Alan V. Weinberg submitted these thoughts on this week's F.U.N. show and sale of a 1913 Liberty Nickel.
The January Florida United Numismatists (FUN) show , as it has been for decades now, in my opinion continues to be the most entertaining, educational , vibrant and rewarding coin show of every year. Those people in orange jackets really know how to put on an event.
I had doubts the 1913 Liberty nickel would sell due to the economy. It is true that dealers on the bourse floor were not very aggressive about buying and verbally preferred to accumulate money rather than add to stock. And the buying public often kept their hands in their pockets out of an abundance of economic caution and unemployment. But Heritage did indeed sell three coins each over a million dollars at auction, proving that true rarity and numismatic appeal still reigns.
The 1913 nickel opened at $2.75 million dollars. Don Kagin bid $2.8 and the Heritage podium bid $2.9. Heritage's Greg Rohan exercised a client's bid at $3.0 million and Heritage's Todd Imhoff exercised a $3.25 hammer phone bid , amounting to a total of $3,737, 500 with buyer's fee. The 1927 D double eagle sold for a total of $1,495.000 to the Internet - very often a serious dealer/agent or collector preferring anonymity bidding from a hotel room or perhaps even on the auction floor on a laptop computer, just not wanting anyone to see his/her hand raised. And the ultra rare and very "sexy" 1874 Bickford pattern $10 gold proof sold on the floor for $1,265,000 total.
Almost all of Florida was unusually cold, even bitter cold and Orlando was no exception with temps down into the mid 20's. I have little doubt this benefitted attendance at the FUN show. It was a good crowd, considering the times.
Next January 2011 it'll be located in Tampa for one year due to the unavailability of Orlando's Orange County Convention Center. I'm told by some Tampa residents at the show that the demographics of downtown Tampa has changed and that's where the Tampa convention center is located. Hopefully FUN will be just as good.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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