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My Thursday Long Beach Report with a couple pictures

Despite the extremely rainy morning down in Southern California, turnout was surprisingly not as low as I had expected when I arrived around 11AM to the show (doors opened at 10AM to the public). Check-in was quick and easy. Walking in, the all-too-familiar Long Beach layout was abuzz with a healthy mix of collectors, YN's, old-timers and dealers alike and that left me feeling good about my prospects for the day. Police / security presence was felt and noticed in a good way as everything went off without a hitch during the several hours I was on the floor.

After doing a full loop to get a look at everything and say a quick hello to a couple friends and local dealers, my first stop was over to Seth Chandler and Ben over at the Witter Coin table. They had some insanely nice coins on display as always, as well as a healthy CACG contingent. A good sign to kick things off, we were able to make a deal on a killer 1880-S MS65PL rattler with some incredible obverse toning (sadly no pics on this one) that now has a new home with Witter. Seth was gracious enough to dig through my box of twenty that came with me and offer some feedback on a few pieces which was invaluable.

Browsed a bunch of coin cases after my Witter pit stop to locate a few things I was on the hunt for and find a couple homes for some of the things I was hoping to move on from. Some of the best coins I viewed on display were not surprisingly from some of the heavyweights -- Witter, Rinkor, "The Larry's" (separately, both Shapiro and Goldberg -- and thanks to Larry Goldberg for giving me some of his time to have a great chat), Kagin's, EERC -- but also some of the local Socal guys like Allen from Coins x Collectibles had some really superior coins on display.

One of my most exciting observations was the throng of YN dealers bouncing around the bourse making deals left and right. Not only did several of them have some incredible coins (one YN who I spoke to for a bit came in from Phoenix had an amazing box with him that included a gorgeous 1881-S MS65 NGC Fatty Gold CAC that looked like a lock 67 all day) but these guys REALLY knew their stuff. Impeccable grading skills, meticulous pricing and auction notes, and a serious eye for spotting the best opportunities in any case. Also not a surprise, they would all flock over to Seth Chandler periodically for advice, to show off something cool, or to potentially even flip a NEWP. I later learned that many were proud WCU alumni which made perfect sense.

After a quick bite for lunch, I was able to close an amazing deal for a special colonial that I've had for a long time, a NGC F15 George Washington funeral urn medal in silver. This awesome piece of America history doesn't show up in auction very often, and usually when it does it's the bronze version, not the silver. According to David McCarthy, with whom I shared the medal in hand more than once in the last year or so, it had one of the most centered and perfect holes for the necklace the medals were worn on that he had ever seen. Big thanks to Paul, Colin, and Noah from @numismattack for picking this up and working with me on a price that made everyone happy.

1799 B-116A Silver Washington Funeral Urn F15 NGC

I ended up adding two great coins to the Live Long & Prosper roster during my one-day trip as well. On the first one, I had been searching for a really colorful, eye-appealing 1878-CC for a long time, but of course at the right price. Most of the recent auctions I have seen lately were all for blast white examples, so I was watching cases like a hawk all day. Fortunately, Kirk from Argenteus had the example with the coloring I had been looking for and after some back and forth, we ended up making a fantastic deal.

1878-CC MS65 PCGS

For the second one, I wanted to upgrade my fugly 1921-D MS65 to a better looking 65 or even a 66 if I could find one at the right price. Many 1921-D Morgans have some incredibly funky (in a not so good way) toning on the obverse, and since I knew I wanted to find a colorful example here too, you really have to look at a bunch of them in hand to know which are less fugly than others. Fortunately, with about 15 minutes before I was planning to pack up for the day, I spotted a more pleasing (yet still delightfully fugly) colorful 1921-D. After a little back-and-forth, I was able to secure it for a better price than I had anticipated.

1921-D MS65 PCGS

A few closing observations:

1) Quite surprisingly, there was way less CAC material than I had expected. TBH, I think I saw way more CACG vs PCAC/NCAC on the bourse. First time I've ever experienced that at a show! Gold CAC even tougher to spot, though there were a scant few on display. The CAC material that was out there was usually solid as expected, yet very strongly priced. Of the few CAC coins I spotted for my own hunt, I sadly couldn't make the numbers work. I was really close on making a deal to acquire an 82-S MS67+ PCAC that was insanely nice but couldn't get over the final hump with the dealer (no names but a very honest Socal-based dealer I like who I'm guessing wanted to give the coin another day or so on the floor before letting it go at my desired price).

2) The usual parade of slabbed Morgans, monster toners, and original looking type coins were abound, but there was also a TON of slabbed gold. I mean, there's always slabbed gold at any big show, but it felt like every single table had at least a full case of slabbed gold examples. Not sure how it was all selling but man, if you came hunting for slabbed gold, you sure had a lot of coins to peruse.

3) On the flip side of that, a few of my bullion friends commented about how NO ONE seemed to be buying gold bullion. A friend who brought several 1/10's for a quick flip couldn't find a price that was even remotely close to realistic (he mentioned being offered melt minus 10% as the best offer he got all day). Silver bullion was everywhere as usual and priced at very strong retail (think like $35 libertads / ASE's). 90% was being offered publicly at 20 - 21x face.

