From the Road Report Archive

September 13-20, 2008: The Long Beach Expo


Post Mortem:

I have four things to say today:

  1. 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).
  2. If you've clicked on this link in order to see what I had for breakfast Saturday, you're going to be disappointed.  This one is all (pretty much) business.
  3. There is no three.
  4. Actually, there is a three.  And it is that given the disquieting financial developments of the last several days, we thought it was important to discuss the state of business based on our observations and experiences in Long Beach, including the auctions, retail and wholesale activity.

So, without further ado, let's start typing:

By any reasonable observation, the high end of the market (defined as the guys playing not merely at high price points, but those who are knowledgeable and buying the most spectacular pieces) is stronger than it has ever been. 

One need look no further than Goldberg's Naftzger offering to see what the most serious and well heeled collectors are willing to pay for what they consider to be (and I'm not going to argue with them) spectacular early copper. It may interest the reader to know that the guys bidding on these coins at these levels were not just some wide-eyed investor types, or Registry fanatics (though there may have been some of them too) - it was the highest end collectors AND the top copper dealers, in many cases the latter bidding on coins for their own collections.

That's all fine and dandy for those guys, but what about the rest of us?  

We can't speak for everyone else, but in our own market segment, we didn't really observe anything any different than what we've seen over the last many months on the buying or selling side. 

Choice pieces in most every series brought strong money on the floor and in the auctions, and there was no shortage of demand.

What there was was a shortage of nice coins to buy.  While this sounds like a broken record, it is an important indicator to watch.  In the coin crash of 1980-1982 , there were plenty of choice and rare coins to be had - it was the buyers that were scarce back then.

And what about generic gold?  We know a lot of dealers expected prices to soften in the pre-Long Beach auctions, but that didn't happen (and that was before gold shot up a record amount).  Plain Jane gold coins were selling at about bid levels, or slightly above.

Even the low-end stuff in auctions did just fine, and we should know - we consigned a bunch of it that we acquired as the unwanted part of some recent collections we bought.  When the dregs start weakening significantly, that is a bearish sign.

As for areas of concern, there are plenty.  Crappy economic news isn't good for any business, but in terms of tangible impact on coin prices and buyer behavior, we really didn't seen any changes

Of course that doesn't mean things won't change in the future, but the title of this RR is "The Long Beach Expo -  Post-Mortem", not "Fearless Predictions about the Future of the Coin Market".
 
Oh, and I had a blueberry muffin for breakfast.


Day 7:

No matter how much we try to get ourselves organized at a show, and how calmly we plan our auction bidding, or how thoughtfully we prepare USPS shipments to the office or to customers, it always seems to turn into absolute chaos at the end.

Such as Friday at the show.  When we realized at about 3:15 that the Heritage gold session began not at 6 as we thought, but at 3.  Which forced Dave into high-speed auction planning mode.  The good news is that we didn't actually miss any bids (since we didn't have any in the initial group of gold dollars), but for a few minutes there it was starting to look like an episode of I Love Lucy behind the table.

Same thing for our shipments, which we had lined up to mail at the end of the day before hearing the announcement at 4PM that the USPS was closing in 30 minutes.  And while that might seem like plenty of time to neatly box up packages, fill out forms and send them off, I can assure you that it isn't.

Part of the problem at these shows must be the tiny space behind the table, with no proper work area, no room to spread out documents, no place to hang a whiteboard with the day's schedule on it, extension cords running all over the place, etc.

But it wasn't all bad news.

We had another pretty decent day selling, though, as in previous days, it was mostly wholesale.  But that's OK too, and the total by day's end was running ahead of last LB's total.  Not spectacular, but plenty good enough.

Friday was also notable for the grading results here, which were almost entirely perfectly acceptable.  As stated here before, our objective is not to make goofy scores and get gift grades; we simply want realistic results that allow us to market coins on the website.  And that's what we got.

Saturday will be a day for cleaning up any loose ends, which we hope to do so in a very relaxed and calm manner without going absolutely berserk at the last second.

Wish us luck with that.


Day 6:

A collector friend and loyal Road Report reader pointed out to me that it appears, based on these LB recaps, that I have been going to bed at 2 AM, and waking up at 2 AM every day on this trip, which by his calculations leaves very, very little time for sleeping.  And while that isn't quite true, its not far off, the cumulative effect of which has been to make me extremely tired as we head into what numismatists call the ‘home stretch'.  

Fortunately, our rigorous CRO exercise program and strict numismatic diet specifically prepares us for times like these, and we roared into the first full day of the show with great enthusiasm, a large stack of checks ready to be written, and some pretty cool stuff to sell.

