gathered in the cramped downstairs lobby) got to stand around and wait, a frequent activity on the coin circuit (as has been well documented on this site through the years), and one of the most annoying things about this job.

Though at least in this case we got to watch the women filtering into the cosmetics convention next door, including some lady wearing the tightest black pants your author has ever seen at a coin show.

At which time the bourse door finally flung open and we all poured in.

As my first order of business, I figured I’d race down to the post office and get some boxes before they ran out (which happens sometimes), and then mail my stuff early before a giant line formed, since they were so astonishingly slow here yesterday and, trust me, you do not want to be behind someone who has pushed a big cart of outgoing Registered Mail packages up to the counter.

But it turns out the PO wasn’t even open yet, so I took my empty box, grabbed breakfast and then sat around packing some coins up for photography and shooting the bull with another dealer for about 30 minutes. Eventually migrating back to his table where he sold me one nice coin.

Then it was back to the Post Office to mail the aforementioned box, which took about 45 minutes, but even a slow post office line is better than none, which, according to the sign posted on the counter, is what we will have at the next LB show.  That's right - in a cost-cutting move, the USPS will not be coming here anymore. Not sure how we’ll cope with that going forward, but we better think of something.

After which I walked concentric circles around the bourse floor looking for interesting things, and finding a few pretty neat colonials in different dealer cases. But we couldn’t agree on prices and I didn’t buy either one, which was fine. In fact, I never did find anything else I had to have, so the total number of acquisitions for the day was just the one not-too-exciting early morning NEWP.

Though the afternoon brought a different kind of excitement, as Ron Gillio (General Chairman of the LB show) announced that a thief had been caught among us, was currently being questioned and would later be escorted down the main aisle and off to the police station.  And later they did haul him out to some scattered applause from the dealer community, all of whom were trying to get a look at the guy to see if he had been at their table, too (an important thing, since the guy apparently had coins stolen from 9 different dealers in his possession when caught!).  He didn't look familiar to me, though (which was a relief).

With that excitement past, we had some decent sales, mostly of moderately priced items, with the last invoice written at about 15 minutes before the 5 PM closing.

Which was an extremely nice way to end a show that turned out to be good on the selling side and, despite Saturday’s slim pickings, absolutely epic on the buying side. Which means we will be very busy sorting things out on Monday and compiling the next EB for Tuesday.

And then gearing up for the new Whitman Philadelphia Show and the Bowers and Stack's auctions, from where our next EB will be posted in an alarmingly soon 10 days(!) from now.

All of which suggests that I need to get some serious rest now, and so I'll be signing off from LB, September 2009.

The End.
 

September 11th:  Good Buy, but not Good Bye

Do you remember how yesterday we said we hoped to buy a couple more things on the floor?

Well, we did – a couple of boxes of NEWPs.  Including some raw coins, some slabbed, some nice, wholesome and affordable, and others that are spectacularly high end.

In other words, it was an impressively good haul – maybe the most in both unit count and dollars we’ve ever bought at a Long Beach show.

Now, we did sell a few of them within just a couple of hours (including the most beautiful pair of Capped Bust Dimes either of us had seen in a while), but we still have plenty of cool coins for the next EB, many other things running through the grading services, a slew of things that are en route to the photographer, and a few coins on want lists that we already shipped out to customers.

Speaking of which, if you have not given us a want list, you might want to think about it.  Things can happen fast at shows, and we need to make decisions about what to buy pretty quickly.  If we know we have a customer interested in a particular coin, we'll try very hard to seek out a nice one and buy it before it gets away.  Equally, some of the coins we buy at shows end up selling a few hours later on the bourse floor.  But if we know we have a customer for a coin, we'll put it aside in the back case and make sure to bring it back with us.

Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled discussion of the LB NEWPs, the evaluating, buying, categorizing, submitting, boxing and mailing of which took most of the day on Friday, leaving me just enough time to consider (and re-consider) buying something for yours truly, eat a chef salad, and zip in and out of HA auctions whenever a lot we had targeted came up.

The last of which was at about 6:30 PM, during which I bought one coin and then went straight to dinner, which tonight was small and included no alcoholic beverages of any kind (since I feel like I have already exceeded September’s quota, and it’s only the 11th).

Tomorrow I’m not sure what to expect, but if more of the right kinds of coins happen to show up, we’re going to buy them.  And when people stop by the table, we should still have plenty of cool stuff to see (provided you get here before the last box gets shipped home).

Whatever happens, you’ll be able to read about it on our next RR, which will be posted either from the airport Saturday evening, or from my couch at home on Sunday night.

So stay tuned!
 

