From the Road Report Archive

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.

Even though today was abridged (we high-tailed it out of there around noon, instead of sticking around all day and taking a horrendous red-eye flight home as we've done in the past), we managed to squeeze in some intensive coin dealering activities:

I met with one of our favorite clients and got to review and compare notes about his recent submission which did not quite yield the results he expected. And though it would have been great if everything worked perfectly for him, it was an interesting opportunity to review and discuss why the graders graded the way they did (and which I agreed with, by the way).

While that was happening, our own Dave Wnuck was picking up the last of our Heritage lots and then numismatically oohing and aahing as he removed the raw coins from their double thick plastic lot viewing flips (which suck the life out of any coin) to reveal better more lustrous pieces than we expected (and we expected them to be pretty good).

Then it was time to mail home our disused catalogs, including all of the Goldberg and Heritage stuff. Total weight: 17 pounds.

Which left me a few minutes to walk the floor chatting up some other dealers and learning, usefully, which guys bought which key coins in some recent auctions just in case I want to go chase them down later (and sometimes we do that).

And then, just when it seemed like nothing else was going to happen, we were offered a nice piece of Mass silver which is going to look really, really good on the site.

Bringing us to the very last act of the May 2008 LB show; breaking down the booth display and arranging everything neatly in our bags (i.e. chucking them in there indiscriminately), leaving the booth area as neat as when we found it (except for the crumpled papers, rubber bands, water bottles, food wrappers, old auction flips, PCGS blue boxes and precariously piled garbage everywhere) and, as instructed by the show promoter repeatedly over the intercom, leaving the keys neatly in the empty cases ( and not, for example, shoving them into our pockets unnoticed until 10 minutes ago at security screening in the airport).

And after all that (and everything else that preceded it) we're tired - it's been 8 days out here now, most of which have been spent either sitting in an auction room squinting at a barely visible screen, filling out grading submission forms, or standing on a hard concrete floor.

But now we get to kick back, relax and take it easy for a solid 24 hours (six of which will be on the flight home), and then start preparing in earnest for the Baltimore show next week.

Our next RR will be posted on Thursday, June 5th, and it will feature a new twist never before attempted on this site.


Day VII:

You just never know.

For example, we didn't know that we would buy an exceptionally beautiful rainbow toned Hawaiian Commemorative Half Dollar today (especially since we weren't looking for one, and, even if we had been, they never seem to come like this).

We also didn't know that we'd end up buying most of the coins we wanted in the Heritage world sessions this afternoon and evening at consistently well below our max bids.

Or that grades at this show would turn out to be very fair (i.e. appropriate). That's not always the case.

What about the fact that we sold a whole bunch of coins here that weren't on the site, that we brought here only to consign to a future auction and that we had no intention to show anyone? True (and most welcome).

Or that our auction consignments would go pretty darn well overall in sessions in which lots of other stuff seemed to go cheap (see above). No complaints here.

In total, it was really a good day commercially on the selling and buying side for us and the show is shaping up as a solid A-, so far, as Long Beach Expos go (and who knows what Saturday will bring).

But while none of that stuff would have been easy to predict, dinner was - as we headed off to the Madison with some dealer friends for some late night revelry resulting in me being too tired to write a very long Road Report when I got back.

So I didn't.

We'll be heading back to New England tomorrow with our final Long Beach recap, right here, in about 24 hours.


Day VI:

There's no clock in my hotel room.

Which means that when I do wake up, I have to find my watch to figure out if it's 3 AM, or if I'm late for the show. Fortunately, today it was the former, giving my ample opportunity to plan the day's activities, review the Heritage bids 600 times, iron, leave 75 voicemails, etc.

And then it was finally time to head over to the Convention Center for the 9 AM show opening with the only problem being that it actually opened at 8. Which meant that despite waking up 4 hours early, I managed to be late.