4) For those who have mentioned about the card tables and how they seem to be "taking over" Long Beach Expo, that certainly wasn't my experience. While there were the usual 8 - 10 card dealers plus PSA set up in the back on the bourse, that number didn't seem to be growing from any previous Long Beach shows I've been to in the last 2 years. I would say that at least 3 - 4 of those card dealers had some coins on display too. Coins were still the dominant representation with cards in distant second and stamps in an even more distant third.

TL:DR -- overall, Long Beach is still a widely respected show with strong dealer and material turnout. It is definitely in its sunset phase compared to the glory days of yesteryear, but undoubtedly worth checking out if you're living in or around Southern California. Talk to more YN's when you're there too, as some of these budding personalities have some mega coins, legit education, and incredible passion that will reinvigorate a love for coins in even the most jaded, mustard-stained old timer!


  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,476 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Really nice and informative report! The LB show is way too far away for me to ever attend, but I always enjoy the perspectives shared from those who do. Congrats on your new pieces!

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • CatbertCatbert Posts: 6,476 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 2, 2024 10:22AM

    . duplicate post

    "Got a flaming heart, can't get my fill"
  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,766 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent report, thank you!

  • bronzematbronzemat Posts: 2,597 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great report, love the funeral urn.

    What's this "stamps", you speak up? :o

  • mattnissmattniss Posts: 545 ✭✭✭

    @bronzemat said:
    What's this "stamps", you speak up? :o

    I think they are these things... :D

  • BLUEJAYWAYBLUEJAYWAY Posts: 7,816 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A very detailed report. Thanks for your time.

    Successful transactions:Tookybandit. "Everyone is equal, some are more equal than others".
  • ElcontadorElcontador Posts: 7,406 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This report is interesting, because we were at the same place at the same time, but had different takeaways about the experience because were were looking at events from different perspectives. Nice 78CC Morgan.

    "Vou invadir o Nordeste,
    "Seu cabra da peste,
    "Sou Mangueira......."
  • coinbufcoinbuf Posts: 10,620 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the report, I used to enjoy going to the LB show, mostly to chat with Andy from Angel Dee's and see his new stuff up close. But it just costs too much for travel these days especially with the very strong prospect of coming home with nothing new to show for the trip.

    Glad that you got to make a few deals each why and congrats on your newps.

    My Lincoln Registry
    My Collection of Old Holders

    Never a slave to one plastic brand will I ever be.
  • 1madman1madman Posts: 1,262 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for the report.

    So you show a box of coins you have for sale to Witter coin, and instead of an offer you get a lecture about them? What’s up with that

  • Mr_SpudMr_Spud Posts: 4,202 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great show report 👍🏼


  • goldengolden Posts: 8,962 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks for your nice show report. The only Long Beach show that I attended was in February 1982. It is just too far for me. I will stick to shows east of the Mississippi River.

  • pursuitoflibertypursuitofliberty Posts: 6,505 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fantastic report ... thanks for taking the time to write it up and share your experiences with us!

    “We are only their care-takers,” he posed, “if we take good care of them, then centuries from now they may still be here … ”

    Todd - BHNC #242
  • Dave99BDave99B Posts: 8,315 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for the great LB Report, and congrats on the new pickups. Beautiful coins!!! Love the 21-D.


    Always looking for original, better date VF20-VF35 Barber quarters and halves, and a quality beer.
  • MFeldMFeld Posts: 11,730 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That was a most excellent report!

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

  • alohagaryalohagary Posts: 2,761 ✭✭✭✭

    Great show report
    Wish I was there

  • Walkerguy21DWalkerguy21D Posts: 11,059 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very detailed report, thank you for taking the time to share your experience with us.

    Successful BST transactions with 170 members. Recent: Tonedeaf, Shane6596, Piano1, Ikenefic, RG, PCGSPhoto, stman, Don'tTelltheWife, Boosibri, Ron1968, snowequities, VTchaser, jrt103, SurfinxHI, 78saen, bp777, FHC, RYK, JTHawaii, Opportunity, Kliao, bigtime36, skanderbeg, split37, thebigeng, acloco, Toninginthblood, OKCC, braddick, Coinflip, robcool, fastfreddie, tightbudget, DBSTrader2, nickelsciolist, relaxn, Eagle eye, soldi, silverman68, ElKevvo, sawyerjosh, Schmitz7, talkingwalnut2, konsole, sharkman987, sniocsu, comma, jesbroken, David1234, biosolar, Sullykerry, Moldnut, erwindoc, MichaelDixon, GotTheBug
  • WAYNEASWAYNEAS Posts: 6,261 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @mattniss, thanks for sharing your show report.
    I am glad that you had a good time.

    Kennedys are my quest...

  • P0CKETCHANGEP0CKETCHANGE Posts: 2,158 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Excellent and informative report, sir. Thanks for sharing.

    Nothing is as expensive as free money.

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