September 10th:  Show Time!

Good morning everyone and welcome to the Thursday edition of the RR.

And it began early, as I woke up with a huge headache at about 3:30 AM, took a bunch of Advil, finished the Wednesday blog, eventually got my act together and headed over to the convention center at 8.

Which gave us ample time to get all of our inventory, grading and paperwork in shape and then walk the floor looking for things to buy before the public would, theoretically, come streaming in at 10. Often, though, we get so busy doing things in the morning that we lose track of time, and don’t realize that the show is actually open to the public until a bunch of people come walking down the main aisle from the entrance.

Which they did on this day in surprisingly impressive numbers. In total, and in the opinion of a lot of the dealers we talked to, there seemed to be a lot more public here than there was at the ANA last month. Which although it is not saying much, was still really good.

And business was active throughout the room, as it was for us, as we sold a bunch of coins and bought a lot too, including quite a few colonials, some foreign, and a lot of federal.

It was also an unusual day in that some very cool stuff just happened to walk up to the table, not all of it for sale, unfortunately, but still fun to see – including some u-n-b-e-l-i-e-v-a-b-l-e pop top federal stuff that one of our customers owns, that we did not know he owns, and that no one has seen before.

We also got all of our PCGS grading submissions back, fast, with pretty decent results overall.

In fact, the only really negative thing that happened (other than the headache), was the two ridiculous fire drills we had looking for missing coins that I was positive we brought, but couldn't find (despite turning the back case upside down and making a huge mess), and which turned out to have been at PCGS the entire time.  Phew.

Which in total meant that it was a very good day here at the show, culminating with the evening’s Heritage auction at 6 (in which we bought a couple of coins and saw some of our others sell nicely), then headed off to dinner at a restaurant we’d never been to before with a dealer friend.

Tomorrow some world auctions are on the agenda, along with, we hope, more collector traffic, more selling and, if all goes according to plan, buying at least a couple more cool things on the floor.

And if we do, you can read about right here, tomorrow, in Friday’s Road Report.
 

September 9th:  It's a Set-Up!

Finally, after my (almost) completely non-numismatic long-weekend (offset by a medium-sized case of 'I missed an auction' withdrawal), I hopped on a trans-continental flight this morning and headed as fast as I could to the Long Beach Convention Center.

Arriving at just about noon, I dropped my stuff at the hotel, dashed over to Heritage lot viewing, scooped up my badge, apologized to Dave for missing all the fun in Beverly Hills and then hit the bourse floor running here on Dealer Set-Up day.

But we didn’t need to run very far, as our first stop was to pick up a couple of wild coins we had been offered earlier this week, squint into a loupe looking at the surfaces and spend the 11 seconds necessary to say “It’s a deal!”.

We also found a few nice gold coins on the floor, 2 other colonials, and bought a really cool Pillar Dollar from an unlikely source.

During which it became clear to me just how subdued the room seemed this time around, with many of the regular dealer attendees not present.  Some guys were evidently spent (literally) after the recent auctions, while others were on ‘show overload’ after the ANA and PCGS Vegas show. I guess.

But the people who are here were generally upbeat, and of course very interested to dissect all of the weekend’s auction results in Beverly Hills.  Which included a long conversation with one of the guys who bought a lot of the big coins in those sessions in which he described what he thought of specific coins, what his presale estimates were, which coins he stretched to buy and which ones he got for well less than his max bid(!). Fascinating stuff.

Somewhere in there we managed to set up our own inventory, sold just a couple coins, submitted some very cool stuff for grading, ate a bag of mixed nuts, split a smallish deal with a foreign coin dealer and then called it a day.

Just in time to go head out for a nice dinner with some dealer friends at one of our favorite local restaurants, skip dessert, walk back to the hotel, start this blog, answer email and then collapse face first into the bed after a wonderful 22.5 hour day.

Tomorrow the show and the HA auctions begin in earnest, which ought to provide some excellent content for tomorrow’s RR. I hope.

Boy, it’s good to be back!

JA  
 

September 8th:  A Return to Normalcy

It was a quick turn-around on Tuesday, with Monday's session running until the amazingly late hour of 3:27 AM, and Tuesday's starting back up just a few hours later with the 'regular' Pre-Long Beach sale at 10 AM.

And with it came a return to 'numismatic normalcy'.

First, it was a fine catalog, but included more the sort of material one might expect to find in any medium-large auction or on the bourse floor at a larger show.  Within which we found a dozen or so things we wanted, widely spaced through the day (of course).

