June 4-5, 2014: The Long Beach Coin & Currency Expo
Yes, it is indeed time for another exciting installment of the thrice annual Long Beach Expo.
And while this one figures to be strong, and will include the crowd-drawing cast of Pawn Stars, your author will unfortunately miss that as I will be here only Wednesday and Thursday this week before heading home for my son’s high school graduation.
Which means I will be trying very, very hard to extract four days of numismatic activity from a two-day event this time, including some high speed wholesale activity, fast-paced retail, rocket fueled buying, quick hitting auction bidding, rapid fire grading and, of course, accelerated schmoozing with the large and growing contingent of local collectors.
The results of which will be described right here in this space, quickly, on Thursday and Friday AM.
June 4th: Day 1
So I arrived at the convention center at about 9 AM on Wednesday, dove right into Heritage lot viewing and cranked through the entire sale in 2+ hours.
And while this particular one could not be characterized as ‘epic’, I did identify a number of lots that I would seriously pursue.
Then killed the hour or so remaining before the show started by talking to a bunch of other dealers in the lobby, comparing notes on who bought what in recent sales, finding out what others were looking to buy and generally laying the groundwork for some future deals (some of which will, in my experience, actually pan out).
Then hauled all my stuff down the escalator to the show so I could be ready to explode onto the bourse floor the instant the doors were flung open for dealer set-up at noon. Which I did, racing toward the CRO booth, setting up everything as quickly as possible, hanging the banner and pronouncing myself officially ready for business at about 12:20.
With the first sales just minutes later and pretty impressive, including a slew of federal coins snagged by three different dealers. A trend which would continue nicely and somewhat unexpectedly for most of a very solid afternoon.
My buying efforts were less successful, however, as I made several large loops of the floor, first discovering that a lot of the other dealers were not here yet, others were present but had no coins out, and the few that were ‘open’ didn’t have anything I had to buy. Though the situation did get better through the afternoon, and I did eventually pick up some interesting pieces mostly in the moderate price range.
And so, unencumbered with a whole lot lot of shopping, I spent my time working with customers at the table and filling out grading forms. A LOT of grading forms, including a gazillion colonial and world coins acquired in recent weeks, both in high profile auctions everyone knows about, and from private transactions that were totally top secret.
After which I availed myself of the traditional free beer and Mexican food appetizers they always do at this show, filled out some more grading forms, sold another couple of coins and worked right up until 7 PM before meeting a good customer in the Hyatt lobby.
Where some high powered numismatic hotel room wheeling and dealing took place followed by dinner down by the water which ended when the restaurant turned the lights off, our indication that perhaps we needed to leave.
That was probably good timing though, since I really needed to get some rest before what I expect to be a very long day Thursday which will include (I hope), a lot of business, some good grading results and some cool new purchases which will all be described right here on Friday AM.
June 5th: Day 2
Q: Wouldn’t it be amusing if a dealer had to leave the Long Beach Expo early, and it just so happened to be at a show where business was a-b-s-o-l-u-t-e-l-y booming?
A: No, that would not be amusing at all, more so if it happened to me, which it just did.
Of course, leaving to attend your child’s high school graduation is an excellent reason, but I still would have felt a lot better had the show been a real snooze-fest, in which case I would have been able to say “Oh well, at least I’m not missing anything” as I sailed out the door.
But here it was the opposite. And I could feel it almost as soon as I arrived on Thursday, as there was a palpable buzz in the air even before the show opened to the public.
And that vibe continued all day, with fantastic sales of federal coins (to dealers and collectors alike), world coins (from the downright affordable to the high 4-figures) and in colonials (including two very big ones). With the total setting a new record pace for us at an LB event.
Even buying, which had been tepid up until the time that I left, was looking up in a big way, as we were contacted by three different local collectors specifically to offer cool coins they would be bringing to the show Friday. Fortunately I made arrangements to have another dealer stand in for me so I wouldn’t let something perfect for CRO get away. I hope.
And while I did not get my grading results back at the show before leaving, the ones I submitted to the office posted Thursday and did well enough that I was feeling very optimistic about that too.
So as I was packing up to leave for the airport at 6 PM I was thinking it was extreeeemely unfortunate I could not be here to see this though, since a lot of the local collectors I usually see here typically come on Friday, and there seemed like waaaay more business to be done at one of the liveliest LB events I can personally recall.