ANA Show Summary

Returned yesterday from 2 days at the ANA show which I truly enjoyed. As this was the second ANA for me, I had a sense of what the show is about, and compressed the schedule, Arrived at O'Hare Thursday around 830AM, jumped on a hotel shuttle and given Rosemont's proximity to the airport, made it to the "opening bell" at 9:30. Quite convenient. Given the short show window, I had to carefully plan my schedule to include timely lot viewing, auction attendence and combing of the bourse floor in case I see something for my collection. I also brought a large number of coins and medals I was looking to offload.

I started my first day by picking up a long anticipated 1632 Leopold V Taler which I had waited for to arrive from Europe which from a pure quality standpoint is fabulous - may be the best one I have ever owned. As struck, lustrous and appealing. Spent some time talking about the coin with dealer and a collector at the table, then off to Heritage/Stacks lot viewing and back to the floor. Upon my return, I ran into a dealer that started me with Talers in 2008 and while I didn't find anything in Talers at his table, I did pickup a very sweet looking Papal State Piastra, outside my collecting theme, due to its superb eye appeal. I later ran into a raw wildly patinated Maria Theresia Gunzburg mint Taler along with a nicely toned Salzburg 1/2 Taler all were sent to NGC along with my "European Whale" above. Will image these when I get them back from the TPG.

Continued to look at dealer tables, said hello to Josh at Civitas, Atlas, Teller, Aspen Park, Philip Kapaan, CRO, James Beach (a really really nice and knowledgeable guy), waved to Andy Lustig who passed by and then spent as much time as I could looking at ancients as I rarely have an opportunity to see so many in one place. As in the case of world coins, the eye needs to be trained and adapted to get a feel for the relative trade-offs between coins. Spent some time at Harlan Berk, Vilmar and others and while I did not buy any, I truly enjoyed the coins. Also picked up 2 ancients that I had sent raw from NGC (separate post).

The Heritage Platinum Night lots were mostly.... amazing as was the anticipation from my end to see how the auction fares. However, most of the lots had relatively high reserves set on them. Consignors playing defense or auction house trying to maximize prices? Not sure what the strategy was yet from my perspective, many lots did not sell, and quite a few did not hit the target prices. Sitting in on the live auction however, is fun, and its amazing to see the bidding dynamic (and auctioning) of certain coins. Given the number of iPADs in the room, I am quite certain that some placed bids electronically rather than using the paddle, perhaps not to show their enthusiasm. Enjoyable venue and free drinks for participants image After the relevant auction section ended, I headed to Gibson's for dinner with a dealer/friend both of us feeling completely exhausted (my day started at 5AM) and off to hotel to respond to work related emails and to sleep.

The next day involved intense efforts to sell (which went relatively well, including the Baptisimal 2T which I needed to get out of due to the other purchases) and continue to meet folks I didn't know before as well as hope to find something for the collection. Didn't meet any forum collector members other than bidask yet did spend time with new dealers whom I didn't know. I have yet to see a coin dealer who is not passionate about coins and their business which is refreshing compared to other professions. However, a few have less patience for new customers than others which is their loss. I was invited to the ANA Banquet for dinner - didn't realize that this is not a brief meet and greet - they had speech after speech, award after award (including a few 60 year ANA Membership recognition!), young numismatists (not so many in the program) and realizing that I am only 25% through the evening agenda, and it was already 9PM, I cut it shot. I do see the benefit to the community as a whole, yet perhaps the format should be changed to a daytime award ceremony and nighttime more social event. I then met up with Andy Lustig and another dealer for drinks and then off to bed.

Saturday provided me with a couple of hours to say my goodbyes and sell a couple more coins before flying back to the real life. It was fun and I hope to be able to do it again. Overall, it seemed to me that collector traffic was less than expected. Dealers were reluctant to buy for inventory yet were very eager for consignments. Is it the strong dollar? Is it the state of the economy? Is it the Internet that replaced the physical attendance/relationship? Probably a combination. To me, nothing replaces a personal touch in any industry. I hope to do this again and look forward to meeting some of the forum members when there.

The following are additional show pickups that gave me lots of pleasure and some real painimage. Todd (blu62vette) imaged the Salzburg piece on site. The WINGS guy was seated with one of the dealers I showed this to and volunteered a sticker, not sure its needed for such a coin as it is quite attractive for those who enjoy toning/luster and while I have a very nice one in my collection, this one is nicer - what sharp details on the cathedral, saints, bishops, faces. As a reference, this coin is a commemorative issue struck for the Consecration of Salzburg Cathedral in 1628 with obverse imagery featuring the facade of the Cathedral flanked by bishops and reverse devices depicting bishops carrying a reliquary with angels below.

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The second piece is a coin which I really like. Rudolph II 2 Taler PCGS MS-64 is a really superb large flan coin with a lovely portrait. The subtle iridescence is a real plus. These don't come as nice and I had to make a move as a pricey upgrade.

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