From the Road Report Archive

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.  But that was before my flight home was delayed in nearly every way possible, finally landing in New England at 4:30 AM.  At which time I went home and then straight to bed.

It could have been worse, however.  As was the case for many other dealers, including our good friend Jim McGuigan.  He was booked to leave at midday on Saturday, but when I walked by his table late Saturday morning and saw him putting his coins back into his display cases I figured he was one of the unlucky ones impacted by the massive snowstorm on the east coast.  In fact, his flight had been cancelled and the soonest he could get another one back home to Pittsburgh was Monday.  Oh well, I guess Long Beach is not the worst place to be stranded for an extra 2 days.

As for the show itself, quite typically the crowd was pretty decent, but most seemed to be novice collectors, families with young kids, or people who were apparently just curious to see what the heck was going on in that very large building. 

I know this because I spoke to a few who came by the table, though most of my time Saturday was spent cleaning up business from the show, writing checks, picking up checks, paying for the table for the May 2010 Long Beach show and discretely trying to find out who bought one of the gold coins at Heritage last night for a customer who wanted it since it went way, WAY cheaper than he expected in the auction.

And even though we might want to, let’s not forget those last few grading submissions, which, like all the other ones from this show, were returned to us in the absolute lowest conceivable holder, or, even worse, as no grades.  Resulting in this being without a doubt the worst grading show we have ever had (by a considerable margin), and making us wish we had taken all the money wasted on fees and used it for something more productive (like buying lottery tickets, or flushing it down a nearby toilet).

But even taking into account crummy grades, a mostly unproductive Saturday and a horrendous flight, the show was good overall, with strong sales, enough cool new purchases, and a few interesting collection opportunities to follow-up on in the coming weeks.

Which ought to keep us busy cranking out EB’s and chasing new coins until the Baltimore show in early March.

And, unless we make another interesting but currently unplanned trip before then, that is where our next EB will be posted from on or around March 1st.

Finito.


Day 7:

Friday morning was pretty hectic, as I had to get up, write Thursday’s RR, hit the gym, eat breakfast, pack up everything, check out of the hotel and still beat Dave to the table like a piñata.  Which I most certainly did, by nearly a full 15 minutes.

And it was pretty good and pretty active right from the start.

Interestingly, again, 100% of what we sold (to be both dealers and collectors alike) were federal coins, from wholesome 19th century type in AU holders for a few hundred bucks each, up to and including some proof gold in the low to middle five figures.

But while the selling was all federal, the buying was all over the map (in a good way), including a bunch of tokens (one of which is an especially cool piece which will be appearing in an upcoming ad just as soon as it is photographed, graded and we think of a cool enough caption), a couple of early dollars and two very nice colonials.

Not everything worked great though (and that might be an understatement). 

We cracked out a spectacular coin in an NGC MS64 ‘Fatty’ holder at the request of the owner (but against our better judgment) after a well-known dealer made a huge offer for it which we rejected (also at the request of the owner and also against our better judgment), then submitted it to PCGS where it graded MS64 again, then cracked it out, again, and submitted it to NGC (again at the request of our customer who was becoming increasingly aggravated, but now figured he had no choice but to see this thing through to the end) where it came back as AT, which it absolutely isn’t (as validated by NGC in the past, and PCGS and, earlier, CAC).

And while this story is apparently a long way from over, we can conclude the following so far:

  1. Several very knowledgeable specialist dealers who have seen this piece love it and want to buy it for 65++ money (as did the sharp-eyed owner).
     
  2. Now is not a good time to have toned coins graded.

Which was again confirmed (even though at this point it was no longer in doubt) when we submitted a different raw coin for grading on behalf of a different customer.  This one was a cool early silver coin which the owner purchased in a Bowers’ auction 20 years ago for really good money, and has kept raw in an Air-Tite holder ever since, and which today maintains the same rich blue and green toning it exhibited in the high quality color photo in that old catalog.  Unfortunately, that ‘look’ (which we firmly believe is original, and which has not changed one iota in two decades) is simply not market acceptable these days, and was returned in a Genuine holder for questionable color.

We guess that while the owner of this piece will end up keeping it as is, the inevitable fate of many other such color coins might well be a date with a dipper, and eventual holdering as a bright white piece (probably in a really high grade slab).  We don’t like it, but that is apparently the numismatic world in which we live (at least for now).

