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My Thursday FUN show experience

BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,056 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 8, 2023 5:19PM in U.S. Coin Forum

The FUN show snuck up on me this year. I had only one personal check, so I had to go to the bank, order more checks, get a wad of cash, and grab some Barber and SL halves out of my Danscos to use up my PCGS vouchers. That's when things became interesting.

I tried pulling the SD box out of the framework and the entire metal box began to pull apart. It turns out that a small latch on the SDB was preventing it from sliding forward. Soon, two tellers were working it over with a fricking hammer and screwdrivers, trying to unjam the SDB. When they finally got it unjammed, they tried to pull it out themselves and I had to stop them because the box is stuffed with coins, quite heavy, and didn't want another fiasco and more delay when I'm trying to get to Orlando.

Back on the road, I ran into a traffic jam on the FL turnpike, then chose the wrong exit off of 4 to get to the show. Once there, I realized I had "the trots" bad and had to carefully penguin walk several hundred feet and climb three flights of stairs under "Red alert" to get to a restroom. Made it OK, which was a wonderfully enabling outcome, but it was already 2:30 by then.

FUN shows are a numismatic fantasyland for me, and I can be easily distracted. Under time constraints, I only visited a handful of tables and said "hi" to the famous Charmy, the Penny Lady before focusing on a particular coin of interest, an 1887 SL half in VG10 with CAC approval that West Coast Coins had been listing. It's perhaps the toughest of the "Maginot line" coins, my term for 1879-1890 SLHs with formidably low mintages that are relatively easy to acquire. It looked like a "B" coin to me with some light environmental damage, but it was an opportunity to obtain this scarce date for a reasonable price if I could get a discount. The negotiation was brief but strange as I had to point out suspected PVC damage when he mentioned its CAC approved. The seller briefly looked at the coin and agreed to my price as a favor to a return customer. It's nice to have been recognized as a past customer as I haven't attended many shows through the years ... but that coin needed to be discounted.

Back home under good lighting, the coin did have light environmental damage, had been gently cleaned, but had also retoned nicely enough to rate as a B- coin at CAC. Bottom line is buying this coin was like kissing one's sister. At least she has that "CAC-hotness" going for her that many seem to like. Despite the nice look in hand, I wasn't thrilled with it because it was far from choice and wasn't worthy of a bean, IMO, but I also wondered how long I'd have to wait to get another low-to-midgrade, reasonably priced 1887. I should have made a lower initial offer and then negotiated with Revick rather than deal with a friendly assistant new to coins, but the boss was busy with customers. Unfortunately, I didn't copy their photos of the coin to show here as they were removed from eBay and their site by the time I got home, so all I have is a computer screen shot.

That done, I submitted my coins to PCGS, including an 1880, '81, '84, and '85 SLHs from the Maginot series. Checking my SLH inventory after the show, the 1881 was described as "cleaned" but I didn't notice it at the bank and submitted it anyway. I'm curious to see if it straight grades. The actual grades of circulated '79-'90 coins are relatively unimportant to me so long as they straight grade.

I then cruised over to Larry Briggs "world of coins" (four tables) and was surprised at the number of coins in the 1879-90 series he had that he doesn't list on his website. We'd met at the last Summer FUN show and had an interesting and funny discussion about the discovery coin for a rare SLH die marriage that I had found in my collection. I felt like a real numismatic colleague for a moment, which was nice. Anyway, he had about 2-3 circulated examples of each date except for the '79 and '82 (which I need), some with nice, original toning. The two 1887s he had, were not acceptable to me, which was a relief. I could have upgraded a date or two with some trades, but my coins had just been submitted. He had a 42-O small date, but it had been cleaned in the past.

I did say "Hi" to the Penny Lady for the first time as I've always enjoyed her show summaries and noticed spacehayduke and ldhair had been by. I visited with Amwldcoin for a few minutes, and we compared notes on which grading service has the best limbo dancers. I stopped by the LSCC table and met the member who was to audit my SLH collection for the new Seated Half Society (SHS) last June. Unfortunately, a dear friend who I was planning to stay with for this audit died suddenly that week and the meeting fell apart. I was hoping to get together with board members after the show but was too tired to walk around looking for a party and decided to watch 20 minutes of the Bass auction and chill. The auction was well organized, and the auctioneer was excellent. After watching an early gold coin close at over a million dollars, I decided to head home.

It was probably the busiest show I've attended. I'm always amazed at the size of the FUN show and like to ponder the total value of coins in the room and volume of business transacted. I managed to get some things accomplished but I regret not staying over Wednesday or Thursday night so I could just relax, look at lots of beautiful coins, and enjoy the company of dealers and collectors.

3 rim nicks away from Good


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    CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,605 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very amusing report and a good read. Will be interested in your grading submission. Thanks for the write up.

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
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    spacehaydukespacehayduke Posts: 5,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Enjoyed the report and light humor.

    Best, SH

    Successful transactions with-Boosibri,lkeigwin,TomB,Broadstruck,coinsarefun,Type2,jom,ProfLiz, UltraHighRelief,Barndog,EXOJUNKIE,ldhair,fivecents,paesan,Crusty...
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    BarberianBarberian Posts: 3,056 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the kind words, @Catbert and @spacehayduke.

    3 rim nicks away from Good
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    MilesWaitsMilesWaits Posts: 5,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Trying but amusing start to your trip, at least from your description, Barberian!
    “Numismatic fantasyland” is a worthy reward for the early drama.
    Thank you for the report. Coins at a million are a wise time to exit….

    Now riding the swell in PM's and surf.
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Barberian.... Thank you for the FUN show report. I think you need to allocate more time for a coin show like FUN... But glad you had a good time. Cheers, RickO

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    braddickbraddick Posts: 23,128 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent report. "Like kissing one's sister"!
    If you're willing to crack your 1887, there is a gentle method to remove light environmental damage.
    PM me if you are interested.


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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,257 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your report.

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    JimnightJimnight Posts: 10,821 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very nice! Thank you.

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    1northcoin1northcoin Posts: 3,837 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 10, 2023 5:25PM

    Enjoyed the report. Some day I hope to make it to FUN.

    At least I got to meet Charmy, the Penny Lady at a West Coast show.

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    kazkaz Posts: 9,067 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the report, I like the way you write.

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