Tales from Our Numismatic Travels
October 1-3, 2020: The New Hampshire Coin & Currency Expo
October 1: Day 1
“It’s like riding a bike“, I said confidently to another dealer here at the show in NH, referring of course to the old-hat nature of setting up at a full-blown coin show after neither of us had done so for 7+ months.
The reality is that it wasn’t really that easy for us after this much time away, forcing us to go through a pilot-style checklist of everything we needed, try remember where it all was, find the lamps and clamps, and extension cords, pack it all up, sort and price all the coins, , etc. But we managed to get everything ready, make it to the show hotel on time and hit the floor a-running just as they opened the doors at 3 PM.
And then in true CRO style we were set up in a matter of minutes using our tried and true inventory tray system, politely chuckled at the guys who still put out every coin individually like in the olden days, walked the floor impatiently waiting for everyone else to finish and finally got to see some actual fresh numismatic material in person for the first time in ages.
Scooping up 3 US coins like lightning (if not faster), and then another wicked coin a few minutes later, followed by 2 late ones before closing.
In and around which we sold 3 coins of our own, had a few others pondered, met some regular show attendees at the table, saw some other people we had not seen in a-g-e-s, caught up on all of the latest numismatic news (small n’s) and generally had an excellent time.
Before packing up and heading out for dinner so we could be rested and ready for a full, long day on Friday. And then write all about all of it right here in this space in just about 24 hours from now.
October 2: Day 2
Now fully back in the swing of things, your author was at the show hotel at 8:30 AM sharp where I instantly dove back in to activities I was not able to complete on Thursday.
Starting with finishing the search through another dealer’s 6 double row boxes of inventory which I sincerely had hoped would yield something (or, ideally, several somethings) suitable for the CRO site. Alas that didn’t happen, with just one coin I seriously considered before ultimately passing on it because it was too much of a unicorn.
Q: What does that mean?
A: That would be our parlance for a coin that is just so much of an oddball type/grade/holder/CAC status that it defies our normal marketing and for which it seems like it would be too difficult to find a potential customer.
Fortunately that was the only such coin we encountered on a day when buying turned out to be excellent, with cool coins variously plucked from other dealer tables, brought to us by familiar and unfamiliar show attendees and received in trade toward other coins. Most of which will find their way to our next EB on the 13th, some will be off directly to collectors who had given us want lists, while others will be shipped to grading and CAC as needed.
But while that was an undeniably and unexpectedly robust haul, it still didn’t quite stack up to our sales here which could best be described as “Hey, those were some pretty good sales“, mostly of US coins, but with a couple of colonials and world coins for good measure, to long time local customers and new friends alike. And that does not even include the three coins sold during the day on the phone (which I guess I am actually sort of including right here).
So when it was time to pack up and head out your author was kind of exhausted in a good way, and also feeling pretty optimistic about tomorrow which will feature the entire CRO staff and as much additional buying and selling as is possible to achieve during an abbreviated Saturday.
So if you plan to see us tomorrow, we recommend you get there early.
October 3: Day 3
Hey everyone, it is time once again for a patented CRO list of random show observations presented, as always, in no particular order whatsoever:
- I bought two coins on Saturday that I saw earlier in the show, could not stop thinking about and was very fortunate they were still there when I went back to get them.
- We were happy to see a bunch of local collectors here that we had not seen in m-o-n-t-h-s. We were also happy that many of them bought coins or sold us some.
- Here off the beaten track in northern New England there was a good turn out of dealers, including the ones on the list we expected to be here, plus a bunch of national guys walking the floor and vacuuming up all sorts of stuff.
- On a related note, I always find it interesting to see a highfalutin national guy parked at a local dealer’s table sorting through a box of raw circ. Morgans. Obviously he knows what he was looking for . . . I wonder if he found it?
- I was not feeling the cold ham wrap from the hotel restaurant.
- You really can’t beat this venue for ease of use, since there is an attached parking garage that opens almost directly onto the bourse floor.
- Covid rules here dictated that dealer tables were widely spaced, there was only one chair at each table, social distancing was mandatory and masks had to be worn at all times. And while I was afraid we might have a few yahoos skirting the rules, in 3 days I never saw any of that from any exhibitor or attendee. Basically it went off without a hitch, and felt pretty much like any regular show.
- Through the last several months without shows we’ve been able to buy plenty of nice US and colonial coins privately, while world coins have been tougher. So we were happy to find a bunch of cool world coins here, including some we’d been seeking for ages for customer want lists.
- Three attendees asked us for ancient coins. Sorry – we didn’t have any.
- We were offered a few skull pieces here, but they did not meet our skull criteria. Namely we only buy such tokens and medals with what I would describe as “happy skulls”, we pass on the ones with horrifying, grotesque or unpleasant imagery.
- Special thanks to organizer Ernie Botte who pulled this event off in fine fashion in an environment where I am sure it wasn’t easy. We appreciate it!
And now, back home we’ll look forward to sorting out our latest NEWPs and preparing for our next EB which will be one week from this coming Tuesday on October 13th.
So you might want to keep an eye out for that.