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FUN Show Report

FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 6, 2024 5:04PM in U.S. Coin Forum

Wow, what a past few days.

I was at a winter camp for a little over a week right before FUN, so I got home, slept for a few hours, and then hopped on a plane with my mom to head over to Florida.

I'm glad I did! FUN was a great experience for the few days I was there. I took down my camera setup, and I got to shoot what were arguably the best coins at the show. I'll get to that later.

I arrived late Thursday and after checking in to my hotel I ran over to the convention center to check out the show for an hour. It was actually a little bit of a walk, about 15 minutes one way. Not too bad, but it was difficult to find the first time there. The first thing that hit me was the sheer size of the show - it's huge. FUN was not my first major show, but it was my first time at a major show as someone who knew at least something about coins. I started walking the bourse, taking a look at the cases that struck my eye. Nothing except a 1909 Proof Lincoln stuck out, and upon closer inspection that was not quite what I wanted. I got a call from @DeplorableDan, and went over to where he and @lermish were to meet up. We pulled out some coins and talked about their purchases for a bit. JA was sitting at the CAC table, so we showed him my 1942 50c in PR68 which he said was a nice coin but needed more color to sticker. I expected a similar view, but thought he'd see it as a technical 67+ for hairlines, not color.

We met up with @Floridafacelifter and his dealer for a little bit, and then the show closed and we had to head out of there. I took some coins I needed to image from Dan (they were for a different collector), and headed to dinner. @Catbert met up with me later that night to give me some of his OGH $2.5 Indians to shoot, and we had a great conversation. His 1926 was my favorite of the 8 coins he gave me.

Friday I really hit the floor looking for anything to buy. I started with the NGC grading contest, and this was super fun. There were some AMAZING coins in that group of 15 coins, and I had a brief conversation with the NGC guys during it. I will say - I spent the last 2 minutes of the test just staring at the last coin (Pan Pac Octagonal). It seems that my performance on that test was making it's way around the floor, so if any of the guys who heard about that want to step and and share what they heard feel free to. (As I was typing this I got the notification that I won the contest overall, with 64/75 possible points scored. I got 12 coins correct, 2 partially correct, and 1 incorrect. The incorrect coin was a MS67 Pan Pac Octagonal which I graded 64 (thinking there was no way a coin that valuable was in the contest.

I hit the floor right after this, and met @winesteven to give him some of his coins back that I had imaged. He is a great guy, and I got to interact with him a few times throughout the show and thoroughly enjoyed each time I did.

There was an immense amount of Morgans on the floor, and they were are really bland. I bought three prints for $3, and that would be my only FUN purchase. Overall the show was filled with unexceptional coins that are extremely common. There were some lovely coins in the Legend cases, and a wonderful Matte Proof 67+ $2.5 Indian in the Stacks case, but other than those the coins at the show could be bought basically anywhere at any time. CAC material was somewhat scarce, but CACG coins were making their way around. I was definitely one of the younger people there, with the exception of the Witter U kids who are a whole different style of collecting (they're dealers) than me. Nothing really stuck out, so I headed back to the hotel at lunch to finish up imaging some coins. I headed back to the bourse a third time and went through again, observing the same things as earlier.

There were a group of us who went to dinner Friday night, and it was a really great way to figure out how the market was going and just discuss coins. As far as numismatists go, there was a NGC grader, a very skilled dealer, myself, @Catbert, @DeplorableDan, and @Floridafacelifter. We discussed pretty much everything from NGC policy to CACG to specific coins to coins we had in our bags. The NGC grader was a similar age to myself and had a some similar experiences/thoughts as myself on a few topics, which was refreshing to hear. I enjoyed discussing how he got into grading and his thoughts on Witter U.

I think the CACG discussion was very interesting. A few people are wondering where they will eventually stack up with the other TPGS given the strict grading we've seen and frequent details grades. Hopefully they're pass the holdups as well, but they do seem to be short staffed when compared to PCGS/NGC.

I was also a little surprised to hear how the grading teams at NGC stack up against PCGS (experience wise), as that wasn't something I had considered before. It definitely doesn't line up with the market perception.

After dinner, we all headed back and went to sleep. I slept in and went to the bourse at about 11, and went to the NGC table to talk to a few people they wanted me to talk to. I met with one of their finalizers who knew about my 1921 and had seen it in the room and he commented that it was convincing as a Proof. I met up with @DeplorableDan and @Floridafacelifter and we went back to take some pictures of their coins. This was the highlight of the FUN show for sure - they both have incredible coins. As expected, I loved all of @Floridafacelifter's coins (very similar interests) and most of @DeplorableDan's (his coins are all fantastic, but he does have a different collecting focus than me).

