Guest Blogger: Katherine Mullen came on board in 2012 to manage the business side of Mullen Coins. Ride along as she learns the basics of numismatics.
Last week, we worked at the F.U.N. Show in Orlando. For a fun show, it was a lot of work! Dealers rightfully trumpeted the Show’s success—booth activity was very high, the aisles were jammed at times, and the auction of most of the finest numismatic specimens returned spectacular results. Check out this link: Legend Numismatics’ enthusiasm is contagious! http://www.coinweek.com/market-reports/legend-numismatics-2013-fun-show-market-report.
That’s the business perspective. Here is what a novice would have noticed. There was a 180-degree opposite mix of folks entering the Convention Center. One group had buff, hot bodies in the coolest clothes, part of the National Surfing Convention. The other group…well…we couldn’t have been mistaken for surfers.
The real surprise was that not all of the coin dealers were 80-year-old stooped-over men (no insult intended). The mix included tattoos, long hair, shorts, flipflops, a few suits, as well as the older guys. The common element was that they are passionate about coins, currency, and tokens.
Show attendees came from all over the country, mixing vacations with shopping. There were throngs in the Show’s Budget Section, kids at the “gold mine,” and high-end folks who dropped six figures when filling a wish list. I asked one shy young girl what her interests were. She loves the ancients!
Another flash was that there was no appearance of gender bias, although the hobby is male dominated. The real deal is that if you know what you’re talking about, you are respected. In fact, Charmy Harker, The Penny Lady from Irvine, CA is a highly respected national dealer.
Every buyer and seller expected to haggle, something I really need to work on. I was amazed that many dealers knew off the top of their heads whether they had a requested coin, and their bottom price. Ancient coin dealers (that is, dealers who sell ancients, not 95-year-old dealers) knew the history of every coin in their inventory—thousands of years of history!
A big Hats Off to F.U.N.’s Education Exhibit folks—who demonstrated the engraving press, regaled us with stories about hoboes and Hobo Nickels, and the young numismatists who were runners. You were all a pleasure to have met, and have given us great ideas for piquing collector interest in our Grand Rapids hometown.
If you are interested in catching the flavor of a big coin show, Central States is coming up in Chicago April 24-27. The Michigan State Numismatic Society will host its spring show April 19-21 in Dearborn, and Grand Rapids holds monthly shows at the American Legion Hall in Grandville. For a detailed list of Michigan’s shows, go to http://www.michigancoinclub.org/shows.html.
Up Next: Circulated vs. uncirculated coins: What’s the big difference?