Late in the afternoon, with all of that entertainment behind us (or at least on hold temporarily) we made one more cool new raw purchase (no, not a toned silver coin), talked about some cool new stuff with PCGS Pres. Don Willis, and Ron Guth, and did a long status update with our dealer-partner on some expensive coins we jointly own.

Then your author summarily packed up and headed to the airport, leaving Dave with the Saturday show duties (in return for me getting out to CA early and handling the Goldberg auction solo last weekend).

Which means that our next RR will be written by Dave, since I won’t be there to see what happens on Saturday.  And so I too look forward to hearing what he has to say (unless it's more crappy news from the grading services).


Day 6:

Amazingly, Dave actually arrived at the show well before I did on Thursday, something that has happened on just one or two other occasions that I can recall in the last several years.  Of course, I had the keys with me, so he couldn’t actually sell anything before I got there, but soon enough we were officially open and ready for business.

The first order of which was to head back to the table discussed in yesterday’s RR and see if that dealer was now ready to sell that frickin’ world coin we wanted.  But of course he wasn’t there yet, and his cases were still covered and had chairs piled on them.  Great.

So we spent the time organizing and pricing a commemorative collection to offer to another dealer, finishing up our PCGS and NGC submissions, working on some convoluted dime deal that has about 20% chance of working and then looking up just as the public strolled in.

The crowd was fairly typical at first, but they just kept coming, and after a while the room seemed as about as full as I can ever recall it.  A notion which was seemingly confirmed by several collectors who came to the table and told us that the line to register was extremely long, and it took them more than 30 minutes to get in.

And while that sounded positive and upbeat, it had no impact whatsoever on the several different dealers who came by our table to lament that gold was 'tanking' (it was down about $40 at that point) and then make long-term economic predictions which were mostly depressing.

And while your author always enjoys a long and depressing economic forecast, he especially enjoys it while in the men's room (for the avoidance of confusion, this sentence is meant to be sarcastic).  Which is what happened at about 11:30, and was delivered by a guy who is normally upbeat, but on this day was a real ‘downer’, and apparently needed to convey an enormous amount of information to me in a tiled room while I tried extremely hard to escape.

Which I eventually did, getting back to the table and focusing on numismatics for a long stretch, with a lot of collectors coming to the table, and a lot of people looking at coins, but just a few purchases and sales.

At about this point I realized we had forgotten to go back and try to buy that world coin again, and so I zipped over to that table and discovered (of course) that every coin that had been in that dealer’s case was still there, except the one we wanted.  Great.

With that unfortunate episode over, I went back to the table where Dave and I spent some time reviewing a customer's new copper purchases which were high grade, but raw, and covered with lacquer, and tried to figure out what sort of conservation would best to remove it.

Then I spent a good long time with a collector friend huddled in a strategy meeting, returning to the table just in time to buy a cool coin that is weirdly similar in a sort of ‘separated-at-birth’ way to a piece we already own, and which we thought would make a really neat pair.

That was pretty much it, so we headed up to the late-starting Heritage auction at 7, sat through a very quiet colonial session (in terms of the material being offered, not the auctioneering style) and then headed up the street for dinner with some dealer friends.

Friday we’re hoping to finalize the sale of the aforementioned commemorative collection, do the dime deal, quite possibly buy something expensive we saw on the floor and avoid, at all costs, anymore discussions about anything in the men's room.


Day 5:

After a fairly busy morning getting organized, packing up and checking out of my spectacularly ordinary Beverly Hills hotel, I was in a cab and en route to LB through moderate (for the area) traffic being driven by a guy who was paying attention to the road and not weaving in and out like a maniac (both of which are unusual in my experience driving around here).

Efficiently, we arrived at my hotel at precisely 11:43 AM, giving me just enough time to check in and dump all of my stuff in a room which, just like every other time I’ve been here, is as far from the elevator as possible even though I always ask for one that isn’t.  So I schlepped everything down the long corridor, and then schlepped my show stuff back a few minutes later as I headed off to the convention center.

Having timed this whole thing extremely well, I had about an hour a half to view Heritage lots (perfectly adequate for this session), pick up our table ribbons, hang out with some dealer friends and then calmly explode onto the bourse floor at 2 PM for dealer set-up.