Not sure what we missed, if anything, but that really ticks me off. But I got over it, and things turned out OK anyway as we sold a bunch of stuff to other dealers in the AM, and a smattering to collectors, then bought 5 or 6 coins on the floor in the afternoon.

But a lot of our attention this day was devoted to the series of Heritage auctions, including world coins in the afternoon and a huge colonial session in the evening (with even more world coins going off next door at the same time).

We spent a lot of time figuring bids, arguing about figuring bids, writing bids in our catalogs in codes so elaborate that we ourselves would not be able to read them during the auction, etc.

And then we started off in the world session at 1 PM bidding on some widely spaced lots. As an aside, world auctions are hard to manage for us, since coins are sold in alphabetical order by country. Which means that, hypothetically, if we only wanted to bid on coins with some colonial American relevance, we'd have to bid on a coin or two, then sit there through a numismatic mile of stuff we don't care about until the next relevant country came up and we eventually got to something interesting again. The end result being that we usually have one or two bids every 45 minutes in these sessions, and are either cooling our heels waiting, or are continually leaving the room and coming back hoping they've made it to the next lot we want to bid on by then. The alternative would be to leave bids, but we really don't like to do that.

Anyway, we ended buying 5 or 6 coins during a marathon session that ran right up until 5:30 or so, a scant 30 minutes before the scheduled start of the aforementioned 6 PM evening sessions. Leaving us just a half hour to finalize everything, get a seat in that room (a crummy one as it turned out, right in the front where everyone can see you) and eat the Heritage buffet dinner which by then had run out, forcing us to snarf the food from the world coin auction next door.

But we made do, and ended up buying about 30 coins in an eventful and unpredictable evening session during which some good coins went cheap, while some horrible, cleaned, doctored and frankly awful pieces went for strong money as follows:

Lot #1819, the low grade and plugged but still desirable Willow Tree Sixpence sold for a cheap $25,300 to a prominent dealer. That same piece last sold for $54,625 in January of 2007, and so the new owner was rather pleased. Probably not the consignor though.

Lot #1862, the New Yorke Token in PCGS F15 brought a robust $32,200 to a collector, well exceeding our pre-sale guesstimate and trumping (by roughly $24,000) the price this coin last brought at auction in 2002. You can't be too choosy on these, though, as they never trade.

Lot #1913, the 1773 Virginia Halfpenny in NGC MS67 RB (but looking essentially like any other Virginia Halfpenny and, if raw, a coin Dave and I would have valued at about $1,750) sold for $13,800 - exactly the same price it brought when last sold just a few months ago in November of 2007. To me this was among the most surprising results, as I assumed it would bring less than half of that this time around. Conclusion: People like the grade ‘MS67'.

Lot #1988, a Rhode Island Ship Medal in PCGS MS64 with a hidden scratch in the ship's rigging, brought a very robust $21,850. Notable since this coin was last sold in September, 2007 when WE consigned it to Heritage and it brought only $12,650. Not sure what happened between then and now, but obviously there has been a slight increase in demand (and we are ticked off about it).

I could go on and on here, but then this blog wouldn't get posted until about noon, and we can't have that.

So I'll wrap it up here and post more sordid details tomorrow.

I will mention, though, that while all this colonial stuff was happening, we also bought one world coin next door (thus ‘paying' for our dinner) and felt pretty good about ourselves as we packed up to leave at about 10:30 PM.


Day V:

OK, let's begin:

It was a somewhat disjointed morning at Heritage lot viewing, as only the world coins were available starting at 8 AM. The US lots would not be viewable until 11 (after they were moved from the first floor room used for lot viewing yesterday down to the specially designated lot viewing area on the bourse floor (separated from the rest of the floor by large steel fence sections almost exactly like what you use to lock up your bicycle in college). But that worked fine for us, since we had some additional world lots to re-review before we coasted into the US viewing at about 11:30, snagging the last available seats.

And we stayed there for a solid two and a half hours, looking at almost every coin in every catalog until the bourse opened at its customary 2 PM. At which time the dealers charged from the entrance to their designated tables much like wildebeest moving in unison whenever a lion appears on ‘Wild Kingdom'.

