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March 28-30, 2024: The New Hampshire Coin & Currency Expo

Bienvenue

March 28: Day 1

Ignoring the 4th consecutive day of delightful freezing rain here in New England, Team CRO headed up to Manchester, NH on Thursday for the 3 PM start of dealer set-up, got stuck in horrendous traffic, swore repeatedly at the steering wheel and finally rolled into the hotel, fashionably late, at about 3:20. And then raced onto the bourse floor, set up our table real fast, and dove straight into ‘scouring the bourse floor’ mode.

Including at the table of a dealer friend we just saw last Saturday. So when I half jokingly asked “Where’s all the new stuff?“, I really did not expect to be handed two (2) double row boxes of coins I had not seen in Baltimore. But I was, from which I was delighted to extract two super cool US coins and buy them both.

Which would turn out to be the first of 8 NEWPS acquired on this day, which is kind of a good result since 1) Like I said, we just saw many of these people a few days ago, 2) We are extreeeeemely picky, and 3) We were only here for a few hours.

But that was enough time to also sell 3 coins, deliver one purchased off the site recently, work out two split deals with like-minded dealers, have a coffee, chat up some collectors, take a coin on consignment and them vamoose so we could get ourselves organized for the start of this show in earnest on Friday AM.

And then blog all about it right here in just about 24 hours from now.

March 29: Day 2

It was a (mostly) totally excellent day on Friday in Manchester as highlighted thusly:

Despite a continuation of the miserable freezing rain here mucking up everything, I managed to get to the show almost on time at 9:10 AM.

There was already a buzz in the room when I got there and it persisted pretty much all day long, causing more than one dealer to remark that there was more of a buzz on the bourse floor here than there was in Baltimore last week. That’s impressive for a regional show.

We bought a surprising number of cool coins from a lot of different people, including many local dealers and collector attendees.

A long time friend of the firm / expert cherry-picker told me the story of how he bought an obscure medal in a local auction for less than $25 and consigned it to a major auction where we all watched it sell for 5000x that amount. Expert cherry-picker indeed.

I’m not sure how they make those micro-waved cheeseburgers at the snack stand so delicious, but I suspect it is the wadded up tinfoil pouch they come in.

Another collector friend told me about the course in numismatics he’s teaching at a well-known New England prep-school. Who knew that was even a thing?

Sales were good all day, in all categories, making me feel like we got the inventory mix about right for this venue. That’s not easy to do since we have limited space here.

I found a really cool coin that I wanted to buy in another dealer’s case late in the day, but was stunned to find out that it was literally 3x more than I wanted to pay.

So while we did not exactly end on a high note, it was a pretty successful day in every other way. Which makes me think Saturday may be pretty good too.

And if it is, or even if it isn’t, we’ll write all about it in this space real early on Sunday AM.

March 30: And in Conclusion

Let’s recap the NH show using a dialogue format of the sort often seen in an in-flight magazine in the 1990s:

It must be nice to do a show where you can sleep in your own bed:
That can be true in some ways, though the idea of waking up and commuting an hour to go to a show sounds an awful lot like having a real job, which frankly gives your author the heebie-jeebies.

How can there be more buzz at a small(ish) regional show than at a national show like Baltimore?
Lotta reasons:

  • This show has a good reputation and is definitely ‘on the upswing’.
  • As regions go, New England is a hotbed of numismatic interest and activity.
  • People seem to really like this venue, as it’s easy to get in and out and the self-contained parking situation feels safe.
  • Lower ceilings.
  • A high percentage of serious collector attendees looking to do business.
  • A lot of cool new coins here from local sources and/or surfaced at the plethora of recent shows all over the country, including at our table.

What was hot?
Pretty much everything from colonial to gold to world, though several people asked why we had an Ike Dollar in the case. The answer to which was that a U.S. type set by definition includes an Ike Dollar, and so we do buy and sell cool ones.

What was not hot?
I guess Ike Dollars.

What’s the best thing you found here?
A stone cold original Civil War $3 Gold, and some absolutely fantastic Connecticut Coppers.

Any good trades?
We had successful trades with 3 different collectors, one near miss on a Mass Half Cent and one that was not close involving an expensive coin in a new ANACS slab. That last one was especially difficult, since we graded that coin well less than the label grade, and the collector-owner thought it was undergraded. A situation dealers refer to as ‘not having a meeting of the minds’.

What was the one thing that got away?
Other than that single coin mentioned yesterday that was priced well, well beyond our comfort zone, we bought every single CRO style coin we found on the bourse floor or which walked up to the table. Perhaps tangentially related, we did have a few of those situations where someone walks up the table and says “I have something you’re going to want” and then hands us something we definitely do not, including a Fugio with a giant die break though MIND YOUR BUSINESS.

When is your next show?
I am delighted to say that, after 5 events in 6 weeks, we will be home for an extended period with our next show not until Devens about a month from now.

When will your next Early Bird go out?
Based on the fact that it is now Sunday, we still need to do most of the photography, it’s Easter, we have two parties to attend today AND your author is already exhausted, our next EB will go out on Tuesday, April 9th.

So you might want to keep an eye out for that –