Here are some of my photos from that bunch of coins. I did take a few fun shots for myself.
















All in all, it was a super fun experience. I got to do some things that I would otherwise never be able to do - and for that I am super thankful.

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Comments

  • mtnmanmtnman Posts: 565 ✭✭✭

    Fantastic coins. No words for the 1907 $20 gold. I don’t think I’ve seen a nicer 1921 Peace dollar.

  • nwcoastnwcoast Posts: 2,794 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic show report and photography!
    I love it!

    Congratulations on your winning the grading contest as well!
    You ROCK!

    Happy, humble, honored and proud recipient of the “You Suck” award 10/22/2014

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,156 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Superb report!

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

  • sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,350 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful pictures! You are quite skilled.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
  • Bob13Bob13 Posts: 1,409 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great report! Great pictures! Love your enthusiasm.

    My current "Box of 20"

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,777 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Super photos and recap.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,595 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Alex, I'm glad you enjoyed yourself so much and congratulations on your grading contest win!

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • divecchiadivecchia Posts: 6,500 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Alex,

    Great Show report with some amazing photos of some great coins. Also congrats on winning the grading contest. You have a great eye and skill for detail. I'm sure it will serve you well in the future.

    Thanks for taking the time to share your experience.

    Donato

    Hobbyist & Collector (not an investor).
    Donato's Complete US Type Set ---- Donato's Dansco 7070 Modified Type Set ---- Donato's Basic U.S. Coin Design Set

    Successful transactions: Shrub68 (Jim), MWallace (Mike)
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,467 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl is what is known as a “High POT (high potential) in corporate lingo. His future is incredibly bright and he could quickly earn some serious money in the coin industry in just a few years if he chose to do so. It is so inspiring, from this old man’s perspective, to witness a teenage prodigy!

    Congratulations Alex on your grading “exam”!!!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • keyman64keyman64 Posts: 15,451 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Alex, congrats on the win! That certainly demonstrates your dedication to learn so much. That's really cool.

    Great photos of great coins and that 1921 Peace is incredible! Where is the story on that one?

    I was at the show on Thursday. I met up with just a couple people, searched about 1.5 aisles(said hi to a couple people I knew during that process including a deplorable guy), really visited with just one dealer and submitted coins to CACG, CAC Stickering and PCGS. I did not have the energy to drive back on Friday to actually search the bourse and socialize, even though I really wanted to. I did not purchase anything but that wasn't for a lack of trying. Ugh. I will be there at Summer FUN.

    "If it's not fun, it's not worth it." - KeyMan64
    Looking for Top Pop Mercury Dime Varieties & High Grade Mercury Dime Toners. :smile:
  • dhikewhitneydhikewhitney Posts: 355 ✭✭✭

    Great photos and commentary; thank you for sharing them with us.

  • Eldorado9Eldorado9 Posts: 2,058 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great report Buddy, and your photos just keep getting better. My moniker for you a year ago was “The most exciting guy in numismatics”. I stand by that ! Safe travels.

  • breakdownbreakdown Posts: 1,943 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great report! It is a reassuring to see a YN with such skills. And a good grader no less.

    "Look up, old boy, and see what you get." -William Bonney.

  • KliaoKliao Posts: 5,425 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Awesome report. Thanks for sharing your experience and congrats on the grading contest win!

    Young Numismatist/collector
    73 Positive BST transactions buying and selling with 44 members and counting!
    instagram.com/klnumismatics

  • mattnissmattniss Posts: 539 ✭✭✭

    Awesome report and what reads like a very fulfilling FUN show for you Alex! Must have been a real pleasure to spend time with some of the forum heavyweights in person. Getting to see any of the @Floridafacelifter Morgans in person surely was just the icing on the cake!

    Very excited to see, hear, and read more from you @FlyingAl!

  • 1TwoBits1TwoBits Posts: 448 ✭✭✭✭

    Great report Alex, thank you for posting it!

    1TwoBits

    Searching for bust quarters.....counterstamps, errors, and AU-MS varieties, please let me know if you can help.
  • GotTheBugGotTheBug Posts: 1,517 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great photos! You have some serious photography chops....

  • TorinoCobra71TorinoCobra71 Posts: 8,012 ✭✭✭

    Excellent Report! Great Photos! Glad to hear that you have a Good Time! Thanks for sharing!!!!