Not 45 minutes later we had already sold a total of 11 coins to three different people, which was a good result but not totally surprising since we had a lot of cool new federal type coins with us.  On the other hand, we thought it was not unimpressive considering that we also had to run around and get several more booth chairs, another table and a show case and hang the CRO banner in that same period, all of which were accomplished seamlessly, except for the banner hanging, which is Dave's job (since I can't reach it), and during which he darn near fell off a rickety show table, pulled down the metal bars that define our booth space and injured me in the process.  But ultimately he hung the thing, and I feel fine.

And not until after that flurry of activity was over did we get to walk around the floor at all, though we didn’t see too much of great interest, and one of the things we did like was ‘not open yet’.  I didn’t know what that meant, either, but at one table of a dealer I do not know I saw a cool world coin, but when I asked to see it I was told “Come back later, I am focusing on US coins right now.”  So I accommodated him by leaving and not causing him to lose focus by, for example, handing him some money.

I don’t really understand that, especially since there was only one other guy at the table and it was hardly busy, but whatever.

Back at our table (which was open for business for both US AND world coins) we sold a few more things in the afternoon, bought none, and then packed up and headed out to Gladstone’s by the harbor for dinner, running into another dealer in the process, hanging out there for a couple of hours, chatting about a range of numismatic and non-numismatic topics, not eating too much and then calling it a fairly early evening.

Tomorrow we’ll be back at it at 8 AM, or maybe 9, or whenever they let us back into the show, and look forward to seeing many of our local customers and friends for the first time since the last LB show in September. 

Also, I might possibly go back for that world coin provided that the dealer who has it is sufficiently prepared on Thursday to 'focus on it', which in this case would mean to open the case and hand it to me.

Tune in tomorrow for an important update on this issue.


Day 4:

It might have been mentioned here yesterday that someone affiliated with CRO would possibly be doing something fascinating today, and that is true, if by fascinating you mean that I spent most of the day with paperwork spread all over my hotel room finalizing, finally, our year-end financials.

Which was only necessary because I could not find the time to get it done last week, and thus hauled all of it to California with me so I could focus on it with almost no distractions (except for that 20 minute span where housekeeping came in, vacuumed all around me and fluffed all 7 pillows).  Interestingly, this working in the hotel room idea turned out to be pretty successful, and may be the start of a new process here at CRO, as we travel around the country with reams of invoices and crank out spreadsheets while everyone else is out having fun.

Anyway, the festivities continued until 5:30 PM or so, when I went to the Goldberg gold sale, which was preceded by what was, in my opinion, a fantastic western-style dinner with the best BBQ sauce I’ve had since the Houston show in January of 2007.

As soon as I was done with that, it was time to watch a bunch of coins hammer down for more than I expected, including a few very expensive ones that looked very familiar and had been in multiple previous auctions.  Then I went to bed.

Wednesday I am off to LB for some Heritage lot viewing, dealer set-up and a day that is certain to be considerably more exciting than this one.


Day 3:

Typically on the road I do not sleep well, and if I had to pinpoint one reason why (aside from jetlag, or drinking too much, or the guy in the next room singing too loudly in the shower) it would be the horrible pillows they give you at these hotels.  I don’t know about you, but at home I have one pillow and it seems to work just fine for me.  But here (pretty much like every other hotel on the coin circuit), there are seven (7) pillows on the bed, several of which are gigantic, and none of which are what I would call a normal shape and/or firmness. 

Which explains why I was up early on this day after thrashing around repeatedly in a continuous and unsuccessful attempt to get comfortable.

But once up, I felt OK, and started variously typing / drinking coffee and otherwise trying to get everything done here before the start of the next Goldberg session at 10.

And I did, including a trip to the hotel gym, a healthy breakfast, a marathon email and then phone exchange with a customer, then Dave, then the customer again as we try to sort out a cash and trade deal for a cool colonial on our list, and then some last minute auction prepping which proved to be just about useless, since everything I had targeted in this session (and it wasn’t much) rocketed past our max bids in short order.

And that was fine, since I would characterize our bids as unenthusiastic, and it’s very hard to buy anything that way.  As a well-known dealer friend of ours always says, you have to really want them and be prepared to bid accordingly for anything really nice or desirable, or you have just about zippo chance to get it.  True.

In all, some wildly toned (and well photographed) items in high grade holders brought very strong money, while most other things were sort of anemic:

Lot #841, an 1882 PF Indian Cent in a P66 BN holder with some wild toning brought a ton of money IMO at $6,037.50.  I knew that would go strong, but that was still more than double my expectation.