And as I sat there, the difference in the feel of the room was pronounced, with the frenzied activity of the last couple of days replaced with normal bidding activity (i.e. people having actual limits to what they would spend on a particular coin).  Still, I thought the prices were generally pretty strong - at least on the things we wanted to buy - and we were only able to get a few of the lots we targeted.

So after hanging around for another several hours (and getting really sick of being in that room), I finally said 'no mas', left a few bids on the later items, packed up my stuff and headed down the road to Long Beach with Lee J. Bellisario, a long time dealer and a legend (though he would deny it!) in the business.

I always enjoy talking to "Lee J." since he was the auction director at New England Rare Coin Galleries beginning in the mid 1970's, just as your author was in Junior High in the area and really getting interested in coins.  And, since they were 'local', I would hang out there viewing lots in their upcoming sales (even though they knew I couldn't afford to buy most of them) and scribbling notes like crazy in my NERCG catalogs (all of which I still have, of course).

So it was pretty cool to be sitting in the car with Lee as he told me what it was like inside that firm, how he was hired as the 7th employee, how they grew to 180 people at their peak, etc.  It was a cool trip down memory lane, though from a different perspective, and including a lot of stuff I have never heard before.

Which made the ride go faster than usual, as we zipped down to LB just in time to check in, drop my bags and run over to Heritage lot viewing so I could start the auction process all over again.

It will be more of the same Wednesday AM, followed by dealer set-up at 2 PM, at which time I will hand the keyboard over to John (since he will be arriving in LB tomorrow) and let him handle the RR duties for the rest of the week.

And with that I'm going to sign off, and say thanks for reading the Road Report.

DW
 

September 7th:  RD is the New Black

As in mint red is the new "in color".  Not that it was ever really out of favor, of course, but the degree to which it was being sought by bidders in the Naftzger III sale was frankly astonishing (to me, anyway).

Because that's not what I thought would happen.

Even though today's sale contained the greatest collection of late date large cents ever assembled, and one that will never be matched (I don't think), I personally predicted (quietly, in the privacy of my hotel room and not, for example, plastered all over a chatroom somewhere) that today's sale would be a little soft(!).

Not because the coins weren't gorgeous – they were - beautiful, pristine pieces with exceptional color, with most of them conservatively graded (again in my opinion) by PCGS. 

I just figured that late date large cents have always played second fiddle to the much more popular early and middle date large cents.  This is because they are much more common in nice uncirculated grades than their earlier brethren, and also because the differences in die varieties are very minute and thus a little less interesting to many collectors.

And there was precedence for my prediction.  Wes Rasmussen’s entire large cent collection was sold at auction a few years back, a fantastic and nearly complete set by die variety from 1793 through 1857.  All the coins were sold in one big session and by the time the late dates came around, the excitement was gone, and so were most of the bidders (along with their money).  The few folks left in the auction room that night got some terrific bargains on some of Rasmussen's wonderful late date pieces. 

So, since the record breaking Holmes sale was just last night, and sucked millions of well-documented dollars out of collectors’ and dealers' wallets, I figured the Naftzger late dates would also go wanting. 

I was utterly, totally and completely wrong.

The sale dragged on for hours because nearly every lot had mutliple would-be buyers launching their bidder cards and desperately trying to buy these coins .  The buyers saw red – mint red, that is - and the more of it they saw, the more they wanted these coins.  Which meant that in a specialty in which five figure price tags had previously been very few and very far between, we saw results like this:

Lot #603, an 1840 N-2 Cent, considered to be Rarity-2, in MS65 RB [PCGS], rocketed to $24,150.

Lot #622, an 1841 N-1 Cent, an R-5, in MS65 RB [PCGS], went even higher at $31,050.

Lot #633, an 1842 N-2 Cent, an R-1, in MS65 RB [PCGS], brought a mind-blowing $71,875. 

Lot #634, an 1842 N-2 Cent, an R-1, in MS65 RD [PCGS], went for $29,900.

Lot #638, an 1842 N-6 Cent, an R-1, in MS65 RB [PCGS], brought $39,100.

Lot #672, an 1844/81 N-2 Cent, an R-2, in MS64 RB [PCGS], brought $33,350.

Lot #830, an 1848 N-2 Cent, an R-2, in MS67 BN [PCGS], demonstrated that a fabulous, mega-gem non-RD coin was just nowhere near as sought after as a RD one on this day, bringing "only" $20,700.

Lot #851, an 1848 N-10 Cent, an R-3, in MS65 RD [PCGS], brought $25,300.

Lot #863, a knockout 1848 N-19 Cent, considered to be Low R-6, in PF65 RB [PCGS], brought $42,550.

