Charmy's November 2021 BALTIMORE SHOW REPORT w/lots of Pics!
It's been two years since the last Baltimore show was held so there was lots of excitement and anticipation before this show - and the show did not disappoint! Lori and her team did an amazing job promoting the show, making sure things ran smoothly and the dealers had what they needed. As many of you know, quality coins have been hard to find and buy "reasonably" this past year so I didn't buy as much as I usually do at the large shows. Some coins I really liked were selling for quite a bit more than usual retail prices which isn't surprising right now. I did most of my buying before the show at the dealer trading room and found some very nice pieces to add to my inventory. I also found a few neat pennies during the show, including a gorgeous 25% red 1955/55 DDO PCGS MS64+ BN and a beautiful tough to find 1877 PCGS AU58. I was busy for most of each day and overall sales were really good. The best part for me was that I got to see some of my dealer buddies who I haven't seen in two years, especially the group that attended our Black Olive dinner event on Friday night!
So that's the "market" side of my show report and, as Laura put it a while back, here's the "fluffy pancake" part of my Baltimore show report! You'll see pics of some coins, but mostly pics of coin people, local food and great wine. So if this bothers you - no biggie - simply close this link and move on. ;-)
This is me on the plane very happy to be going to another coin show and looking forward to seeing all my friends!
On Tuesday, when I left Orange County, it was a beautiful sunny morning, and I finally got to Baltimore late Tuesday night. The airport was quite deserted, but luckily I have a regular driver that picks me up/drops me off whenever I'm in Baltimore.
Tuesday was absolutely gorgeous in Baltimore, surprisingly warm and sunny! Several dealers set up in a room in the convention center on Tuesdays and Wednesdays of the Baltimore show for dealer-to-dealer business. So first thing Wednesday I headed over to the convention center to do some pre-show business and found several nice pennies - and sold a few pieces as well.
I also stopped by Stacks lot viewing
Some dealers not set up in the dealer room like to do a little trading outside the dealer room.
Security opened up at noon so after I was finished with my business, I dropped my bags off and headed over to the Horseshoe Casino for a few hours before table holder set up which was at 5pm.
At 5pm, there was quite a crowd of dealers waiting in the lobby to set up their booths and start the wheeling and dealing!
After I finished setting up, I walked around the floor hunting for coins to fill in my inventory and for customer want lists. I was pleased to find a few more coins. These are the Pretty Pennies I picked up at the dealer trading room, as well as some pieces I bought throughout the show
That evening, a group of us went to LP Steamers for dinner. In case you're not familiar with this super casual seafood restaurant, they are known for their crab legs, shrimp, and other fresh seafood platters. They serve you a platter of crab legs with a hammer and a bucket and you go from there. When you're through and it comes time to clean up the table, they just pick up the plastic table cloth along with all the crab shells, etc. and throw it in the trash, then lay down a new table cloth for the next customers. Here are pics of some of the dishes we had.
In the morning, the show opened up to dealers and early birds only until noon. Many dealers who had arrived late Wednesday began their set up that morning. These are some pics from around the bourse floor before the public was let in at noon.
Here are pics of a couple of very friendly guys who dropped by to say hi.
Thursday was really busy and it was great to see some of my regular Baltimore customers at the show. Sales were pretty steady throughout the day, and I even managed to pick up that 1955/55 DDO PCGS MS64+ BN that I mentioned earlier. Also, one of my favorite exonumia dealer friends stopped by and showed me this beautiful encased penny pocket mirror he found and knew I would like for my personal collection, which of course I did! I currently have about 40 various Indian and Lincoln cent pocket mirrors in my collection. In addition to my penny teapots, they are one of my favorite types of penny exonumia to collect. I was very pleased to add this quite scarce Illinois penny pocket mirror to my collection.
Later in the afternoon, I opened this super delicious bottle of Justin Isosceles that I brought with me. It is an especially delicious wine from Paso Robles and, in my humble opinion, probably the best wine in that area of Central Coastal California vineyards.
After the show ended, we tried a new Italian restaurant, La Tavola, which was recommended to us by some other dealer friends.
Even though I am not an oyster fan, the folks I was with very much enjoyed them!
And of course we enjoyed this nice bottles of chianti
Friday morning I arrived pretty early at the show - these are some folks waiting in the lobby.
Before the show opened to the public I took a few minutes to walk the floor and took more pics
The very friendly and helpful folks at NGC
And the PCGS folks who are just as friendly and helpful
Lori (from Whitman) who never stopped running around taking care of whatever needed to be taken care of throughout the entire show!
Another very hard-worker and a heck of a nice dealer - Gary Adkins
Brian Alty (Northeast Numismatics and fellow wine enthusiast) and Allie Byers (Scofield Auctions and fellow ANA Summer Seminar buddy)
Dino Koromvokis, my bff birthday twin, and his beautiful wife Lisa
Random pics around the bourse on Friday
A few other coin forum folks stopped by to say hi
Jaelus and Joe
Another guy stopped by my table and showed me another piece of penny exonumia he thought I would like for my collection - which I did! I have several different types of pop-out (repousse) pennies, including pins, cufflinks, watch fobs, buttons, etc. This stick pin is made out of a Lincoln cent (with a patent tag on the back). I was very happy to add it to my collection!