Set up was typical, as in relatively uneventful, as we struggled to get organized quickly so we could walk the floor real fast and make sure no one had anything great we needed to buy before it disappeared. But we didn't find anything really noteworthy.

Instead we ended up selling a few coins and submitting a few others for grading or reholdering at PCGS.

Next thing we knew it was 5 PM, which meant we needed to pack up, get organized and head upstairs for session one of Heritage's Signature sale, which is where we are seated at this precise moment.

And a fun sale it's been, with some simply spectacular pieces all pedigreed to something called the ‘Silbermunzen Collection' (note that there is supposed to be an umlaut over the ‘u' in Silbermunzen, but I do not know how to make one in our website management program). Anyway, the collection contained some of the most amazing pieces I've seen in the early quarter and half series, all in various types of ancient PCGS and NGC holders, all remarkably eye-appealing and exactly the kind of coins any specialist in these pieces would want to own.

And, not surprisingly, they weren't inexpensive:

Lot #295, a breathtaking 1818 Quarter in an MS66 PCGS Rattler holder, hammered down at $70,000.

Lot #380, a simply stunning Barber Quarter in an MS65 PCGS Doily holder, hammered down at $28,000 (juuuuust a bit higher than any price guides) to a well-known specialist in the series (who gave every evidence that he had absolutely no intention of stopping bidding until all others succumbed, regardless of the price).

But it hasn't been all serious stuff in here, with one of the lighter moments coming on lot #321, with the entire room coaxing well-known dealer Bobby Hughes to keep going as he hesitated in the face of persistent bidding from the podium. But the shouts of 'C'MON BOBBY!' didn't seem to help, as the podium took it.

But while I wanted to stay (based on the number of lots Heritage was doing per hour, it might be another 5 hours before they finish), I had to head back to the room for a pre-arranged, extremely late night phone call from an east coast customer which i expect will take two hours.

Just another very, very long day of coin dealering out here at the LB Expo, with tomorrow virtually assured of being even longer.


Day IV:

Monday: Literally full to the brim with numismatic activity.

Tuesday: Not so much.

In fact, there was so little of interest to us in the Goldberg ‘non-Millenia' world auction that we decided to leave Beverly Hills early and get a jump on lot viewing at the Heritage sales in Long Beach.

So we did, as we had our travel department (i.e. Dave) make a last minute hotel change, caught a ride with some dealer friends and rolled into Long Beach at 11:20, the precise time in which Heritage opened the doors for lot viewing at the Convention Center.

And it was probably good that we got here early, as the catalogues are thick (no surprise there), and filled with tons of good stuff (surprise there) that we will be trying to buy.  In fact, on at least two occasions I pulled a coin out of a Heritage box to view it and literally gasped (in a good way) at how spectacular the coin was.  Seriously, and that doesn't happen very often.

We continued viewing all the way up until 7 PM with just a few brief breaks to pop into the Irish Pub across the street (highly recommended, though neither of us was convinced that the bartender's Irish brogue was legit) and to make extensive and highly complex dinner plans.

That was pretty much it, except for the part where I walked down the extremely long corridor to my hotel room only to find that my card key did not work three separate times, which is always extremely annoying (and, in my experience traveling all over the world for years and years, the chances of this happening are directly inversely proportional to the distance that your room is from the elevator multiplied by the weight of the luggage you are carrying).

But I managed to solve that problem just in time for the aforementioned dinner at one of our usual hangouts with a dealer friend, then head back here waaaaay too late to write a blog, which is why I am doing it now.

Wednesday we will be viewing even more, then setting up at the show late this afternoon and actually bidding on coins starting at 6 PM.

And we'll tell you what happens there in our very next Road Report.
 

Day III:

I set the alarm for 7 AM today, and then woke up at 4 AM so that I could exercise, get some work done, test out the absolutely inept in-room coffee maker and then turn off the alarm before it rang (which is, unfortunately, my usual MO).