All of which we employed to good effect, as we bought several dozen coins ranging from the neat and affordable to the wickedly rare and expensive, from the esoteric to the mainstream, slabbed and raw, federal and colonial, etc.  Sales were decent too, as we were pleased to move a number of pieces on a wholesale basis, including 2 coins which were not good enough for the site, which failed to meet our reserve at an auction over the weekend, but which we nonetheless sold for the same amount here on the floor to another dealer.  That is always nice.

Even so, the bourse floor was relatively quiet IMO, and my own casual, unscientific observations didn't indicate any wild activity taking place except in the budget area, which at some tables resembled those chaotic scenes of the trading floor in the movie ‘Trading Places'.

My other unscientific observation was that it was about 45 degrees on the bourse floor, which would explain why I saw some lady wearing a fur coat.  Indoors.  In Southern California.  On a day when it was 85 degrees outside.

That's it.  After a full day, hungry, and cold, we headed out at 6:30 PM for a normal-sized dinner at Gladstone's on the harbor.

Friday we look forward more selling and lots more buying.  So if you are at the show, and you have something cool to sell, please stop by and see us at table #535.

We will be the two guys who are not wearing fur coats.


Day 5:

Our first full day in Long Beach was eventful, starting with breakfast in the Hyatt Gold Passport lounge.  Unfortunately, as it turns out, neither Dave or I are Gold Passport members at this time, which caused a great deal of embarrassment which was only partially mitigated by a free bagel with cream cheese for which they charged us $40.

Invigorated, we headed straight to Heritage lot viewing again, where today's mission was to finish looking at every single coin in the session and decide exactly what to bid on.

And time was tight, as we needed to finish before the noon kick-off of the Tokens & Medals session, which we of course did - allowing me to take a seat right in the middle of a session notable for several interesting things:

1.    The average value of each lot sold seemed to be about $200.
2.    There was a lot of cool stuff here that looked like a pretty good value.
3.    At one point, I managed to dump an entire box of Altoids, leaving about 75 mints on the floor under my seat to the great amusement of noted numismatist John Kraljevich.

Nevertheless, I managed to buy one lot, then scoot down to the bourse floor for the start of dealer set-up at 2:00 PM.

And it was pretty decent, as we sold a whole bunch of stuff and bought about 15 coins on the floor - primarily interesting and choice early type which we will look forward to putting on the site.

And before we knew it it was 6PM and time to head on up for the start of Heritage's Signature Auction, beginning with colonials.  But we would be spectators only, managing not to buy any colonials at all for the first time in recent memory (which was not surprising since we did not bid on any).

We did observe prices realized though, and saw the familiar result of marginal or anti-fresh material bringing unimpressive prices, with anything good attracting plenty-o-bidding participation.

And then it was chow time, as we headed off to the Madison with some dealer friends for another award winning meal, before concluding the evening with some late night paperwork back in the room.

Thursday will be interesting, as after being out here for 5 days we actually get to interact with the public on the bourse floor for the first time.  And we look forward to it with great gusto.


Day 4:

Another day, another walking tour of Beverly Hills, as we trekked all over the place viewing last minute lots, placing bids and getting our stuff together before heading down to Long Beach a day earlier than originally planned.

And it went well, as we won - among other things - the one lot we desperately wanted at Goldberg's, managed to change our hotel reservations (no mean feat at the last minute), caught a ride down to the LB convention center and got to Heritage lot viewing early enough to see almost all of the 10,000+ lots up for auction in the US, World, Tokens & Medals auctions.

I've discussed it before, but that Heritage lot viewing runs like a well-oiled machine, which is much appreciated for those of us trying to see thousands of coins quickly and efficiently.

Which Dave and I did, merely the first step in our standard CRO process to try to narrow down the overall offering into the coins of highest interest, which we will then re-view separately, come up with our own individual numbers, compare notes, argue about them vociferously (including wild hand gestures), and eventually finalize bids.

Anyway, that took us right up to 6:00 and time for dinner with the HLRC contingent at a cool Italian place off the beaten track with gracious owner Mario and what might very well be the spiciest Arrabiata anybody has ever eaten.

From which I returned to the hotel just in time to fire up the laptop, elegantly spread inventory lists all over my hotel room and try to finalize the purchase price of a medium-sized collection we've been offered.

That took me until about 2:00 AM, signaling the end of another very relaxing day here on the left coast.

And now we look forward to Wednesday and, eventually, dealer set-up, which will be our first visit to a bourse floor of any kind since the ANA.  And since that was an almost unbelievable 45 days ago, we will be ready for action.


