Rob's Long Beach Expo Report
Took my 11-year-old @Azjedi and my wife to the Long Beach Expo on Thursday. It was the first large coin show for all of us. We drove over from Phoenix.
My collecting focus now is a PCGS 1st year type set, preferably CAC. I spent the week prior updating my want list, with a price list from Greysheet's CPG (more on that later). I had browsed the coins listed for LBE on Collector's Corner ahead of time, and noticed a 1909 VDB Lincoln in MS66+RD CAC. I was targeting a 65RD, but this was priced right, so it was on my radar. Then I realized that quite a few of my 20th century 1st year types were 66+'s, and some others in 66 that I now want to upgrade to pluses.
My wife and son stayed the first hour, then went to the beach, allowing me to take my time and browse without pressure. My first pass through I didn't see much from my want list in CAC. I checked out the VDB, but saw micro spots through my loupe, and decided to think about it some more. I did see an 1953 arrows Liberty Seated half dime in AU53 CAC. My target was an AU58 CAC, which CPG lists at $182, but figured I'd consider the AU53 CAC if the price was right. The dealer wanted $225 and wouldn't budge, so I passed. That's more than the AU58 price! The 2nd time around the bourse, I looked for non-CAC coins, figuring I can get them CAC'd myself. I did find a 1942 Type 2 Jefferson in MS66+FS, an upgrade to my 66FS, and the dealer offered $50 less than my target price, so I got it.
I found a few more half dimes at another table, 1837 and 1860, neither CAC. The 1860 was MS63, which CPG lists at $286. They had it priced at $450, but said they could come down to $425. The 1837 was XF45, $338 in CPG and they wanted $400. I passed, but came around another a few more times to check them out. I realized they were pricing off PCGS price guide, and I wondered if maybe Greysheet's CPG was unrealistically low. So I checked latest auction prices on the 1860, and the highest in the last year was $360 in April. The dealer asked what was stopping me, so at the risk of offending him, I just told him it was the price. He explained to me that since COVID, prices have increased, which I am well aware. I told him that his offer of $425 would be a record sale for an 1860 in MS63. I know that's a little off etiquette for shows, but I couldn't help myself when their rock bottom price is 18% higher than the highest recorded sale. I would have paid a record price, $375 or $380, but not $425.
Frustrated that I couldn't find coins I wanted and when I did they were priced rather high, I decided to get the 1853 half dime for $225 and the 1909 VDB in 66+RD, both CAC. The VDB dealer offered $75 off his asking price, which sealed the deal for me. I may upgrade to an unspotted one later. It's not bad, CAC liked it. I filled some other holes in my 1st year type set in my target grades, just not CAC, including an 1831 capped bust quarter in VF30, 1892 Barber quarter in AU58, and a 1908 $2.50 Indian in AU58. My first gold coin! Also got an MS64+ 1922 Peace dollar for my '22 Peace grading set (PO1 through MS66). Granted, all were above CPG prices.
My son got 2 Franklins for his MS64FBL set. We picked up a Schroeder silver round, as we collect him due to our last name being Schroeder. Witter Coins gave him an 1885-O Morgan as a gift for being a YN. I got my dad a lepton minted under Pontius Pilate (so I was told). Got my son some Disney dollars. I bought some Australian tiger silver coins, as one of my employees at work shares my birth year of 1974 and is really into the fact that 2022 is the Year of the Tiger, which is our Chinese zodiac sign. Going to give him the half ounce. Then I got a Rabbit for my son, which is the 2011 zodiac sign.
All in all I considered it a successful show. I had a great time, picked up some coins I needed, and realized I need to rethink my want list pricing guidelines.
UPDATE: I forgot to mention that Tony LittleJohn's display of Standing Liberty Quarters was a highlight of the show. SLQ's are probably my favorite coin, so I especially enjoyed it. And he was so nice and a delight to talk with.