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Market Report – 08/27/13

The Chicago suburb of Rosemont served as the host for the 2013 World’s Fair of Money earlier this August.  A week-long event that is widely regarded as the premier event in numismatics once again delivered, providing a nearly unprecedented opportunity for dealers and collectors alike to bask in the glow of a tremendous bull-market.

This coin show is put on by the fine folks at the American Numismatic Association.  Over the years the ANA has received its fair share of grief from dealers as it struggled to adapt to the ever-changing world around it.  Its coin shows were full of bizarre restrictions and heavy handed administration that forced dealers to jump through unnecessary hoops and adhere to silly rules.  The ANA was slowly but surely pushing dealers, the very life blood of the industry, away.  Over the last few years the ANA has softened its stance on many of its old ways and has made attending their events easier and more laid back for dealers like us who are on the show circuit year-round.  This particular coin show was by far the simplest, dare I say pleasant ANA event I’ve attended in my 15 years on the road.

As rare coins continue to march upwards, we’re seeing it separate itself from a precious metals market that has settled into what has to be called at best, a funk.  While prices of both gold and silver are being held in check by extraneous variables designed to prop up the U.S. dollar, rare coins continue to soar.  The local coin shops, be they large or small, in big cities or small towns are all reporting a slow-down in traffic as the buzz around gold and silver has died down.  However the activity level at coin shows, both large and small continues to grow.  Collectors continue to turn out in droves, scouring bourse floors across the country for everything from circulated key-dates and better date Morgan dollars to high-end rarities and pieces that will serve as lynchpins in some of the finest known registry sets.

This show as well was full of energy throughout.  From our arrival on dealer setup Monday until we departed late Saturday afternoon there was a steady stream of traffic at our table.  Dealers were anxious to show us their wares and we had a near constant barrage of dealers trying to check out our new purchases.  Retail traffic was strong as well, from the advance collector to young numismatists just starting out, we saw it all.

Throw in two very strong auctions by the two biggest auction houses in numismatics as well as the emergence of one of the last great collections in rare U.S. coins and this show was one that will be remembered for years to come.