Day 3:

I did not wake up at 2:20 AM today.  Nope - it was 2:19 AM when I looked at the clock this morning, but this time I figured out why.  My room is, conveniently, right across the hall from the janitors closet here at the hotel, and I figured out that someone must either begin or end their shift at that exact time each morning and celebrate by slamming the door specifically to wake up the numismatist in the next room.  As they have now done twice.

But once I'm up, I'm up, so I had plenty of time to review lots, again, and write the blog, again, etc.

Time went pretty quick though, and soon it was time to meet up with Dave and walk over to the Tower Hotel for a little more lot viewing before the first Superior auction session starting at 10 AM.  But when we arrived we got a rude awakening in the form of the new opening bid sheet which revealed that many coins that looked unreserved (and therefore buyable) yesterday suddenly showed reserves at about double retail today.  Oh well - we crossed those off our list, but there was still plenty of things to bid on in a most unusual catalog which included some great 6-figure rarities and other giant coins reserved to the hilt mixed in with some low grade group lots worth about $50 and tiny pockets of good things that we liked hidden here and there.

We managed to buy a few cool coins, then headed straight to the Marriott for some quick and efficient viewing of the lots at the Ponterio auction before going back to the Crown Plaza for Goldberg's next session (and free lunch!) starting at 1 PM.  It wasn't a good yield at this one though, as we sat through a few hundred lots of what seemed to be mostly familiar looking dealer consignments reserved at high levels, bid only occasionally and won not very much.

This session ended in the late afternoon, which gave us about an hour to unwind and answer emails before we had to head back to the Tower for the 2nd (and last) Superior auction this evening where we had much more fun buying quite a few things in an unexpectedly good session.

I say unexpectedly because most of the scuttlebutt in the room before the auction centered on the crapola economic news and speculation about what impact it would have on the market.  The consensus:  It sure doesn't sounds good, and it's hard to imagine it's going to help business, but as the lots were sold prices were holding on mediocre coins and extra-deluxe strong on anything really good, as always.

And that was it.

Tuesday we've decided to head on down to LB a day earlier than planned (if possible) to get a jump on Heritage lot viewing and to go see a private collection we've been trying to buy, as it looked like there wasn't going to be enough time to get it all done otherwise.

Our next RR will be from LB approximately 24 hours from now.


Day 2:

Looking forward to an exciting day of high level auctions, I leaped out of bed at precisely 2:20 AM on Sunday, realized this made no sense whatsoever, and tried to go back to sleep unsuccessfully.  So, wide awake, I figured I'd make the best of the situation by writing the Day 1 blog.

That took until 3:41 AM, which left ample time to re-review Sunday's auction schedule, think more about what we were going to bid on, and how much.

Sometime during this process the sun also came up.

And, eventually, the clock struck 8:00 and it was time to go meet Dave in the Priority Club lounge on the 12th floor and indulge in the tiny muffins and children's sized glasses of apple juice.

By 8:30 we were on the road, heading back to Goldberg's for another look at the few dozen lots were going to bid on in their sessions scheduled to begin late in the afternoon.

We actually got their too early (a testament to either our work ethic, or to our inability to read the simple lot viewing schedule printed in the catalog).  So we cooled our heals for a while, reading some of the 1960s era Abner Kreisberg auction catalogs in Goldberg's library until the staff was ready for us.

Anyway, we did start viewing at around 9 before anyone else showed up, going through the Ray Rouse Half Cents, Naftzger early copper, a few colonials and other early copper of interest.

Finally satisfied we'd seen enough, we headed over to Superior's lot viewing set up back at the Tower Hotel and found a couple of things of interest there as well.

Then it was back to the Crowne Plaza for the start of Goldberg's session at 3 PM.

We thought it might be a bit of a zoo there and that we'd struggle to find two seats together, but it was surprisingly empty when we arrived.  But the crowd did file in, and by the time the first lot was called the room was 90% full of the usual suspects as well as a big crowd of the most serious EAC types - including Walter Husak who sat in front of us.

The session began with the fine Half Cent collection of Ray Rouse (who sat proudly in the front of the room), including 167 lots of choice, attractive, 100% raw Half Cents by die variety (and sometimes by die state).  This had the look and feel of an old time collection that had been off the market for a generation, with a lot of crusty pieces and all sorts of old-time pedigrees, but a number of the coins had been purchased in recent years, including one coin acquired at the 2008 EAC show just a few months ago.

But it didn't seem to matter, as the prices were pretty robust overall.  The highlight of which was lot #31, the 1796 No Pole, a pleasing VF in our eyes, which hammered for a robust $300,000, but many of the less valuable coins also sold strong to many different bidders, including a few to us.

In one notable case, our dealer friend and half cent specialist Jim McGuigan purchased one lot that he had originally sold to Mr. Rouse - though this time Jim paid 7 times his original sale price.

