Summer FUN Show Report
I usually like to attend the major shows on the first day, but too many work responsibilities on Thur forced me to attend the show on Friday this year. Traffic over from the East coast of FL was generally light, allowing me to maintain the unofficial speed limit of 80 mph most of the time, for the hour long drive. Played the classic Dire Straights CD (remember those?) Brothers in Arms, which sounds great on the Bose system. The South concourse has extremely easy access coming in the back way from the East, allowing me to dodge the heavy traffic and lights on International Drive. The competing event venue in the North concourse was a Mecum classic car auction, which was SO tempting to check out, but decided I better stay focused on coins.
As keyman reported, the parking lot access to this building was very close, so even though I arrived right at opening time, I could still get to the building very quickly. There was still a long walk inside the concourse to the show, but it was in AC of course.
There was no line for the sign in process.
Initial impression was that there was very little buzz, compared to last years' Summer FUN, which was the first major national show in a long time - it was more like the old Summer FUN shows, but with more dealers. I generally didn't have to compete to look in any cases, though every table seemed to have at least one person there (but not multiples, like at Winter FUN). Dealers I chatted with were generally upbeat and were having good sales, though some lamented a lot of it was wholesale to national dealers who were there Wed and Thur. Dealers who carry better raw inventory looked fairly picked over, with lots of gaps showing on the 2x2 display boards, which I assume were full when they started. Asking prices in general were steep. This deterred me from even getting quotes, assuming ~10% courtesy discount from marked prices, were still well out of what I would be willing to pay for stock, etc. I didn't see much in the way of bullion trading hands, @ricko, though I did notice a dealer picking through an enormous bag of "BU" Peace dollars at another dealers' table, and stacking them in groups of 20 for what I assume was going to be a bulk purchase.
Noticed a number of sharp young dealers cruising the floor, a continuation of Winter FUN. I'm guessing they didn't have tables, and have an inventory light business model. They live on their phones, either scrolling or talking, and work on quick flips, finding a deal at one table and placing it quickly with someone else. And the coins they were discussing were generally bigger coins with stickers, etc. I did have to remark, after one young fellow kept asking to see coins in 'fatty' holders, "apparently he likes holders that are older than he is!" He gave me a quizzical look, but everyone else laughed.
As usual, I was looking for walkers and large cents, with an occasional glance at type. One interesting observation - for the first time in probably 20 years of longer, there were a fair number of the early walkers available, in Unc (still virtually nothing in XF-AU). If one had the means, and didn't care about matching grades and holders, or stickers, a nearly complete MS set could have been built at this show. Now they were NOT abundant - there were no duplicates, other than a couple of P mint coins. And asking prices were strong. A very cool 28S in an OGH 64 holder with a bean was priced at beyond moon money. The majority of these were held by dealers who seemed to specialize in nice better date coins, and probably had to pay up to get them. I did get to chat with a collector from Chicago at one of these tables, who currently has the number 1 ranked PCGS-CAC only set. Wow, I'm not worthy! I myself didn't find anything for my registry set that I had to have, and my only walker purchase was a crusty 35S in XF that was priced a little over melt. Someday a set builder may need this and I can double my money LOL!
Large cents were in short supply, except for some of the middle and late dates. Early dates in low grade/rough condition were still priced high, so I couldn't pick up anything for stock. My one find for my set was pure serendipity. A dealer who was sharing a table and only had one case of better coins had a large calculator and phone sitting on the corner of the case. I look at ALL slabbed large cents, never knowing what you might see. The one large cent I could see was a generic late date, and only one other coin was hidden. He was ending his conversation with another customer, and asked if I needed to see something, I said without much hope, I wanted to see what was under the calculator....he lifted it, oh, a generic half cent - thanks - have a good day. He said hang on, what dates are you looking for? I said only a handful, thanks - he said how about a '22 in AU? That stopped me in my tracks. Tough coin that's been on my list forever, this is NOT a Randall hoard date so better specimens are scarce....so of course I'm trying to be casual, and say sure I'll take a look at it. He'd just bought it and hadn't priced it yet. It's very nice, and priced fairly for what it was, but a little higher grade and price than I wanted. I said I'll think on it, he indicated he may have a little room if become serious, and I continued the hunt. After seeing the whole bourse, it came down this one and a classic head cent I'd seen earlier. Went back to see that one, it had some minor issues, and was priced fairly strong. I realized I was trying to talk myself into it, as it was "good enough", at which point I thought stop and go look at that 1822 again. After waiting awhile for him to get back from a break, we had a nice chat, we agreed on a price, and bought it.
At that point I was ready to leave, but since there were no afternoon thunderstorms brewing, I thought I better recoup some of my purchase. I had a spare but very nice raw 1821 cent and decided to show it to the venerable Tom Reynolds. He is VERY hard to sell to, but he didn't have a '21 in his cases in any grade, which was a good sign. After a lot of study, research, and negotiation, we agree on a price, and its now his. His usual show partner and forum member 1798Collector showed up, and after the sale was complete, we all traded war stories for awhile, which was a wonderful experience.
I was able to get out before rush hour, got to admire some of the cars either being driven or towed out from the adjoining Mecum auction, and cruised back home to sound of the REM album Automatic for the People. The evening was spent with non coin people, swimming and drinking Landshark after consuming carryout primo stramboli.
Coolest thing I saw on the bourse. I never even heard of this previously:
A NEWP for the Dansco 7070 - for $2 I couldn't pass it up:
THE NEWP: Sorry, scratches on the holder, not the coin. I tried PlastEx but couldn't really reduce them.