Lot #941, an 1849 N-18 Cent, another R-6, in PF65 RB [PCGS], went for $35,650.

I could keep going, but I think you get the idea . . .

And, just like at the Holmes sale the night before, the large auction room was packed, and there were a wide variety of successful bidders.  With the evening perhaps best summarized by this exchange during the auction:

After lot #847, a common 1848 large cent but in MS65 RD [PCGS], sold for $29,900, Ira Goldberg exclaimed from the podium, “That’s a record for that coin!”  To which someone yelled back, “They’re ALL records!” to laughter from the audience.  And they were.

So, what does it all mean?  Again, demand for great, fresh coins was simply stunning.

And while this may have little impact on the 'regular' market, sometimes the dispersal of a great collection like this can create new collectors who had not previously participated in the category.  So it will be interesting for me to see if if tonight's enthusiasm will carry over into future auction and bourse activity of these late date cents.

In the meantime, I will be ramping up for the 'regular' Goldberg Long Beach Auction session, which you can read about right here tomorrow.

Until then -
 

September 6th:  If You Build it, They Will Come

In a cold auction room (one participant likened it to a meat locker), the market was anything but, with bids on the Dan Holmes Collection coming fast and furious (and really, really high!) from many sources, and by any objective measure, tonight’s session was stronger than any sale of early copper coins has ever been.  Ever.

With a few notable results as follows:

Lot #1, a lovely 1793 Chain Cent, AMERI. in AU58 [PCGS] started things off nicely, bringing $368,000 all-in for a coin which last sold for $218,500 in 2004.

Lots #7 and 8, a pair(!) of 1793 Strawberry Leaf Cents (though different die varieties) in F2 [PCGS] and G4 [PCGS] respectively brought a respectable $264,500 and $218,500.

Lot #24, a very high end (for the issue)1793 Liberty Cap Cent, S-14, in AU53 [PCGS] brought a robust $506,000.

Lot #79, a quite attractive and well pedigreed 1794 Starred Reverse Cent in VF30 [PCGS] brought a reasonable sounding $212,750.

Lot #95 an aggressively graded (in my humble opinion) 1794 S-59 Cent in MS66RB [PCGS] brought $276,000.

Lot #128, the finest known Reeded Edge 1795 Large Cent, S-79, in the lofty grade of VG10 [PCGS] went for the shockingly high price of $1,265,000, the most money ever paid by anyone, anywhere, for a large cent.  My conclusion:  Edge variety collecting is alive and well.

Lot #349, a very pleasing 1799/8 Cent in XF45 [PCGS] frankly stunned me (and I don’t stun that easily) at the amazing price of $368,000.  Which made me feel pretty certain that our $400,000 planned bid on lot #352 wasn’t going to be enough . . .

And it wasn’t, as #352, the incredible 1799 Cent graded MS61 [PCGS] (formerly MS62 [NGC] as described in the catalog) with actual cartwheel luster (and absolutely blowing away every other example of this issue I’ve ever seen) ran away and hid at $977,500.

Lot #455, a really beautiful 1802 Cent in MS67 RB [PCGS] landed at $333,500 (compared to a catalog estimate of $50,000+).

Lot #531, another remarkable piece, the finest known 1804 Cent in MS63 BN [PCGS] ran to $661,250 which, at that point, didn’t surprise me at all.

But it wasn't all serious stuff.  Such as when lot #544, an inexpensive 1807 Cent (estimated at “$200 & up”) hit the block.  The bidding was proceeding in the usual way until one of Dan Holmes’ family members held up a 2 year-old blonde girl with a bidder card in her hand, her dad clearly intending for her to bid on this coin.  When the auctioneer (Ira Goldberg) saw it, he said, "Now who is going to bid against this little one?".  Immediately the other bidders put their cards down and the lot was hammered down to the little girl as the audience laughed in approval.

Lot #544 not withstanding, all of these results were fantastic, but rather than make obtuse comparisons of what similar items brought in recent sales, or how the Holmes sale stacked up against other major auctions of the distant past, I figured it would be interesting to look at the performance of the coins in the Dan Holmes collection that were actually purchased at Heritage’s February 2008 sale of the Husak auction (yes, there were quite a few such pieces).

The Husak sale has generally been considered the absolute peak of the large cent market (and maybe the coin market in general, for that matter), and coming into this session we thought some of these coins would sell for 15 or 20% less this time around (roughly consistent with other price decreases in the overall market).

But this is what we saw Sunday in Beverly Hills:

Lot #18, a 1793 Wreath Cent in AU53 [PCGS] brought $27,600 in the February, 2008 Walter Husak sale; tonight it sold for the exact same $ 27,600.   Hmmm, I thought to myself, looks like that one actually held up.

