April 14-16, 2022: The New Hampshire Coin & Currency Expo
April 14th: Dealer Set-Up
One half of Team CRO (i.e. your author) zipped up to Manchester on Thursday for the start of dealer set-up at 3 PM with optimism, since this day has historically been good for us here and I expected plenty of activity on the buying and selling side.
And it turned out I was half right, as we managed to sell in short order our 1818 $5, the Gettysburg from our EB, our Noe-29 Pine Tree Shilling, an early dollar not listed on the website and a bunch of world coins totaling into the mid 5-figures (!).
Which dwarfed the few thousand dollars I was able to spend on 4 US coins here.
Hey, I tried to find more to buy, including a raw colonial I initially liked but concluded was probably fake, and some weird world coin that another seller quoted me a price on, that I said yes to, only to have him say he did not want to sell it.
Q: Aren’t the actions of that last dealer a breach of coin dealer etiquette?
A: Of course. But I really don’t get hung up on that sort of stuff. He didn’t really know what he had or what it could be worth, and even though I thought it was the right price I wasn’t interested to make a big production out of it.
Also, I’m pretty sure I’ll find enough other things to buy in order to keep the CRO operation running.
But not on this day, which ended with a few more near misses on the buying side, one last sale at the table and then a fun dinner with a bunch of other dealers, some I knew, some I didn’t, at that good Italian place down the street.
All adding up to an interesting and pretty successful day here, and the promise of plenty more action to come when the public arrives here Friday.
With whatever happens to be described here in vivid detail first thing on Saturday AM.
Until then, then –
April 15th: Day 1
Ah yes, the joys of a self-contained hotel show where your author can tumble out of the sack, get in the elevator and be on the bourse floor in mere minutes ready for what I expected to be another busy day at the NH Coin Expo on Friday.
And, I am pleased to say, I was right again with steady and often entertaining action right from the start:
- Ended up buying that coin described yesterday which the seller had originally reneged on when he came to our table in the AM and sheepishly asked if I still wanted it for the original price. “Yes”, I said, since I saw no reason to be vindictive about it.
- Went to visit a dealer friend at another table just as he was looking at a neatly toned Connecticut commem in an original box of issue being offered by a show attendee. When the dealer passed I asked if I could see it, liked it, bought it and put it in my bourse case where it ended up selling a couple of hours later.
- Bought a neatly toned coin from Denmark that I know very little about from a dealer I’ve never met before.
Q: Why would I do that?
A: When I see something unusual / esoteric that has “the look”, I usually just buy it and figure it out later.
- Had an interesting discussion with a longtime customer about the connection between chess strategy and success at hedge funds. Who knew? I did not.
- Bought some old, toned gold from a dealer on the floor. I thought I might buy more when a different dealer came buy and offered me a group of 5 Indian Quarter Eagles he had just bought on the floor with (and I quote) “cool, neatly matched blue toning”. Intrigued, I got out my loupe, perused the coins and figured I must be missing something, since none of them had any toning at all. When I mentioned this to the guy he said it’s more pronounced on the reverse, so I looked again expecting to see none and bingo, still no toning whatsoever. At which point I mentioned this to the dealer, he grabbed them, pulled out his own loupe and began feverishly studying them until his shoulders slumped and he said “Hey, you’re right – I must have been looking at these under a blue light”. I guess the moral of this story is to always check the lightbulbs before buying any coins at a show.
- Made a deal to sell this new coin to another longtime customer:
- Working on a deal to sell this new coin to a different longtime customer:
- Delivered 2 more Early Bird coins to collectors who came to this show to get ‘em.
- Got a wicked CC-mint Morgan from a different dealer.
- Talked to an older collector who was extreeeeemely excited to start his own coin business and “do what you do”. I meet a lot of people like that on the show circuit and I always encourage them for several reasons: 1) Some people encouraged me 20+ years ago when I first got into this and I appreciated that, 2) Pay it forward, and 3) Hey, the more the merrier. Having said that I do fear that most of them have no idea how much work is involved in trying to do this. I guess they’ll find out soon enough.
- Bought a Hangman Conder Token of a type I have never owned before.
- Packed up around 5:30 since by then the room had thinned out and your author was exhausted.
- Had dinner at the Thai place across the street with a dealer friend and called it an early night in anticipation of what I expect to be a busy Saturday during which more of our local customers are planning to come to variously buy, sell and trade before the show closes in the afternoon.
With whatever happens to be described right here on Sunday AM.
April 16th: The Exciting Conclusion
One of the most interesting things about setting up at shows for us is the utter unpredictability of what we’ll see, who we’ll meet, what we’ll sell, what we’ll buy, etc.
And Saturday here proved to about as unpredictable as any of them in several ways:
- We had our best buying day of the show, and the later it got on Saturday the better it got. To the tune of 3 cool Capped Bust Halves, 2 choice gold coins, a neatly toned world coin being offered by a jeweler, 2 wicked architectural medals, an extremely nice colonial, a couple of PCGS Rattler-holdered type coins and a couple of Gold CACs. That was a good haul for any day, let alone a Saturday.
- I met a surprising number of new collectors, including several serious guys I encouraged to sign up for the next EB. Hope they do.
- We made what I believe is the latest sale we’ve made at any show since the CSNS show in Cincinnati in 2009 (where some guy showed up literally as we were packing up and bought a 6-figure coin), this time it was a “mere” 9K coin purchased after I had already removed our lights and had half the coins put away which of course was awesome and very much unexpected / appreciated. Of course I wondered what might have been possible had everything still been out, but hey, let’s agree not to quibble about what was a most welcome development.
- Thought for sure I had lost a raw coin acquired earlier in the show, turned the place upside down, went through every box and then remembered it actually was not raw and was of course in the box of slabbed NEWPs right where it should have been all along. I have to say finding that coin felt a little like winning the lottery (a modest scratch off win, not some epic thing you see on the news, but still).
- I was able to pack up quickly and efficiently and head out without any issues which is never easy when you are flying solo like I was at this show.
All contributing to a truly excellent event here which was our best ever at this venue. So thank you to show organizer Ernie Botte who always does a great job.
And now, back home, we look forward to a few days off and then a busy week of EB shipping, collector meetings, grading and CAC submissions and then show prep as we look forward to another local Ernie Botte show – in Devens – next Sunday.