But that's fine, as it ensured I would not be late for the start of the Millenia session, Catalogue One, at 10 AM, and I wasn't - perfectly positioning us to sit through 273 lots of ancient coins and hammered Anglo-Saxon pieces in this first of three sessions, including lot #78, a Roman coin commemorating their seizing of Egypt, and doing so by showing an image of a very realistic crocodile. As an aside, I didn't realize there were crocodiles in Egypt, and frankly I'd like to see some proof. If someone can verify this, please email us.

Now, you may be wondering why we would sit through an entire run of ancient and Anglo-Saxon hammered coinage in Session One when we really don't deal in such material at all. Good question - and one with obvious answers: 1) There was nothing else going on, 2) We thought it would be educational / entertaining, and 3) We knew that unless we got down here and secured seats from the start that we wouldn't get any for the European and New World material to be auctioned later in the day in sessions two and three.

And that proved prophetic, since a lot of guys showed up later and ended up sitting in the back in a make-shift, table-less row, or standing in the doorway looking annoyed. There was even one anti-social guy sitting out in the hall peering at the action through the doorway. But not us.

We had two fine chairs by the electrical outlet and we used them from the first call of lot #1 at a little past 10 AM until lot #1206 (since we skipped the last couple) in the New World catalog hammered down at about 11:30 PM, with just a few minutes of breaks mixed in. And through that entire period, every single lot was called by Ira Goldberg using voice intensive small bidding increments. I can only say that he must have more robust vocal chords than I do, since he was going strong even after more than 12 hours at the podium.

And in that long, long period, there were some rather notable results:

Lot #126, the finer of two-known examples of the Roman Coliseum Aureaus of Severus Alexander, hammered for $800,000 - a price quickly confirmed by the Goldbergs as a new record for a Roman coin (against an estimate of $150,000 - $175,000, and thus signaling that the estimates in the catalog really had no correlation to the actual value and ultimate sale price of any of the coins in this collection).

Lot #354, the 1703 Great Britain VIGO 5 Guineas opened at $150,000 and finally hammered down at $360,000 generating a buzz in the room that took several minutes to subside.

Lot #477, an absolutely stunning 16th century Austrian 7 Ducats sold for an equally stunning $550,00 hammer and seemed worth it.

Lot #517 was notable in that Dave swears he heard a baby crying as the bidding progressed, but at that point we weren't sure if we were just punch drunk and perhaps ‘losing it'.

Lot #801-817, the Russian section, went berserk (just like they always do in recent auctions) prompting all of us in attendance to wish we had loaded up on the stuff 10 years ago (just like we always do whenever these coins are sold for wild prices).

Lot #840 gave me the creeps, as it featured lions on it with monkey-like faces.

Lot #1091, the 1749 Pillar Dollar in an NGC MS66 holder, hammered down for $14,000. If that coin was offered to us raw we would have passed on it since it was bright white and had prominent adjustment marks, and graded it about MS62. But that's not what the plastic said, and the bidding followed suit.

In total, prices were robust on E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G, and there were multiple floor bidders for nearly every single coin in all three catalogues. That's impressive.

But while this event would be sufficient for most numismatists, it was not for us, and so while I stayed at the Crown Plaza throughout, our own Dave Wnuck walked down to Superior in the early evening ostensibly to bid on some gold coins in their evening session (though I suspect it was really because the catering at Superior is pretty darn good). And so I'll turn the keyboard over to him (where he will be typing in his signature Wnuck purple ink):

Thanks John.

So anyway, I walked down there, grabbed a bite to eat off the buffet (which wasn't anything great this go round, I swear) and then parked myself and waited for our few lots of interest to come up, quickly slipping into a deep, trance-like state somewhere between being awake and La-la land.

And right then a so-called dealer ‘friend' sitting behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me what that stuff was on my arm.

I snapped out of my trance, said "Wha...?" and looked down at my arm just as he grabbed it and hoisted it in the air.