Lot #37, a 1794 S-22 Cent in MS63 BN [PCGS] brought $48,875 in the Husak sale, but reached only $31,050 in this session.  At which point I figured we’d see this sort of trend all night - a thought which lasted all of about 15 seconds until the next lot came up.

Lot #38, a 1794 S-23 Cent in MS64 BN [PCGS] brought $66,700 in Husak, but blew right past that in the Holmes sale landing at $106,375.  That’s about 60% more than last time for those scoring at home.

Lot #53, the finest known 1794 S-33 ‘Wheelspoke Reverse" Cent described in the catalog as raw VF25 (having been removed from a PCGS 35 holder by the raw coin-preferring Mr. Holmes), brought $103,500 at Husak, but dipped to $94,875 in this sale.

Lot #74, a lovely 1794 S-45 Cent in MS65 RB [PCGS] brought $149,500 at Husak, but reached $184,000 last night.

Lot #87, a 1794 S-54 Cent described as raw VF35 (removed from a PCGS 53 holder) brought $16,100 in Husak, $18,400 this time around.

Lot #99, the finest 1794 S-62 Cent in MS63 BN [PCGS] brought $57,500 in Husak, $86,250 in Holmes.

Lot #108, the 1794 S-66 ‘Split Pole’ Cent in raw VF25 (removed from a PCGS 35 holder) stayed the course, bringing $54,625 at Husak vs $55,200 at Holmes.

Lot #110, a very pretty 1794 S-68 Cent in raw AU55 (removed from a PCGS 58 holder) did not stay the course, having brought $80,500 in Husak, but rocketing to $155,250 in the Holmes sale.

Lot #113. A pleasing 1794 S-70 Cent in MS62 BN [PCGS] went from $32,200 in Husak to $41,400 in Holmes.

Finally, lot #117, a 1795 S-73 Cent in raw VF35+ (removed from a PCGS 45 holder) showed little change, bringing $32,200 in Husak and $32,775 in this session.

So, a couple were lower or flat, but overall (and amazingly) these coins brought well more tonight than they did at what many of us thought was the top of the market.

So what does that mean?  Several things to us:

Goldberg’s / McCawley-Grellman put on a spectacular auction (from the catalog to lot viewing to the wonderful treatment of their bidders to the session itself) and delivered exceptional results.

The demand for top notch material (at least in this category) is stronger than it has ever been.

Nothing brings out the bidders like a great collection built over many years with lots of cool stuff in it that hasn't been seen in years.

It is possible to build a spectacular collection, enjoy the chase, make many friends along the way and do very well financially in the process.  Just ask Mr. Holmes.

And what does this mean for the “regular” market of less spectacular coins?

I do not think it means that every 1794 Large Cent, regardless of condition or variety, has now increased in value.

I do think it generates interest in this category and adds excitement to the overall market.

For us, it means we will keep doing exactly what we've been doing, which is to try to buy nice coins for prices that make sense to us, starting with the very next Goldberg session (Naftzger, Part III) tomorrow.

But in the meantime, I'm going to bed.
 

September 5th:  Setting the Stage

Without even getting into an automobile, I walked down to Goldberg’s offices on Saturday arriving at 8:15 AM (before it was officially opened) and into a lot viewing room so full that the crowd had spilled out into the waiting area and other offices.

At that point, I realized I had a long day ahead of me.

So I got right to it, digging into the Dan Holmes Collection, Part I catalog and taking whatever boxes in whatever sequence I could get ‘em from the lot viewing assistants.

Room with a View

Now, we had reviewed this catalog many times before today, and we’ve seen a number of these lots at various shows where Goldberg’s / McCawley-Grellman had them on display, and we had a pretty good idea which coins where of high interest to CRO before I got here.  But with the entire collection of extremely rare and very cool coins in front of me I had to force myself to focus on the coins we would try to buy and remind myself that I was ‘at work’, and not on some big coin vacation (though my wife would disagree with this, and admittedly the lines get blurred sometimes).

And after several hours of serious viewing, and then a second round reviewing the ones we had on our high interest list, I had narrowed it down to a couple of dozen coins that I liked, including slabbed coins that I thought were accurately graded (which was definitely not all of them), raw coins that I felt confident would grade at certain levels (not so easy with these early federal issues), and came up with a final list of items that we would be chasing.

It's Only a Game

Much like the mating dance of a large bird on Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom (sort of), the pre-auction rituals of serious bidders viewing a major collection of rare (and rarely traded) items is predictable, fascinating, and sometimes pretty annoying, as a lot of guys try to influence other bidders, and/or glean top secret information about the lots, about the grades and about the likely bid levels from the competition.