    TC71

    image
  • EastonCollectionEastonCollection Posts: 1,240 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great read and excellent photography.

    Easton Collection
  • calgolddivercalgolddiver Posts: 1,376 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Alex - congratulations ... great to see your skills in action !!

    Top 25 Type Set 1792 to present

    Top 10 Cal Fractional Type Set

    successful BST with Ankurj, BigAl, Bullsitter, CommemKing, DCW(7), Elmerfusterpuck, Joelewis, Mach1ne, Minuteman810430, Modcrewman, Nankraut, Nederveit2, Philographer(5), Realgator, Silverpop, SurfinxHI, TomB and Yorkshireman(3)

  • coastaljerseyguycoastaljerseyguy Posts: 1,195 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    It was a pleasure meeting you Alex- and congratulations on the win!

    Great photos of my coins as well:
    1907 HR SP67+ CAC
    1910 $20 PR67 CAC
    1921 PR65 Peace $
    1887 Morgan PR68 UltraCameo
    1884CC Morgan PR67 Cameo CAC

    Awesome coins and thanks for allowing photos & sharing. Interesting to see the 84CC so-called branch proof coin. Didn't see this year/mint mentioned in the Jeff Garrett article, like the 93CC, and interesting how there is a die break through the all the stars. Not sure I'd ever seen a proof with a die break before.

  • GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,116 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2024 7:57AM

    WOW, that is a BEAUTIFUL MCMVII HR!!! :)

    Can someone make out what is under the CAC label -- I can't read it all (for some reason, the printing is slanted rightward).

    I don't think I've ever seen that coin before....a 67+CAC....and the "SP" designation, I don't recall seeing that on MCMVII labels, either. :oWas this coin part of the recent Bass sales ?

    Spectacular !!!

  • GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,116 ✭✭✭✭

    Great update, BTW, FlyingAl !!

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,653 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Did you make it upstairs for Heritage Auction Lot Viewing? They usually have some 'exceptional' coins that are not usually seen on most bourse floors.

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,595 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter said:

    @coastaljerseyguy said:

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    It was a pleasure meeting you Alex- and congratulations on the win!

    Great photos of my coins as well:
    1907 HR SP67+ CAC
    1910 $20 PR67 CAC
    1921 PR65 Peace $
    1887 Morgan PR68 UltraCameo
    1884CC Morgan PR67 Cameo CAC

    Awesome coins and thanks for allowing photos & sharing. Interesting to see the 84CC so-called branch proof coin. Didn't see this year/mint mentioned in the Jeff Garrett article, like the 93CC, and interesting how there is a die break through the all the stars. Not sure I'd ever seen a proof with a die break before.

    I misspoke in my original post and called the 1884-CC a PR67 Cameo CAC. Should have said SP67 Cameo CAC- I edited it above to be correct.

    I spoke to both JD and JA about this coin at FUN. The SP is intended to stand for “Special Strike” not “Specimen.” There is confusion in the labeling of coins with SP designation- they felt it inappropriate to create a distinction with the designation “SS” for obvious historical connotation reasons.

    Interestingly as a side note I also have a 1921 Zerbe that says SP66+ but under the grade the PCGS label also says “Zerbe Special Strike”

    There are proof coins with die breaks in the Smithsonian collection apparently- or so I have been told by two experts who have seen them. And on my coin you can see die polishing lines on top of the die breaks. So they took a used die, polished it, and struck my coin. No documentation has been found to date to explain the circumstances. Fascinating coin- wish I knew more of the backstory.

    Just out of curiosity, were you told what the supposed differences are between a "Special Strike" and a "Specimen"?

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • FloridafacelifterFloridafacelifter Posts: 1,123 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just out of curiosity, were you told what the supposed differences are between a "Special Strike" and a "Specimen"?

    We didn’t really discuss that exactly- I think it’s a tough area relating to intent, documentation etc. In my mind Specimen is a little more formal and intentional whereas Special Strike is a little more casual.

    Take my 84CC- no documentation has emerged but clearly the dies were polished and it was set aside and preserved- and is called a Special Strike. If it had been produced exactly the same for an event relating to our country or the Mint or a visiting politician or dignitary and was written about would it then be called a Specimen?

    Next time I’ll ask that exact question!

  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,595 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Floridafacelifter said:

    Just out of curiosity, were you told what the supposed differences are between a "Special Strike" and a "Specimen"?

    We didn’t really discuss that exactly- I think it’s a tough area relating to intent, documentation etc. In my mind Specimen is a little more formal and intentional whereas Special Strike is a little more casual.

