September 28-October 1, 2022: The Long Beach Coin & Currency Expo
September 28th: Day 1
Rested, ready, and thoroughly un-jet lagged (since we made our way to Long Beach this time after spending a week in Portland, OR), Team CRO arrived at the convention center on Wednesday AM and joined the impressive queue waiting to enter the bourse floor just as it opened at noon.
Where we then stood with no explanation for about 45 minutes until they finally let us all in at about 12:45.
At which time we stormed over to our deluxe table #802 and began our super-efficient booth set up, this time aided by Greg Cohen of Legend who was our designated tall-person / banner hanger thus obviating the need for your author to stand on a rickety chair and risk numismatic injury.
Not 4 minutes after that was completed we bought 4 coins and sold 2 others that had never been listed on our site to some long time customer friends who had made us their first stop on the bourse floor. We like that.
After which I cruised around the floor and found 10-12 things to buy from a myriad of sources, some we know well and have done business with through the years, others that were totally new to us.
Interestingly, as I was walking the floor and asking to see things I sometimes, but not always, got a sales pitch which varied wildly from table to table. Running the gamut from “I probably priced this too low” to “This will do great on your site” to “I purchased this from a little old old lady who came into the shop” to “This one is too expensive” (admittedly this last one was not exactly great marketing). Regardless, I know what I like and have a good feel for what will work on our site so I don’t put much stock in the comments pro or con.
Returning back to the table just as a collector I last saw at the New Hampshire show was buying two coins from MaryAnn and about which I had two thoughts:
- That is one well-traveled collector.
- The only other people who I believe attended both NH and this LB would be us, and our local New England friends from Northeast Numismatics. But that’s it.
After which we started to pack up after what had been a very productive though slightly shorter than usual set-up period and headed to dinner with some dealer friends down the block. Before returning back to our hotel on the early side so we could be well rested for Thursday where we are expecting many of our local customers to make an appearance.
And if they do, or even if they don’t, you can read all about our escapades right here first thing on Friday AM.
September 29th: Day 2
Thursday would begin for us with no waiting at the door of the convention center, allowing us to zip right in and start doing business instantaneously, if not sooner.
The same cannot be said for the attendees here as there were a lot of them, all standing in a righteous queue that started at the registration table and extended literally out the door onto the sidewalk. I’d show a pic of that, but thought from a security perspective some of those queuers might not want to be memorialized on the internet.
But they all eventually trickled in, and when the show officially opened we had a real good crowd in the room, including a bunch of people at our table who quickly snapped up some cool coins, including our 1801 3 Errors 1¢ in a cash and trade deal.
Which continued a trend here in which we have sold mostly coins in the more expensive category (which is totally fine by us, as you can imagine).
In between which your author ventured out in search of cool coins to buy, which I did to the tune of another 8 or 10 during the course of the day. Though it was interesting that most of these were of the less expensive variety. It just works that way sometimes, so we go with the flow.
I also found time to take advantage of HA lot viewing for the Harry Bass and LB auctions which they were doing right on the bourse floor where it was convenient and easy like in the old days. Where I identified about a dozen coins of high interest, though none of them were in the Bass sale since I didn’t love the look of most of those and figured (correctly, as it turned out) that they would sell for strong prices anyway.
Returning to our table in time to make our last sale of the day, a totally cool old holdered NEWP which had never been on the website and thus gave your author a slight pang of regret since that would have looked extremely cool on an upcoming EB. Oh well.
And then packed up and, instead of attending the live Bass Sale auction which started at 6 PM local time, decided to watch it online for a while before heading out to get a drink at the new Mexican place up the street.
Where we’d eventually be joined by some dealer and collector friends who did attend the auction where we discussed targeting specific coins in an auction to bid on, but also being opportunistic and ready to numismatically pounce if something else seems to be going too cheap. I am a big believer in that approach.
Anyway, we had a nice time until relatively late in the evening before finally turning in so we could be ready for what we expect to be another good day on Friday.
Which we will then blog all about right here in this space in approximately 24 hours from now.
September 30th: Day 3
Aah yes, the delightful world of travel where Team CRO is now 12 days into our Portland to Long Beach Odyssey and in a pitched battle with our hotel to actually get coffee for the in-room Keurig.