This can range from the casual open ended inquiry “What did you think of lot #xxx?”, to the overt “Hey Dave, how much do you think lot #xxx will sell for?”, to the blatant attempt to scare someone else off with an unsolicited “Did you see the hidden tooling on lot #xxx!” warning, usually announced in a loud voice to no one in partcular.

When I first got into the business years ago this sort of stuff worked on me, with older dealers either hitting me up for information and then using it against me in the auction room, or, worse, intimidating me off of certain lots.  Why I remember one prominent example about a dozen years ago when I was warned by another dealer that a particularly rare and high priced coin in an upcoming auction was “An electrotype!” (i.e. a fake, causing me to cross it off my bidding list), and then watched that very same dealer buy it at the auction the next day for a new record price.  Hmmmmm.

After that eye-opening experience, I ‘got it’, and now I take all this gamesmanship in stride, ignore the propaganda, focus on our own bidding and, occasionally, per the approach used by my partner John, simply make up ridiculous misleading answers to questions if another dealer gets too pushy.

But with all the viewing done, and gamemanship behind me (I think), it was time for dinner.

The Feast

It’s important to eat a good meal before participating in either a ‘regular’ or numismatic marathon (which tomorrow’s auction will be), and rest assured, I did, at the spectacular cocktail reception held at Larry Goldberg’s beautiful home.

I knew it was going to be quite a shindig when I arrived in our rental car and was greeted by the eight valets they hired (no exaggeration) to park guest’s cars, and I was right.

Great food and great camaraderie, with the highlight of the evening being when Mr. Holmes, accompanied by his lovely wife, spoke to the crowd with some heartfelt words about the coins, about collecting, and about the many friends they had made along the way.

After which all of the attendees received a special hardbound edition of the Holmes catalog, and a DVD describing the collection.  How cool is that?

In all, it was a wonderful evening and a world class event, which set the stage very nicely for the actual auction which will take place on Sunday, and which will be described here, in vivid detail, in about 24 hours from now.

 
September 4th:  Dave's Magical Journey

With John holding down the numismatic fort in New England this weekend, your author (David J. Wnuck) will be representing team CRO at the Beverly Hills Auctions, and, more importantly, taking on the important Road Reporting duties for the next several days.

And, whenever this has happened in the past, I have jokingly remarked to John that I hope my days will be filled with exciting (even magical) adventures which I can write about here on our site in a flowery style. And then much jocularity ensues. Though in retrospect, I should have been more careful what I wished for (ominous foreshadowing).

Insomnia

Our story begins like they almost always do on the day I am leaving for a coin show. I was restless the night before and got only a few hours sleep (yes, after a couple of decades of doing this I still get ramped up about it).  When I was 12 it was from pure excitement and anticipation.  Now it is a combination of that excitement, plus a large adult-sized dose of anxiety.  I stress out about whether I've paid all the bills, answered all the email and phone messages, shipped out all the orders, packed all the right inventory and supplies and have done everything I was supposed to do before leaving home and office for several days.

And, more often than not, it’s extremely hectic, even when I’m not doing a last minute appraisal for a local antique store (which I was), and it is taking waaaaay longer than I planned (it did).

But certainly that would not be a problem, since an experienced traveler like myself would give himself ample time to get to the airport, and would be traveling by a familiar route taken dozens of times before. Right?

The Brilliantly Conceived Plan

Weeks before this trip, I was expertly arranging my schedule and trying to figure out the most efficient way to fly to California, attend the auctions and the show, and then attend another numismatic event here on the east coast on the way home.

The result of which was that I decided to depart not from my regular airport (which I actually know how to get to), but instead would drive several hours and depart from an airport nowhere near my office (and from which I have not flown in years) since it would be closer to the post-show meeting.

And, as an added bonus, this long drive, and the fact that I would be taking an unfamiliar route AND upsetting my normal travel routine only added to my insomnia last night, resulted in substantial tossing and turning, and included a vivid dream about losing an important coin under an immovable kitchen appliance.

The Shortcut

Whatever great plan I had, and whatever timetable I would be following pretty much immediately went out the window, having been disrupted by a force of nature known as a ‘Black Hole’ (which in this case was, of course, the Cross Bronx Expressway).  It was at a standstill, and as I watched the minutes tick away on the clock in my car, I first began impatiently tapping on the wheel, then shouting at no one in particular, before I decided to take matters into my own hands.

