August 11-19, 2006: The ANA World’s Fair of Money in Denver, CO
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.
Here are the facts from our perspective:
- The ANA was a terrific selling show, one of our very best ever.
- The coins we consigned to auction went very strong.
- The coins in the various auctions that we bid on for clients went very strong.
- The coins we purchased for our own inventory at the auctions went really strong.
- The on-site grading results we received were generally good.
And now, let the narrative begin:
The pre-auctions were interesting. We largely bailed out on the Superior sale and later regretted that. They had some nice consignments and the prices seemed attractive from a dealer buying perspective. ANR, in which we did participate heavily, was a slightly different story. The choice coins in that sale went really strong (really, really strong). Which then led us to Heritage, and their mixed bag of tired dealer inventory coins and lovely choice pieces. We were there from start to finish and bid in every session on the good stuff.
Platinum Night in particular was an interesting dichotomy of the exciting and dull. Throughout the auction the ‘bought back’ bell was dinging like crazy, indicating a coin that failed to meet reserve. But anything really good and choice went super strong. Case in point, we bought the spectacularly beautiful, original 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar – the choicest we had ever seen, but not an upgrade – in NGC AU58. Buying for inventory, we paid $63,250 for a coin which bids $15,750 in AU and $40,000 in MS60.
At that point, having already been in Denver for several days, we began the show proper.
The show itself started in the worst possible way, with the ANA changing our show table number at the last minute, and listing us in the ANA show guide in the wrong place. We were listed at a table which turned out to be snack bar, which is very amusing unless you paid the better part of $10,000 to travel to and set up at a show and this error costs you significant traffic and business.
To make amends, the ANA posted a sign outside the entrance which said ‘Coin Rarities Online is at Table 546’ and that probably helped a lot.
Show traffic seemed just OK (in general, not just for us), but those that were in attendence were evidently there to buy. Our sales were particularly strong in high end items which were, in our admittedly biased view, very choice. Of the top 10 most expensive items in our inventory at the ANA, we sold 7 of them during the show – including the aforementioned 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar, which we sold at the show on day 1 to a knowledgeable collector.
In general, our regular inventory of choice early type and better colonials were exceptionally strong throughout.
There were areas of the market that were weak, including generic gold with the popular theory being that the new gold Buffalos had siphoned a lot of money out of this market. $3 Gold went soft when the dealer who had been promoting them, and who had caused their prices to nearly double in the last few months, ended his promotion. The same can be said for ‘dated’ $2.5 Indians in higher mint state grades. We don’t deal specifically in any of these areas and so none of this impacted us meaningfully.
In all, we were thrilled with the show overall. Business was great, the venue itself was nice, and Denver was good fun.
Our next trip takes us to a colonial numismatic event and we’ll look forward to recapping that when we’re back.