That ran until about 5 PM, at which time the much-anticipated Naftzger Large Cent offering got started to a now completely full room ready to bid like crazy.

The first few lots included some very sexy stuff that sold strong, but it was lot #171 that drew the most attention.  This was the superb 1796 Cent in MS66 RB [PCGS], a coin that Naftzger apparently liked well enough to hold back when he sold the bulk of his utterly spectacular early cents years ago, and a piece we knew would sell for moon money.

Right before the lot went off I bet Dave that it would hammer for $475,000.  I was wrong.

It opened at $110,000, briefly stalled at $180,000, then slowly built momentum into the $300s, eventually shaking loose everyone except the rep of a high end collector and a phone bidder who engaged in a high level game of chicken as the price crept above $500,000.  With each increment each bidder hesitated for what seemed like an eternity before continuing until the eventual winner finally nodded at $600,000 and then chucked his bidder number aside, perhaps an indication that he really, really didn't want to go any higher.  But he didn't need to, taking the coin at that number.

That's $690,000 all-in - more than any coin in the Husak sale, and in fact more than any copper coin has ever realized in any auction in numismatic history.  Think about that. The highest price realized wasn't a 1793 Liberty Cap, or gem Chain Cent, or Starred Reverse, or even a Strawberry Leaf.  At least not at this moment.

After the room settled back down, there were plenty of superb pieces to come, including lot #173, the 1797 S-140 in MS66 RB [PCGS], which was the most stunningly lustrous early cent we've ever seen and which sold as such, hammering down for $165,000 against a pre-sale estimate of $40,000 - $50,000.

And despite the wild activity in the room at this point, I glanced to my left and noticed that the guy seated between me and Laura Sperber was sound asleep.  Seriously.  Evidently he was not impressed with what was happening around him.

But we were, watching all sorts of fantastic pieces bringing wildly impressive prices and suggesting that there was no indication of slow down in the market at all among this crowd.

As the last lot Naftzger lot hammered down, it was time for a dinner break and then on to colonials.

And it was a concise offering featuring mostly just stuff, but also a seldom seen Standish Barry Threepence apparently purchased in the 1920s, off the market ever since and thus missing from my own census of these pieces prior to the announcement of this sale by Goldberg's a few months ago.

We thought it would sell for 125K, and, in this case, we were exactly right - though no one knows how much higher the eventual buyer would have gone had it been necessary.

And then we were off to dinner at our favorite Sushi Restaurant up the street for a sensible meal which did not include waaaaay too much food but which did include extensive discussion about Monday's auction lots.

Then it was back to the hotel for an early evening and some much needed sleep which I sincerely hoped would not end at 2:20 AM again.

Until tomorrow -


Day 1:

Let's break this thing down by the numbers:

2,606:  The total miles we flew to get here.

17:  The number of times the guy next to me on the flight asked me to get out of my aisle seat so he could get out (apparently so that he could just stand in the aisle watching my little TV over my shoulder).

$241:  The cash we handed to various cab drivers.

5:  The number of fans we saw dressed in full Ohio State regalia heading out to the USC game as we arrived at the hotel in Beverly Hills.  We did not see them return later (after they were thumped 35-3), which was probably a good thing.

14 lbs:  Total weight of my briefcase when filled with this week's Goldberg, Bowers, Superior, Ponterio and Heritage auction catalogs.

1:  The available seats left for lot viewing at Goldberg's when we arrived.

2,877:  The total number of auction lots we saw there, including some utterly superb copper, many fresh coins that have been off the market for ages, choice type, top-notch gold, etc., etc.
 
66RB:  The seemingly quite accurate PCGS grade assigned to the 1796 Liberty Cap Cent (certainly the best one we've ever seen, or heard about) in the Naftzger consignment.

$200,000:  The sell price we heard several people independently predict for that item

24:  Hours you'll have to wait for us to talk specifically about any other lots (since we'll be bidding on a bunch of them).

About 7%:  The grade of the street you have to walk up to get from Goldberg's to the Tower Hotel where Bowers lot viewing would take place.

933:  Bowers lots we saw.

12:  Bowers lots on which we decided to bid.

5:30 PM:  Time when we got back to our hotel.

14:  Numismatic messages responded to in great haste before heading out to dinner.

20+:  The number of people who would join us at the lavish event graciously hosted by Goldberg's at Morton's.

14:  Crab cake appetizers I saw Dave eat (but which he will deny later).

3:  The number of artfully written signatures in the deluxe hard-bound Ray Rouse catalog given out by Goldberg's / McCawley-Grellman at the end of the evening.

10:50 PM PDT:  The precise time I would collapse on my hotel bed, exhausted from the day's events.

 

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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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