Like most guys, I assume I have an innate sense of direction and a knack for finding shortcuts other folks might miss.  So what if I didn’t know the area and had no Garmin or map? Unneccessary. Instead, I used various road signs for navigation, took the next exit and headed to a little-known town named 'New York City'.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.  I mean – driving through that little burg on a Friday afternoon on a holiday weekend would surely gain me the time I needed.

A few bridges and tunnels later it still seemed like I had a chance (nope), and I did not fully resign myself to the inevitable fact that I was going to miss my flight (by hours, actually) until I drove by – I kid you not – the Trapeze School of New York, something I have never heard of before despite living in this area for a decade or two.   On a more positive note, the school had opened a large door apparently so that people lost on their way to the airport could peer in and see aspiring trapeze artists gracefully twirling, spinning and leaping through the air. Somehow seeing people engaged in this utterly pointless activity (unlike coin collecting) relaxed me, so I took my foot off the gas, called the airline from the car and booked a flight that left 2 hours later.

And I made that one without a hitch and had a genuinely wonderful, relaxing flight.

What does all this travel nonsense have to do with rare coins? Nothing really. Just a window into our world as we glamorously travel the country on our way to see, ho hum, one of the finest and certainly the most complete collection of early date large cents to be sold in our lifetimes.

Which makes all this other stuff worthwhile.

It also means that tomorrow's RR will include actual numismatic information about the coins and coin dealering, and not so much about the trapeze.
 

September 3rd:  Prologue

This is when it is really fun for us.

No, not the getting up early, packing our suitcases for the umpteenth time this year, saying so long to the family or schlepping across the country once again.  That's not fun.

But when we get to California, it's veritable coin-geek heaven, as we get to hang out with a lot of good numismatic friends, view some amazing Naftzger and Dan Holmes coins at Goldbergs, and then bid like a drunken-sailor once the live sessions begin.

An activity we are so 'into', that if we were not CRO, and we were not in the business, we'd be out there anyway.

Which is why we feel so lucky to be doing what we do, and are so glad to be able to write about it here in the Road Report.

We'll be updating this blog daily for the next 9 days, first covering the aforementioned auctions, then moving on down to the show itself (don't forget the Heritage auctions!) in Long Beach starting on Wednesday.

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

 

Road Report Archive

November 26, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

As Team CRO arrived at the show around 8:15 on Sunday, we were pleasantly surprised to find an already bustling bourse floor with many dealers engaged in commerce, others in the late stages of setting up and a bunch of early-arriving collectors milling about...

November 8-11, 2017: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: All of a sudden we're back in Baltimore, again, for the last of our three (3) annual numismatic visits, this typically the biggest and best of them and including the annual meeting of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4)...

October 25-28, 2017: The PCGS Members Only Show in Philadelphia

Prologue: For the first time since 2012 (can that be right?  yes, I believe it is) we are delighted to be attending a PCGS show, this time in what for us is a far-more-accessible east coast location...

September 24, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

As I headed out early Sunday for our local show I have to admit my expectations were modest for several reasons: The weather here is amazing, and I figured a lot of people would opt for some outdoor activity or other before the weather turns cold and we're all buried under 6 or 7 feet of snow...

September 5-9, 2017: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Greetings numismatist and welcome to this the first RR of the fall coin season, a calendar transition we will be celebrating by boarding an airplane and taking a quick 5 hour flight to SoCal for the LB Expo...

July 30-August 5, 2017: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Denver, CO

Prologue: Team CRO Readiness Status:  Very Our bags are packed, our inventory is organized, our checkbook has been fortified and we are totally and completely ready to numismatically storm the Colorado Convention Center (in a good way) and then buy, sell, trade and grade as many cool coins as possible over the next week, stopping only to schmooze, to eat lunch and then to blog about each and every single thing that happens at this show right here in this space...

June 26, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

I’d like to begin today by giving kudos to my hard-working New England coin dealer brethren, many of whom worked a full day at the Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore on Saturday, got home late at night and then were up and out first thing Sunday morning to drive – in some cases as long as 3 hours – to be here in Devens for our local monthly show...

June 20-24, 2017: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: Aaaaaaaaand we're off, to Baltimore of course, for what we expect to be a fun-filled 4 days in the Inner Harbor during which we will be looking to do our usual buying, selling, trading, grading and schmoozing from our command center at table #442...

June 8-10, 2017: The Long Beach Expo

Prologue: Greetings coin collector, coin speculator, coin dealer, Ebay seller, professional grader, sticker applier, show organizer, auction coordinator, postal clerk, graphic designer, insurance agent (and any other category which describes a person reading this blog) and welcome to this our first installment of the LB Expo, June 2017 edition...

