FUN Show Report
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.
Young Numismatist, Coin Photography: https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/1090140/flyingal-coin-photography-10-photos#latest