September 3-6, 2014: The Long Beach Coin & Currency Expo
September 3rd: Day 1
Having arrived in Long Beach the previous evening and thus still operating on east coast time, I woke up crisply at 3:13 AM on Wednesday, tried to go back to bed, mostly failed, and eventually got up for good at 5ish.
Which left me roughly 3 hours to get organized (check) and make sure the entire CRO inventory was priced (also check) before walking through the now fully under construction Hyatt Hotel lobby to the convention center at just before 9 AM.
Where I encountered the typically large crowd, said my hellos to all of the guys, dumped everything at security and then raced to the Heritage room for ~3 hours of rapid-fire lot viewing of the US and world auctions.
During which I identified maybe 15 or so must-have coins in the various sessions before retrieving my coins from security and then proceeding directly to the bourse floor for the even more crowded noon start of dealer set-up.
Where I tried to get the booth organized while at the same showing coins to another dealer which I can now state definitively does not work at all, since it delayed me putting all of the coins out which in turn meant I was delayed getting to check out what other dealers were offering which might have resulted in me missing a great deal (or 12) on the floor. Hey, we’ll never know.
What I did find was a smattering of federal and world coins which I bought right away, and a few other ‘maybes’ that I considered and might try to buy later if they are still available. I doubt they will be though. And then proceeded back to the CRO table where I did a bit of wholesale business, sold one expensive colonial to a collector, realized it was extremely hot in the room, submitted the last of my show grading and got back the first of the submissions I had sent in to the PCGS office a week ago. So far so good with those.
Then worked on a couple of other deals of the buying and selling variety right up until the usual Mexican fiesta, though I did not partake in that this time.
Instead, I held out for a late dinner in the Belmont Shores areas with industry friends marred only by a helicopter with a giant search light circling the area 312 times while we were trying to eat. Still fun though.
And then headed back to the hotel to get some sleep in anticipation of an extreeeeemely long day on Thursday with (I hope) an active bourse interspersed with auction sessions during the day and continuing into the evening where cool coins will continuously change hands and your author will exhaust himself trying to get his fair share.
And if I do, or even if I don’t, I will report all about it right here on Friday AM.
More later –
September 4th: Day 2
It certainly was an exciting start to Thursday here in Long Beach, as your author leaped out of bed at 5 AM, wrote yesterday’s blog and then headed out to the beach before dawn for a brisk ocean-side run with a dealer friend before the show.
After which, feeling invigorated (i.e. exhausted), I made my way to the convention center at 8:30, blitzed my way through another Heritage lot viewing session and then numismatically exploded onto the bourse floor promptly at 9 AM.
Where business continued apace, with continuous sales in the moderate price ranges wildly offset by purchases which were small in number but included some really rare and/or high end coins in the mid-high 5 figures.
Hey, I did not expect that, but we always try to be ready for pretty much anything and go with the flow.
Things that did not flow: We have found far less to buy on the bourse floor than we usually do here, with even our most reliable, regular LB sources not really having anything (nothing, nada) that fit the CRO program.
Also not really flowing so much were our grading submissions, which so far have trickled back with generally uninspiring results.
But that was merely the case on this day, and of course Friday may yield totally different grading results and/or an abundance of cool new coins which walk in the door, proceed directly to our table and onto an upcoming EB.
But before dwelling on what the future might hold, we instead focused our attention squarely on dinner, where your author and three other collector and dealer friends descended upon 555 and proceeded to eat enough food for 13 people (if 11 of them were coin dealers, and the other two were really, really hungry).
And then strolled back to the hotel where I collapsed on the bed after what had been a pretty long, moderately successful, thoroughly exercised and very well-fed day.
September 5th: Day 3
Shouting TGIF (even though that has no relevance to many of us here in the coin business who routinely work Saturday’s), I sprinted down the long hotel corridor to the elevator, zipped down to the lobby and, instead of continuing on to the beach for another morning run (hey, I’m not exactly Abebe Bikila here), stopped at the lobby coffee shop and calmly devoured an English Muffin before the show.
And then continued on to the convention hoping for a more active day of numismatic activity.
Alas, I encountered more of the same Thursday-like relatively quiet sales in a room in which that seemed to be the case for most of us like-minded dealers (at least based on my anecdotal conversations and limited observations).
On a more positive note, my constant scouring of all corners of the bourse paid off to the tune of a half dozen NEWPs Friday that either I didn’t see or weren’t there earlier in the show. So that’s good.
And my latest wave of grading yielded some cool coins ready for the next EB which is now looking pretty robust.
So all we need now are a few more buyers to stroll in on Saturday which might be possible. And if they do, I really like my chances, since many of my neighbor dealers at the show packed up late Friday and are already home or en route there at this moment.
But CRO will be at Table #614 until late Saturday, continuing to buy and or sell, trade and grade until they turn the lights out and ask us to leave.
After which we will fly home just in time to write the next RR which will be posted right here in this space on Sunday.
Until then –
September 6th: Day 4
An interesting thing happened on Saturday.
What had been a relatively quiet, largely uneventful show turned on a figurative dime with some suddenly good sales and a rush of buying activity in the morning and continuing on until about 3 PM.
And honestly, I really didn’t expect this, but was very pleased to see some good local customers at the table, others I had previously only known online, and, delightfully, still others I had never met before who just happened to find the CRO table at the show.
That last category surely aided by the fact that many of the other dealers who had been set up near us Wednesday – Friday were long gone, shining a large spotlight on the few of us who remained until late Saturday.
Among us, I like to think the CRO presentation was perhaps slightly more inviting and I dare say slightly classier than some others, as perhaps indicated by this booth presentation photo comparison offered with no comment whatsoever:
And while sales were surprisingly good, buying was maybe more so, as I found another dozen or so pieces of all types and sizes from myriad sources, ranging in price from a modest hundred bucks to an automobilesque $24,000.
But all that good commercial stuff aside, one of the additional benefits of remaining here until the end is that I can retrieve all of my pent up grading, since the unusual and esoteric colonial and world issues we submit in quantity tend to come back at the tailest end of the show, as they mostly did on this day.
And it was mostly worth the wait, as I was satisfied with the overall results and even more pleased to be able to take them with me (as opposed to having them shipped in which case they might not get to me for another week).
So by the time I left at about 5, I was feeling pretty good about a show that turned out to be a solid B, with pretty good sales, slightly better buying and some fine grading results all at a well-run show in a beautiful place with glorious weather among good friends.
Good vibes which continued only until about 10 PM, when I learned that my connecting flight in Vegas was delayed until 1:10 AM, affording me the opportunity to sit in a hard plastic chair at the gate for, oh, about 5 hours when all I really wanted to do was sleep.
But hey, as flight delays go, this wasn’t a bad time for one, since I was going to be landing in the early AM anyway and didn’t really need to be anywhere at any particular time.
Unlike this coming Tuesday, when our next EB will go out on schedule, as always, at as close to noon east coast time as is humanly possible.
And so I am going to sign off now, and start working on that –