Friday afternoon I opened the other bottle of wine I brought to the show, a Doffo Zinfandel from Temecula. This vineyard is owned by a motorcycle enthusiast who displays his motorcycles at his vineyard. My hubby (who is NOT a wine guy) and I and some friends went to this vineyard and of course, he and my friend's hubby went straight for the motorcycles while my friend and I tasted their delicious wines. I gave tastes of this wine to my table neighbors, Brian, and a couple other dealer friends and they all agreed it was an excellent Zinfandel.
And in case you're interested, here is the Doffo story about his motorcycle venture from their website: https://doffowines.com/our-story/
"The Doffo family’s passion for motorcycles can be traced back to Marcelo’s childhood in Argentina, where he first fell in love with the imported European motorcycles that were becoming popular at the time. Marcelo moved to the United States in the mid 1970s and eventually opened an auto body shop, Doffo Auto Body, with his brother, Jorge Doffo. Here his eye for perfection was put to good use and he developed his skills as a restorer. After establishing Doffo Winery, Marcelo set out on a quest to find and restore those very motorcycles that mesmerized him as a child. In the years since, the MotoDoffo Vintage Motorcycle Collection has grown to include nearly 200 motorcycles and scooters from around the world and attracts moto enthusiasts and wine lovers alike to the MotoDoffo Barrel Room housed on the winery grounds."
And as I mentioned above, for me the highlight of every Baltimore show is our dinner event at the Black Olive in Fells Point with my foreign coin dealer friends! In case you're interested, here is the story of this wonderful Greek restaurant: https://theblackolive.com/history
This time, however, was even more special as one member of our group (Charlie) had recently suffered a cardiac arrest where his heart had stopped, and he was celebrating his "new lease on life" as well as his 70th birthday. More on this later.
Me and Charlie
We always start the evening upstairs at the bar area with white wine that the owners have chosen for us. This time it was a couple bottles of wonderful Santorini.
Then we head down to the cellar where they have one large table surrounded by hundreds of bottles of wine from various vintages.
This is Dimitris, the youngest son of the owners. He chose the wines for us, told us stories about the wine and his family, and generally assisted us throughout the evening.
He chose these delicious wines for us, including a bottle of Champagne (which Charlie bought for us to celebrate with), to have with dinner
We all signed the bottle of Champagne for Charlie.
These are some of the dishes we had, including the very popular and very delicious octopus! My pasta with lobster tail was absolutely delicious!
After we had finished dinner, we asked Dimitris what was one of the oldest wines they had in the cellar and he told us about their1953 Chateau Canon Grand Cru from France which cost about $800. So Charlie, wanting to celebrate his second chance at life, as well as his birthday, decided to buy that bottle and share it with all of us!
In 2005 they decided to recork this bottle, probably due to the original cork deteriorating
I was truly honored to be able to taste this almost 70-year old bottle of wine and can truly attest that it was delicious, even after all these years!
After dinner, we walked over to one of the many pubs in Fells Point to continue our celebration.
What a truly fun and memorable evening it was being able to spend time with such wonderful people!
So not long after the public was let in on Saturday morning, something occurred that I hadn't seen before at a big show like this one. The dealers who usually set up behind me hadn't shown up so that table was vacant the entire show - except on Saturday. I notice someone had set up at that table. The guy didn't have a case, but had spread a bunch of numismatic items, not all coins, on the table for sale, and he was sitting in the chair behind the table. Since I didn't recognize him, I thought maybe Whitman had decided to rent out vacant tables for the day. However, I then noticed this guy didn't have a dealer badge, which really concerned me because, even though I keep my new coins, money bag, purse, etc. in a case on my back table, it is usually unlocked when I'm at my table, but my back table backs up to that booth's back table and I had no idea who this guy was. So I asked Lori about it and she said no, they definitely were not renting out unused tables and said she would go see what was going on. Apparently, this guy was a "squatter" and had just decided to move in and take over that table. Well, he was immediately told to pack up and leave. I don't know whether he had to leave the show, but I was relieved they took care of it so quickly. I just shook my head at the "gall" of some folks.
So I usually head home on Saturday afternoons of the Baltimore show but I could not get an afternoon flight back to Orange County County this time so I got a flight out on Sunday morning, which meant I could stay at the show all day Saturday. Now you collectors may think that's a good thing, but if any of you were at the show on Saturday afternoon, you would know what a ghost town a large 4-day show is on the last day. I understand that it doesn't seem right, but most of the dealers come to these shows early in the week, and by the last day, they are exhausted and can't wait to get home. In my case, I have always tried to get the latest flight I could on Saturday so I can stay at the show as long as possible but still get home to my family but the airlines have cut back on a lot of flights, so I stayed until the "bitter" end. The show didn't close until 5pm, and this is what it looked like around 3pm.
Luckily, a couple of my Black Olive dealer friends were staying Saturday night as well - Karl even had the same flight back to OC as I did, so after we dropped our coins off at security, we headed out to dinner together. We went to a Lebanese restaurant that I hadn't been to before. The food was really tasty and the wine was good as well. It was a nice way to end the week!
Sunday morning I packed up, picked up my bags at security, and headed to the airport. All went smoothly, no delays, and it was nice to be able to hang out with Karl while we waited for our flights (through Dallas) back home! Bye-bye Baltimore until next time....
Hello my beloved OC!
And my cutey-pie Penny!
Look forward to seeing those of you who can make it to the FUN show in January! Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everyone one of you!