I was actually curious to see what all of those 1972 Double Die Lincolns mentioned yesterday would bring since there were multiple example of like-graded coins of substantially different levels of quality, with some 66 RD’s, for example, way better than others.  It didn’t seem to make any difference, though, as all examples in each grade brought basically the same prices.  Which is another reason why it’s good to come and bid in person.

Lot #955, the 1846 Seated Dime in PCGS AU58, brought $13,225, considerably less than the $23,000 it brought at a different auction in June of 2008.

Lot #994, a very flashy 1867 Seated Quarter in PF66 CAM PCGS CAC ex-Benson went kind of nuts, selling for $16,675.

Then a long line of Barber Half Dollar proofs, all in very high holders and with wild multi-colored toning (and I mean W-I-L-D), had a lot of bidding interest on the floor and on the phones and internet, bringing mostly strong but not crazy numbers.  The last one, lot #1129, a dramatically toned 1915 in an NGC PF68 holder, brought $21,275, which seemed strong compared to the other dates preceding it, and compared to recent sales of PCGS 67 CAC examples, but downright el cheapo compared to the white NGC PF68 which brought just under $49,000 at Heritage in 2008.  Admiittedly, that high auction record was for a CAM coin, but still.

I stayed only through the early dollars, leaving the bevy of Morgans for the other dealers and collectors to fight over, choosing instead to go do paperwork, talk to a few customers and get all wrapped up in another possible trade deal before dinner.

Tuesday is shaping up to be not very eventful, as the Goldberg session doesn’t start until 6 PM, leaving a giant paperwork window for your author.  Which is necessary, but which is unlikely to provide many interesting tales for the next RR.

Which means I will really need to go out and do something fascinating during the course of the day, and then write about it tomorrow in this space.


Day 2:

I had an especially peaceful sleep on Sunday evening, and after I got up, got dressed and headed out I figured out why:  In the hall, right near my room is a sign telling guests to please keep quiet including (and I quote) “NO LOUD SINGING IN THE SHOWER”.  Which immediately made me think of three things:

1.  I have never before seen a sign like that at any hotel, ever, anywhere in the world (unless it was in a foreign language that I couldn't read, which is possible).

2.  That would explain why I only heard very quiet singing emanating from the other rooms.

3.  I wish I had seen that sign before my particularly energetic rendition of 'Where the Streets Have no Name' by U2 in the shower this morning.

Regardless, I was feeling especially good as I walked down the block to the Goldberg offices for lot viewing, passing the new Heritage Beverly Hills offices on my way (in the former Superior Galleries building).  “Hmmm, that should increase the competition for consignments in the area”, I said to no one in particular.

Anyway, I was apparently the first Goldberg viewer of the day, and had my choice of the 15 or so lot viewing assistants who were poised and ready to start pulling boxes.  Which we did immediately and continuously for the next 3 hours or so, running through the entire auction, very slowly through the material of highest interest, and like a rocket through the stuff we had no intention of buying, such as the long run of late date Large Cents by die variety, or the apparent mini-hoard of 14 high end 1972 Double Die Lincoln Cents, all graded 64RD, 65RD and 66RD, but housed in a slew of different vintage holders (actually, those were sort of neat).

On the other hand, I went at a numismatic snail’s pace through the Conder tokens (named for James Conder with an ‘e’, but variously described in the catalog, erroneously, as Condors with an ‘o’, which I think would be some kind of token with a big bird on it.  I guess).  That was interesting, though, as it was, as far as I know, the first such consignment of slabbed Conders (with an 'e') that have appeared in a major, mainstream American auction (if I am wrong, I am positive someone will email me post haste, and I’m pretty sure I know who it will be).

I viewed everything else too, but frankly after perusing this catalog before getting here I didn’t think there was a huge amount of material with CRO written on it, and I was right.  Best to be sure in person, though.

So I finished up, walked down the street to the Crown Plaza Hotel where the Goldberg Auctions are always held, helping some lost tourists on the way,  At which time it occurred to me just how many times I have been to this place, since I was able to give them very detailed directions and knew all the street names in the surrounding area.  As an even further aside, that reminded me of a discussion with another more senior dealer years ago in which he told me he had spent more than one year of his life in Long Beach California while attending the show 3 times a year for decades.  Yikes.