The auctioneer saw my sudden (involuntary) gesture and said "We have 975. Do I hear ONE MILLION DOLLARS?"

We happened to be on the 1879 Quintuple Stella, which opened at $950,000, making me the defacto high bidder. Now, the auctioneer (a true friend, in this case) knew it was a gag, but I did pay better attention for the rest of the auction session, and it was good that I did, as we were able to buy a fairly expensive coin (well into the 5 figures) for about 60% of our max bid. It doesn't happen very often (and, apparently it never happens at sales called "Millenia"), but half the battle in this business is knowing not just what to buy, but where to buy it.

And so, invigorated, I slowly sprinted back down the street to Goldberg's as they progressed through the New World coins.

Back to you John.


Thanks Dave.

And so we followed along, bidding occasionally, but not often, as the room gradually thinned out and the auctioneering pace increased. For a while there we honestly thought the auction would end at about 4 AM, but ultimately it was a fairly civilized evening ending well before midnight.

So what did we think about the whole affair?

No doubt there were some great rarities, and many, many superb pieces throughout the day - and the bidding interest and prices realized reflected it. But in our area of specialty (i.e. pieces with some relationship to early America), the quality was mixed, the material was largely unoriginal, grades were absolutely maxed-out and we really didn't love many of the coins. We tried to though, we really did.

And given coins that we really didn't have to have, and sky high prices on all of them, it seemed like a really good time to sit comfortably on our hands for most of the day.

But most people weren't doing that.

And as a result, the market for world coins is apparently stronger than it has ever been. Ever.

Finito.
 

Day II:

Good start to Sunday, as I woke up hungover at 4 AM (some three hours before my scheduled wake up call), then used the available 5 hours to get myself physically and mentally prepared for the 9 AM kick-off of Goldberg's first auction session.

The good news is that Ira and Larry always cater a pretty good breakfast for these things, and today was no exception, as the scrambled eggs, ham and cheese on a croissant was de-licious in my opinion. Dave's too, evidently, as he had about 4 of them.

But let's not talk about food - let's instead focus on what was a largely uninspiring auction of colonials through federal issues (don't forget the esoterica!) in which we had identified about a dozen coins we liked enough to bid on, and bought 6.

But it wasn't without a few interesting and/or educational lots:

Lot #3581, the New York Excelsior, Eagle Right was among the ugliest coins I've ever seen, corroded, hideous and that awful iridescent pink-black color you see on coins cleaned by people who aren't good at cleaning coins. Still, it's a rarity and sold for $6,900. Which apparently answers the question: How much is a disgusting example of a rare coin worth?

Lot #3676, an 1811 Classic Head Large Cent graded MS63 NGC realized $36,800. What was especially interesting to us was that this coin was described in the catalog (in clear black and white lettering and much to Goldberg's credit) as cleaned and retoned, and then graded accordingly as XF40 by Del Bland. What was also interesting (and probably related to that last bit of information) was the extensive pedigree chain for this coin listed in the catalog which included its appearance in multiple nondescript auctions (perhaps suggestive of dealers' consignments) in which it failed to sell or was withdrawn. I can't ever recall seeing that written in a pedigree chain before (again to Goldberg's credit).

Lot #3908, the 1937 3-Legged Buffalo in MS63 PCGS, sold for a not-unexpected $4,025. What was more interesting to us is that the previous lot, another 1937 3-Legged Buffalo in another PCGS MS63 holder, sold for $18,400. And while the respective prices were vastly different, the difference in quality of the two coins might have been even more so. So put that in your price guide and smoke it (but not in my hotel room, since they told me at check-in that there would be a $300 fine assessed if I smoked in the room).

And when our work was finished here, we headed over to Superior for a brief look at their 1,237 lot sale which included a whole bunch of thoroughly uninspiring coins and 3 big ones: A ‘quintuple Stella' and 2 highly graded ‘regular' ones. By my calculations, those three coins exceeded the value of the other 1,234 offered by about this much (hands held far apart).