May 28, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

After a several week stretch away from the coin circuit, we were excited to be back at it today at our local show...

April 25-29, 2017: The Central States Show in Schaumburg, IL

Prologue: Almost unbelievably, we're off again on another adventure, this time to the pleasant, always successful, extremely enjoyable, totally self-contained (i...

April 23, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

When the Devens show alarm went off at 5:30 AM on Sunday I confess that I seriously considered either smashing it with a heavy numismatic book, or, alternatively, throwing it out a nearby window...

April 20-22, 2017: The EAC Convention in Philadelphia

Prologue: Has it really been since September of 2013 that we've been to a coin show in the City of Brotherly Love?  Apparently yes, at least according to our Road Report Archives which are, in our opinion, the best online record of such things...

April 4-8, 2017: Chicago Coin Expo

April 4th:  Day 1 Yes, we enjoy the coin circuit. But we have to admit that the consistent visits to the same cities over and over again (e...

March 28 - April 1, 2017: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

March 28th:  Day 1 Let’s see, wake up (just before the alarm goes off) at 2:56 AM, jump in the shower, get dressed, grab my bags and we’re off to the airport for the 5:50 flight to Baltimore...

March 7-11, 2017: The ANA National Money Show in Orlando, FL

Prologue: Good morning coin enthusiast and welcome to our second (2nd) Road Report from Florida in a two (2) month period...

February 26, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

The CRO Road Show rolls on, with our most recent stop here in Devens, MA for our local-ish show...

February 15-18, 2017: The Long Beach Expo

February 15th:  Day 1 After shoveling snow off my roof in New England on Monday and Tuesday of this week (sorry – no photos), I was perhaps even more ready than the average coin dealer to head to warm and sunny southern California for the first of three annual Long Beach shows...

January 22, 2017: The Devens, MA Monthly Show

After our marathon two week FUN Show to New York International Numismatic Convention Metroplex (in which the urban sprawl between the two shows merged into one), readers may have assumed that CRO would be kicking back and taking it easy this weekend...

January 11-15, 2017: The New York International Numismatic Convention

Prologue: I can't believe it either. Just 24 hours after getting home on our much delayed flight from Fort Lauderdale, we've barely had enough time to unpack, repack and head out to the door to what we expect will be an excellent event at the Waldorf Astoria, with a focus on the ~50% of the CRO inventory that does not include U...

January 3-7, 2017: The FUN Show in Fort Lauderdale, FL

January 3rd:  Day 1 Civilized. That was to be the operative word for CRO’s travel planning this year...

December 1-3, 2016: The Houston Money Show

Prologue: "Hey, I didn't know you guys did the Houston Show!" is a comment we've heard a lot recently, to which we always respond with a resounding Yes! and then direct people to the EVENTS tab on our home page menu bar where you can see every show and (auction!) we'll be attending over the next many months...

November 1-5, 2016: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

November 1st:  Day 1 After a prolonged major show hiatus (since we last attended an XL one in earnest at the ANA in August), we are delighted to be back in the numismatic saddle once again and, of course, blogging like crazy...

October 23, 2016: The Westford, MA Show

It was nice to be back on the circuit today at our monthly event in nearby Westford, MA. So I got there bright and early at 7 AM, set up the table, artfully arranged a new and different-every-time subset of our inventory and began a solid 7 hours of shopping, schmoozing, selling and, on this day, trading in the form of one of our big colonials for several medium-sized ones...

September 25, 2016: The Westford, MA Show

If this was the 4th Sunday of the month it must have been time once again for the Westford, MA Show, which explained why your author was up extreeeemely early and out the door on a Sunday morning for cryin' out loud...

August 28, 2016: The Westford, MA Show

While (most of) the rest of the numismatic world was sleeping in, or possibly out for pancakes, your author and some of his New England coin dealing brethren were up early and off to suburban Westford, Massachusetts for the regular ‘4th Sunday of Every Month’ show...

August 6-13 2016: The ANA World's Fair of Money in Anaheim, CA

Prologue After months of anticipation, weeks of preparation, days of organization and hours of pack-ification, Team CRO is finally rocketing toward Anaheim, CA for the 2016 ANA World’s Fair of Money...

July 13-16, 2016: The Whitman Baltimore Expo

Prologue: And now for something completely different. Actually, that's true on two levels: There is, for the first time ever (or at least for the first time in recent memory) no "official" auction at this show, allowing us to eschew our usual catalog schlepping, lot viewing, bid planning and auction attending here in Baltimore and to focus instead on buying and selling coins on the actual bourse floor...

June 8-11, 2016: The Long Beach Expo

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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