Anyway, the auction finally started at 2 PM, and there I was in the way back sitting next to one of the major Conder (with an 'e') dealers ready for the first session to begin.  Astutely, I leaned over and said that I expected a bunch of new record prices on this material, since it was slabbed, it was being exposed here to a mainstream audience (like a bunch of the guys in the ¾ full room, who were dealers and/or collectors of US coins, but said that they saw this stuff in the catalog and thought it looked neat), and I did not think Ira and Larry would spend an hour and a half auctioning these tokens if they were only going to bring a few hundred bucks each.

But in a lot of cases, I was wrong.

In fact, prices were low enough on most things that the aforementioned Conder dealer next to me bought quite a few of them, which must mean something.  And a lot of the less interesting pieces with ‘regular’ motifs went wanting.  Also meaningful was the fact that a few of the ones that were graded very highly and that I liked in the catalog and planned to bid on were just not nice enough in person for us to buy.  So we didn’t.  Finally, on at least four different occasions Ira pointed out that the photos of two adjacent lots had been switched in the catalog, which might well have confused some bidders, and perhaps explains why lot #95 sold for $437, while lot #96, the same issue in far better condition (though curiously graded exactly the same by NGC) brought $356.  Which is another reason why it’s always good to bid in person.

On the other hand, some of the really cool ones went for good money (such as lot #99, D&H-239 depicting a guy swallowing the earth, which brought $2,012.50), as did the real gems of most any variety (regardless of what grade was written on the holders).

In total, we bought just two (2) for considerably less than our max bids, which worked out very well.

The rest of the session was a very mixed bag, with some of the colonials that I thought were pretty ordinary going for real money (like lot #283, the cleany but absolutely-not-a-restrike Castorland Half Dollar at a strong $4,600), while others went cheap-ish.

I stayed through the early copper, seeing the two double struck Large Cents in lots #334 and 337 bring precisely and slightly curiously $9,300 each, since that is hardly a round number.  Both seemed reasonable, though, since they were totally cool, and very original.

Then I left and went to dinner, returning to do paperwork at night.

Tomorrow’s session begins at 10 AM, and I will be there, though I have no idea if I’ll actually buy anything.  But if I do, or even if I don’t, you can read about it here in about 24 hours from now.


Day 1:

Good morning fellow numismatic enthusiast -

I am pleased to announce that I have successfully flown across the entire country, and then retrieved my suitcase in what was, I believe, the fastest airplane to baggage claim to in-a-cab transition I have ever experienced at any airport anywhere in the world at any time.  Seriously, the bag was waiting for me the instant I got down there, and I was in a cab speeding toward my hotel exactly 8 minutes after the flight landed.  True.

Which gave me a bit of extra time here at the hotel to fill out 87 insurance forms for my new coin policy, make all my last minute prep notes for Sunday’s Goldberg sale, redo our EAC Penny Wise ad (because Dave discovered a typo in it), answer our voluminous customer emails, attempt to track down a misrouted Express Mail package (which fortunately contained only paperwork, and no coins), write this brief Day 1 RR (since frankly not that much has happened since we last spoke), and then collapse in a numismatic heap at about 1 AM local time.

No rest for the weary though, as Sunday I’m off to lot viewing bright and early, then straight to the auction, which I will be sure to thoroughly recap right here on Monday AM.


Prologue:

It seems like just a few days ago that we were in NY, viewing lots, discussing coins with the Stack’s team, eating enough hot pastrami for a family of 7 (actually, that was Dave), and then bidding enthusiastically in the Americana sale.

But that is now pretty much ancient history at CRO, as we set our sights on the next big thing:  The Long Beach Expo, preceded by a chaotic trip to the airport, a very long flight, a serious schlep to my hotel, some concentrated lot viewing and then a Goldberg auction which, this time, notably, does not include a Naftzger or Holmes consignment (none of which has actually even begun yet, except for the chaotic trip to the airport, which explains how I got to the gate where I am typing this right now).

But once everything else gets started, it should be very, very exciting, providing rich fodder for a full week’s worth of Road Reports in which we will attempt to provide an interesting balance of abject hilarity, serious numismatic discussion, a recap of the auctions, a look at what Dave orders for dessert, insights into coin grading, and, of course, how we do at the show on both the buying and selling side.

The Day 1 installment of which you can read right here first thing tomorrow morning - keeping in mind that we are in California, and 'first thing tomorrow morning' for us may be about 10 AM for our readers on the east coast.  So no nasty emails please.

 

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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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