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March 13-16, 2024: The ANA National Money Show in Colorado Springs, CO



Dear Reader,

If it seems like just 2 years ago that we were heading off to the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs for the ANA show, that is because it was, and we did.

And since we had a terrific experience last time, we are extreeeeemely excited to do every single part of it all over again (except for that raw hamburger I ate at the Golden Bee Pub – I’m going to pass on that opportunity this time).

The rest, though, we’re in, including offering a lot of cool coins, aggressively pursuing CRO-style NEWPS, seeing many of our local Colorado customers (and there are a lot of you), schmoozing like crazy, and generally doing as much business as possible in a luxurious, high elevation setting.

And then reporting all about all of it right here in this section of the site each and every morning of the show.

March 13: Day 1

Team CRO awoke to a warm and gloriously sunny day on Wednesday, hit the well appointed gym, enjoyed an elegant breakfast in one of the 32 restaurants here at the Broadmoor and then returned to our room to process some of the coin images I shot in the office before we left home so I could add some new inventory to the website during our extended, multi-show travel period where we won’t have an opportunity to do any EBs.

So by the time the ANA show opened for dealer set-up at 1 PM, we were totally, thoroughly and completely ready for action, as evidenced by the fact that we set up like lightning and started doing business even faster.

Which on this day consisted of rocketing around the room like a crazy person and finding a surprisingly large number of neat NEWPS in all categories.

And also selling some cool coins at the table, including a few we’ve had for a while, and others that never, ever saw the light of day until right then.

Which we thought was a pretty good result on a day in which maybe 60% of the dealers were set up, and there was (as far as I could tell) no collectors in the room. Two situations we expect to change dramatically here on Thursday, provided that everyone can navigate the worsening local weather situation which looks like it might be a bit of a mess with rain, or snow, or both.

Whatever it is, we’ll make the best of it, and then blog all about it right here on Friday AM.

Until then, then –

March 14: Day 2

The good news is that the possible rain that I mentioned in yesterday’s RR did not happen.

Instead, we got about a foot of snow dumped all over us here starting late Wednesday night and continuing pretty much all day Thursday, resulting in a giant winter wonderland and causing your author to swap out the image accompanying this article.

Fortunately, the people around here are seemingly used to this sort of thing, and an army of shovelers and snowplows kept the roads and sidewalks at the Broadmoor mostly cleared.

Allowing all of us to make it over to the show as scheduled, and start doing business right away.

Which for us meant buying some more cool stuff and selling coins intermittently on a day in which public attendance was definitely affected by the weather (i.e. kinda meager).  Still, we saw some of our long time local customers and had decent traffic at the table until late in the afternoon.

The highlights of which were as follows:

Sold 8 coins at the table.

Had two different people ask us about “music medals” on Thursday, the first time even one person has inquired about same in 20+ years of doing this.

We’re offered a whole bunch of coins by various show visitors, most of which were unfortunately not exactly CRO-style material.

Showed our two most expensive coins (an early $10 and a Pine Tree Shilling) to a dozen different collectors and dealers, and briefly thought one or both might be sold, but alas we did not get over the finish line. Yet.

I overheard a collector ask dealer Rick Snow if his Eagle Eye sticker was sort of a copy of a CAC sticker. I thought that was interesting since of course Rick’s stickering predated CAC by y-e-a-r-s.

Had a fine Caesar salad for lunch for the second consecutive day.

A collector at the table asked me about the mintages of various St. Gaudens Double Eagle dates which I could not recite off the top of my head. So of course I studied up after the show and I will definitely be ready next time.

Made our last sale of the day at about 5:30.

After which we packed up and eventually headed out for an extreeeeemely late dinner here at La Taverne with some industry friends concluding with us being the very last people remaining in the restaurant.

And then got back to the room real late and immediately fell asleep so we could be rested and ready for action on Friday during which we hope the snow has stopped and the attendance is better.

