Alan V. Weinberg offers these thoughts on this week's convention of the American Numismatic Association. Thanks!
The Chicago ANA from Monday afternoon setup til Sat afternoon was impressive, It was difficult to judge attendance by collectors or the public as the bourse floor at 220,000 square feet was immense- by far the largest bourse floor and largest bourse set up in numismatic history.
While I circulated on the bourse floor from one end to the other at least 25 times over this week, I encountered some people often only once if they were not behind a bourse table and in fact often missed friends that I was told had attended. I did notice one thing dramatically different from any other coin show I've attended in the past year or two. An almost total lack of buying and selling bullion. Not one member of the public selling old gold jewelry to a bourse buyer. Not one person buying or selling a quantity of gold or silver bullion coins.
Perhaps this is related to the record high prices of both metals and the public and investors' hesitancy in either buying or selling at these levels. In short, almost all bourse activity was truly numismatic in nature. I heard nary a grumble of the show being slow or disappointing and almost all comments I overheard were mildly or hugely enthusiastic.
Dave Harper of Numismatic News had a different take on the lack of public participation. See the next item for an excerpt from his blog post on the show.
There were some comments on the wisdom of returning to Chicago over and over again but the latest Numismatist lays out in detail , I believe for the 1st time, a full explanation of the financial necessity for this. I hate to say it but I was convinced.
The StacksBowers auction sessions I did attend were aggressively bid and crowded, with some fascinating material being offered.
Just a short time before I departed Saturday afternoon I managed to attend 30 mins of Karl Moulton's presentation to the Pioneer Gold group on his forthcoming 700 page or so massive tome on John Ford & Paul Franklin, with the expressed intent of perusing the manuscript and deciding if I wanted to invest the $250 pre-publication price. I decided I would as the half complete color plate manuscript I did examine looked fascinating.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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