November 7-9, 2008: Coinfest in Stamford, CT
It is 7:03 AM and your CRO team is hard at work getting organized, making last minutes arrangements, updating inventory spreadsheets and attempting to cram 20 pounds of show supplies into a small suitcase with a capacity of not more than 14 by aggressively pushing on the top while cranking on the zipper in such a way that it will certainly break either in the next few minutes, or at the worst possible time later in the day as we haul our belongings through a train station or crowded hotel lobby.
Your author is extremely tired right now, so I’ll have to make this RR snappy –
We have good news and bad news about the first day here at Coinfest:
The bad news is that the parking garage here at the Hilton is exactly the same chaotic mess it was last year, with helpful arrows pointing to levels you can’t enter, none of the remote intercoms working and no idea where the heck you’re supposed to park. It’s also flooded. But after driving around a while, a few false starts and one 17-point turn, we ended up in the exact same place as LY and successfully hoofed it to the hotel.
The good news (and there was a lot of it) is that the show set up is very nice, our table location is excellent, a pretty decent crowd of mostly serious collectors filed in at the 2 o’clock kick-off and business was lively right up until the 6PM closing.
We sold a slew of federal coins, bought a bunch of nice esoteric pieces, saw many familiar faces from the local area, achieved some deluxe socializing and generally worked up an excellent appetite for dinner with a dealer friend here at the hotel which was delicious (though next time we’d ask that the appetizers be served before the main course).
Anyway, after a long day of packing, driving, parking, setting-up, buying, selling, schmoozing and blogging, I’m quite excited about sleeping, starting right about now.
Until tomorrow –
I arrived at the entrance of the bourse floor at about 7:50 AM on Saturday, ready to jump the queue and get to our table early enough to beat the anticipated throng of collectors and wholesale buyers. But it was pretty quiet at that point, with just a couple of other dealers, one early birder and show hosts Laura Sperber and Jon Lerner waiting in the entryway.
Which meant that we had time for a nice chat, in which both Laura and Jon wanted to make sure we had everything we needed (which we did) and that we were pleased with the show so far (which we were) and which I really appreciated being asked – that doesn’t happen at most shows. This one is as well run as any of them, and better than some of the regular national events which we have been attending for years.
And then it was time to get organized and start setting things up for the day.
Before too long the room started to fill up and by mid-morning there was a pretty robust crowd of lots of serious collectors, including many familiar faces, chatroomites, colonial collectors (here getting a jump on next week’s C4 show), etc., etc.
And business was pretty brisk, primarily in federal coins of all sorts, mostly in the mid range price points.
We also bought a few more cool things, including some nice early type, 3 or 4 tokens and medals and one high powered colonial. We were circling a few other coins (some in the gigantically expensive category) and might just pull the trigger on something if we are feeling especially lucky tomorrow.
In the meantime, our own Dave Wnuck was in contemporary counterfeit collecting heaven on this day, involved in a knock-down, drag-out show and tell with another dealer-collector as both brought some wild and seldom seen things from their own sets. These are counterfeit coins which were made to circulate as money (as opposed to things made to fool coin collectors), are fascinating to see, fantastically rare and highly collectible. Ask Dave about them sometime, and you’ll see a whole new part of the numismatic world that few know exists.
The other buzz was generated by the CAC submissions being done by John Albanese right here on the bourse floor. A number of our clients brought in boxes for stickering and showed us the results, mostly with a mix of glee (for the stuff that ‘worked’) and abject disgust (for the stuff that didn’t).
We personally wouldn’t have stickered some of the coins that did, and would have stickered some that didn’t, which perhaps is not surprising in any subjective evaluation of anything by humans. We all agree, however, that the price was extremely reasonable (since it was being done for free for collectors at this show).
That’s about it.
We’ll be here all day Sunday, hoping to meet up with some late arrivals and do a little more business before hitting the road in the evening.
What were the top five things that happened on Sunday at Coinfest? Good question – let’s take a look:
1. Even more of our collector friends came to the show, which in total meant that almost (but not quite) everyone that we know from the general vicinity came to the show sometime during the three days, stopped by our table, schmoozed, hung out and, in many cases, bought or sold something.
2. We sold a beautiful colonial which has never, ever appeared on our site or in an EB, proving once again that you never know what you might find at the CRO table.
3. The hamburger I had for lunch was thoroughly cooked.
4. We bought a nice deal at about midday, making us net buyers at this show in total. That was surprising, and surprisingly good.
5. As we were packing up to leave, Dave found a raw Morgan Dollar on the floor under our table, which he promptly turned in to security.
In total, the show was a blast, a complete and total social and commercial success, and a fine way to spend a weekend. Even the traffic home was a breeze, and dinner was waiting for me when I got there. Also, some birds were singing, and I’m pretty sure I saw a small rainbow (even though it was dark out).
In other words, it was all good.
If you live near Stamford and didn’t make it this time, you really owe it to yourself to come next year.
If you did come to the show, but somehow missed our table, you can make up for it by checking out the cool stuff on this site and/or offering us something neat you want to sell.
And if you did make it, but during the course of the day dropped a raw Morgan Dollar on the floor under our table, you should immediately call show security, tell them the date to verify that it’s yours, and then thank Dave for turning it in.
While you’re doing that, we’ll be spending the next two days sorting out the mountain of show paperwork, depositing checks, sending several dozen raw NEWPs in for grading, reconciling our inventory, updating the site and creating our next CoinWorld ad before we start preparing, in earnest, for the Bay State Show which begins on Thursday.
From where we will be posting our next RR in just about 96 hours from now.