If it is, or even if it isn’t, we’ll blog all about it on Saturday AM.

March 15: Day 3

I was really hoping when we got up on Friday that the snow would be over, the sky would be clear, some birds would be singing, and a huge queue would have formed outside the show entrance filled with all of the people who intended to come here Thursday but were not able to make it.

Unfortunately, none of that happened.

So we tried to make the best of it anyway, getting to the table real early, finding the bourse floor already crowded with dealers and looked to do whatever business could be done.

And that proved to be more than one might have expected, as we managed to buy some more cool coins on the floor, sell a few more things at the table to collectors and dealers alike and generally do decent business until the early afternoon.

At which point it became genuinely and surprisingly busy.

First when a local dealer arrived at the show and brought us a box of cool stuff.

Then when a local collector we had hoped would be at this show did come, bought a bunch of coins, sold us a couple and did one trade.

And then another local guy came and bought a few coins I was frankly surprised had survived on our list as long as they had.

Followed almost immediately by a third, who bought a cool world gold coin, a choice, original Early Dollar we had just bought here on Wednesday and a cool esoteric coin from our list that we did not actually bring with us to this show.

Just as another dealer bought a wicked early half dollar that I was slightly sorry to see go away since I was genuinely tempted to keep that one for myself.

All combining to make this an excellent Friday here in Colorado Springs during which we saw exactly the kind of action we expected when we first signed up for this event many months ago.

So now we’re not sure what to expect on Saturday, but it certainly seems possible we’re going to get a late surge here. And if we do, we’ll be ready for it, with a bunch of cool coins remaining, a lot of NEWPs mixed in, and a checkbook poised to vacuum up whatever cool coins we can.

And then write all about it in this space from home on Sunday AM.

Until then, then –

March 16: The Exciting Conclusion

Now back home from the ANA, let’s take a deep dive into what happened there:

We sold 21 coins, and bought 25 coins. That’s a decent haul by any standard, and another reflection of my personal philosophy that you never really know what will happen at any show, and to take advantage of all opportunities you pretty much have to be everywhere all the time.

One of the interesting things I saw at the show was a complete Walking Liberty Half short set on display in a dealer’s case in which every single coin was in a different generation PCGS slab. That would be hard to do.

You can buy this giant cow statue for $4,500 at the Broadmoor (at least I think it’s a cow):


With better weather I think this event could have been epic. For some other dealers I talked to, it was epic for them anyway.

As much as we enjoy visiting this hotel, we’re not enthused about a breakfast buffet that is $47 per person + 20% gratuity automatically added to your bill. So of course we did not order that.

We gave out 10 CRO hats here, every single one of which was a different color.

There was a significant representation of coins in PCGS, NGC and CACG slabs on the floor here (including one well known dealer who interestingly segregates his giant inventory 100% by slab type), and we bought and sold some of each. There is no question, however, that we saw a much higher percentage of CACG slabs with details graded coins in them than the other services, indicating to me that they are much less forgiving of issues. For us we’ll handle any slab from any reputable grading company as long as we like the coin and feel the grade is accurate or conservative.

We briefly considered buying some other coins on the floor on Saturday, but while they were all nice, most were not quite in the CRO sweet spot for coin type or price point.

There was more traffic on the floor on Saturday than previous days, but at least in our experience most visitors were not of the super serious collector variety and we only had a few transactions during the day. We might have missed something late, though, since we did have to leave pretty early to be able to get the last flight back to Boston.

We were told before leaving that the likely venue for this event next year is Atlanta, though I do not know if that is official yet. I guess that would be OK.

We zipped off to the airport in the afternoon, took a quick flight to Denver and had one last dinner with some dealer friends there before heading off and arriving back home exhausted at 1:30 AM, finally concluding a show I would rate as a solid B.

And now we have just a couple days to recharge, reload and repack before heading down to Baltimore where we can do all of this again, hopefully without the massive snowstorm, next week.