    Take my 84CC- no documentation has emerged but clearly the dies were polished and it was set aside and preserved- and is called a Special Strike. If it had been produced exactly the same for an event relating to our country or the Mint or a visiting politician or dignitary and was written about would it then be called a Specimen?

    Next time I’ll ask that exact question!

    Thank you,
    If both of those terms are going to be used, I like your distinctions.

    Mark Feld* of Heritage Auctions*Unless otherwise noted, my posts here represent my personal opinions.

  • marcmoishmarcmoish Posts: 6,139 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @nwcoast said:
    Fantastic show report and photography!
    I love it!

    Congratulations on your winning the grading contest as well!
    You ROCK!

    Ditto, totally agree, and I actually did not realize you're a YN, makes the responses here so more applicable and worthy.

  • Morgan13Morgan13 Posts: 671 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great read. I appreciate hearing about the FUN show. Must be nice to be in sunny FL. We're getting 2ft of snow where I live.

    Student of numismatics and collector of Morgan dollars

  • calgolddivercalgolddiver Posts: 1,376 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @FlyingAl Outstanding !!!

    Top 25 Type Set 1792 to present

    Top 10 Cal Fractional Type Set

    successful BST with Ankurj, BigAl, Bullsitter, CommemKing, DCW(7), Elmerfusterpuck, Joelewis, Mach1ne, Minuteman810430, Modcrewman, Nankraut, Nederveit2, Philographer(5), Realgator, Silverpop, SurfinxHI, TomB and Yorkshireman(3)

  • GoldFinger1969GoldFinger1969 Posts: 1,116 ✭✭✭✭
    edited January 7, 2024 4:14PM

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    This coin's proof pedigree traces back to the legendary Captain Andrew North Saint-Gaudens gold set, which, according to the research of Burdette, possibly originated from the personal collection of Chief Engraver, Charles Edward Barber. The set has been heralded as "the rarest set of gold coins in the world," and won the blue ribbon for "Excellency of Exhibit" when it was displayed by Stack's at the 1956 ANA convention in Chicago. It consisted of seven double eagles, including two Ultra High Reliefs, and four eagles, all in simply remarkable condition and encased in a custom-made leather box. The set remained intact, housed in private collections, until NERCG purchased it in April 1980 for $1 million and distributed the pieces to various collectors. The High Relief Wire Edge proof, as well as its proof Flat Edge counterpart, was purchased from NERCG by Harry W. Bass, Jr. at the New York Metropolitan coin show that same month, and remained in that famous collection until Bowers and Merena auctioned it in November 2000.

    I'll have to double-check but was this covered in RWB's Saint-Gaudens book ?

    I have the book, and the sections on the UHR and the MCMVII HR are very extensive and detailed (drawing in part from this Renaissance series). I just read it a few years ago so I don't recall, though I guess I can check when I'm home in a few days.

  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,716 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @GoldFinger1969 said:

    @Floridafacelifter said:
    This coin's proof pedigree traces back to the legendary Captain Andrew North Saint-Gaudens gold set, which, according to the research of Burdette, possibly originated from the personal collection of Chief Engraver, Charles Edward Barber. The set has been heralded as "the rarest set of gold coins in the world," and won the blue ribbon for "Excellency of Exhibit" when it was displayed by Stack's at the 1956 ANA convention in Chicago. It consisted of seven double eagles, including two Ultra High Reliefs, and four eagles, all in simply remarkable condition and encased in a custom-made leather box. The set remained intact, housed in private collections, until NERCG purchased it in April 1980 for $1 million and distributed the pieces to various collectors. The High Relief Wire Edge proof, as well as its proof Flat Edge counterpart, was purchased from NERCG by Harry W. Bass, Jr. at the New York Metropolitan coin show that same month, and remained in that famous collection until Bowers and Merena auctioned it in November 2000.

    I'll have to double-check but was this covered in RWB's Saint-Gaudens book ?

    I have the book, and the sections on the UHR and the MCMVII HR are very extensive and detailed (drawing in part from this Renaissance series). I just read it a few years ago so I don't recall, though I guess I can check when I'm home in a few days.

    It was covered.

  • alohagaryalohagary Posts: 2,760 ✭✭✭✭

    congrats on all your accomplishments

  • RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 8,346 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent report and great photography!!!

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

  • goldengolden Posts: 8,948 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your great report.

  • NicNic Posts: 3,334 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you Alex. Great pics and CONGRATULATIONS!

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