And, as a result, that viewing session didn't take very long, giving us plenty of time to venture back into Goldberg's offices with trepidation (since we were expecting a zoo) for a second look at the Millenia coins of interest. But again it wasn't that bad. And, as an aside, and as mentioned before ad-nauseum on this site, viewing coins more than once before an auction is certainly recommended, as it pays to be very, very sure before buying something. Sort of the equivalent of the carpenter's mantra: measure twice, cut once (except in our case we do not wear tool belts, and we make less of a mess).

Anyway, we finished up there mid-afternoon, giving us a little downtime before dinner at 5 at a just-slightly-above-average steakhouse around the corner. Followed by blog-writing and Spurs game watching, as here.

Tomorrow will be an excellent day to sleep-in, as we don't have anything going on until the 1 PM start of Goldberg's Millenia auction of European coins, followed by what figures to be a wickedly late evening at the Millenia ‘New World' session.

Which means I will almost certainly not be writing Monday's installment of the Road Report until Tuesday morning.

So my advice to you is this: Don't wait up.


Day I:

Everything went precisely according to our well choreographed plan on Saturday, as we enthusiastically arrived at the Goldberg offices at around 2 PM for what we figured would be a numismatic mad-house. But it wasn't really that bad.

After navigating their double security doors (which requires being buzzed-in through an intercom system that virtually begs you to do a "land shark!' gag) we walked into a room which was crowded, but not 'crazy-this-is-ridiculous-hey-you're-standing-on-my-catalog' crowded.

Fully expecting to be placed in a lot viewing queue behind 25 other people anxiously waiting to view the same lots, we instead found the last 2 empty chairs just waiting for us, and immediately started rifling through boxes of Millenia and non-Millenia coins.

This Millenia thing is pretty cool, featuring all sorts of world crowns and gold coins, uniformly in high grade, many wildly rare and sure to be stratospherically expensive, but with some affordable pieces mixed in. And with the help of some really efficient lot viewing assistants (I'm serious), we cranked through our lots of interest in a few hours and saw everything we wanted.

I will refrain from commenting on the specific pieces or our impression of the level of quality and such until after the auction, but suffice to say that we did find plenty-o-coins we wanted to own.

That whole process took us up to dinner time, so we loaded up our bags with 45 pounds worth of catalogs and trekked up the street to our favorite Japanese restaurant where Dave insisted on ordering a large bottle of Sake, and then insisted I drink it all.  Which explains why I am typing this installment of the Road Report this morning, and not last night.

The very first Goldberg auction session (starting with colonials and federal issues) begins at 9 AM today, which means I need to throw some cold water in my face and ‘snap out of it' pretty quickly.

And that is exactly what I intend to do.


Prologue:

It won't be long now, as we are scheduled to arrive at the offices of Ira and Larry Goldberg sometime early this afternoon, bracing for the anticipated numismatic madhouse at lot viewing. By our calculations, it will be us and a few hundred other dealers from all over the world looking to pore through a few thousand lots of US and World coins, quickly, in a small, cramped U-shaped room with one very narrow aisle, limited lighting, and just the right amount of chairs to seat 40% of the attendees. So that should be great.

That ought to take us until late afternoon, at which time we'll need to compare notes and figure out what we're doing before running across the street to Superior and doing exactly the same thing so that we're ready to bid the right amounts on the correct lots over the next several days.

We will also be eating dinner at some point today, though that won't be any fun either as Dave is again doing the Atkins diet and can only eat large patties of raw ground beef and fist-fulls of fish oil tablets, while not drinking any alcoholic beverages of any kind (except for beer and wine).

Anyway, that's the plan.

I'll be posting late this evening California time with a recap of Day 1, though occasionally I am too tired and end up doing it the following morning. So if you don't see an update the instant you wake up on the east coast, do not panic (and please do not call my wife). It will be OK.

Until later on -

 

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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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