Not sure why, but so far they’ve provided 100% decaf on one day, and then nothing at all on the next even after your author left a fat tip for the housekeeping staff AND hid all remaining cups and cream in the Bible drawer making it clear we needed an extra re-supply. As an aside, that is something that has worked very well for me through the years and should probably be included in the CRO book of Helpful Hotel Hacks (along with cleaning the bottom of the iron before you use it). But it did not work here, so I had to run down to the desk and request more which took a bizarrely long time and might have included the lady at the desk zipping out to another hotel to get it. No idea.
Anyway, we finally got it, got up and were out early on Friday and back in position behind table #802 ready for whatever the day might bring.
And we were delighted when the first thing it brought was a giant check in payment for a coin we sold yesterday.
Then in relatively rapid succession two coins brought to us by other dealers, including one which is a totally 100% CRO coin and will be a perfect fit on our next EB. If you are in town swing by Saturday and I’ll show it to you and you will agree with me.
Followed by some more sales of the generally expensive variety, and a few new purchases that were less so, including one I had to work extra hard to nail down since it was in another dealer’s case marked $799, but when I asked for a price I was quoted $1,000. I think a normal human reaction in that case would be to frown and then leave (and then blog about it the next day), but I liked that coin and kept at it until I was able to get it for $500. Though I have to admit that I do not understand that dealer’s pricing model.
I also didn’t fully understand the grading here, since every other collector and dealer I spoke to was seemingly delighted with their results here while ours were merely fair to middling. Of course we all submitted totally different kinds of coins, so not sure that means much.
After which we sold a few more coins priced at $3,500 and up, and worked on one possible trade deal that never really got off the ground since the coin in question was extremely difficult to value and not an easy one to sell even if we could. We tried though.
And then spoke to a couple who had brought coins inherited from a relative in to be graded at the show and were dismayed that all of them came back counterfeit. That is what we call a real numismatic bummer.
With our last deal of the day the purchase of a cool world coin of a type we have never owned before and which might be great on the site, or might not. Sometimes we take a flyer and see what happens, which has led us into some categories that have become extreeeeemely popular on the site through the years. Hey, we’ll find out.
After which we headed out for a drink at the Renaissance and then made our way to dinner at Thai District with some dealer friends where the food was excellent as always, Level 2 on the spice scale is the highest I’d recommend and the conversation was often non-numismatic and extremely interesting.
Again returning to the hotel late and collapsing right away in anticipation of another good day Saturday during which we’ll try to buy and/or sell whatever cool stuff we can.
With whatever happens to be described in our last RR of this show to be written as early on Sunday as possible from wherever we happen to be.
Until then, then –
October 1st: Day 4
Good news everyone, we’re going to summarize this installment of the Long Beach show through another one of our patented series of random observations presented in no particular order starting right now:
I would describe the overall foot traffic at this show as pretty good overall, sufficient to make this an extremely worthwhile trip for us. And that does not even take into consideration the benefits of in person grading, lot viewing and auction consigning. So of course we re-upped our 3-show contract for our deluxe table #802 in 2023.
A long time customer came to the table on Friday and described his upcoming trip to the Falkland Islands which sounded absolutely amazing, and also extremely difficult to get to. I’m looking forward to hearing all about it next time we’re out here.
Our show-long trend of selling pretty much only expensive coins continued right up to the absolute bitter end here, which we could never have predicted.
A customer brought us some coins in this square PCGS box of a type I’d never seen before:
Unless this is something new, I find it amazing that I’ve never encountered one somewhere, sometime.
In total dollar value, our LB sales exceeded our purchases by a factor of more than 8 this time. That would be very unusual at any show, but especially here since our pre-show Portland stay necessitated that we travel much lighter than usual with about 50-60 less coins than we brought to the previous LB show in June. I have to think that we would have sold more if we had brought the whole inventory enchilada, but of course you really never know. Next time we’ll go big though.
For the 44th consecutive LB show I did NOT make it to Roscoe’s for chicken and waffles despite my best efforts to try it. Next time for sure.
This is the NEWP I described Friday as “a totally 100% CRO coin” and then showed to at least 10 people who asked to see it Saturday based on my RR prompting:
Eschewing the redeye flight home for the first time in y-e-a-r-s, we actually stayed over Saturday night this time and managed to fly back well rested on Sunday while somehow avoiding all remnants of Hurricane Ian that we thought for sure would delay or cancel us.
And now back home we’ll unpack, get organized, ship out all of the coins ordered during our travels and start preparing our next EB which we plan to send out on October 11th.
So you might want to keep an eye out for that –