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CPMX Busy for Buyers, Sellers
By Robert R. Van Ryzin, Numismatic News
March 14, 2014

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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They say March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb. If similar could be applied to a paper money show, there would have to be some modification to this old proverb.

The 20th annual Chicago Paper Money Expo, March 6-9 at the Crowne Plaza O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., was gangbusters from the public opening on Friday, March 7, throughout the weekend. There was no lamb to be seen, just the lion.

“This year marked the 20th anniversary for CPMX, and the paper money community made it quite a celebration,” said convention chairman Scott Tappa. “To a person, every dealer we talked with had a good show buying, selling or both. Friday’s attendance was as good as it’s ever been, and there was a strong crowd from beginning to end.”

Echoing that was Joe Peruski of Monroe Currency and Coins, Monroe, Mich.

“Stuff just flew out the case yesterday and I’m not the only dealer saying that. There are other dealers saying, ‘Wow, stuff just left,’” Peruski told Bank Note Reporter of Friday’s bourse activity. “We were slammed for about three hours or so. It was just one thing after another.”

Peruski said his sales were of a little bit of everything, with about 70 percent of his CPMX business going to collectors and the other 30 percent to dealers.

Angela Henley of Unlimited Currency, Greenville, Ind., also found that collectors were out in force and ready to buy.

“This is a collector’s show,” she said of CPMX. “People came on a mission. They wanted this note. They found this note. And they paid for this note. And they were very happy to have it.”

Collector activity, she said, was especially strong on Friday.

“Friday is usually pretty slow,” Henley said. “But Friday, yesterday, was like a Saturday. Until 1 or 2 o’clock yesterday there were people everywhere. Every time I turned around there were two or three more, and they weren’t just looking. They were like, ‘Oh, I’ve been looking for that. How much? $500? OK. Just write it up.’”

She said sales were brisk in Fractionals, North Africa and Hawaii emergency issues, Federal Reserve Bank Notes and other high-graded PCGS and PMG notes.

“This show was surprising and successful,” said John Markis of Trusted Traditions, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “The volume was there from the very moment. There was a lot of traffic. There was a lot of sales. Optimism was at a high point. Availability was sparse, thus the prices were strong.

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“Overall I’m glad I was here and I can’t wait until next year.”

“We’ve had a very good to decent show,” said Tom Surina of Tom Surina, LCC, Old Bridge, N.J. “I think the key was that we brought a diversified inventory. So we’ve sold a little bit of everything.” This included large-size type, Fractionals, and obsoletes.

“Overall we are very, very happy with the show,” Surina added.

“There was good traffic yesterday [Friday] and today is looking OK so far,” said Jim Fitzgerald of Fitzgerald Currency, Fort Worth, Texas. Large-size type, he found, was especially strong. But the market for nationals has been hit or miss, depending on state.

“The show here has been really good,” said Glen Jorde of Lake Region Coin & Currency, Devils Lake, N.D., adding that there was good public traffic on Friday.

“There’s a lot of new interest,” with world currency and large-size U.S. being the strong points, he said. “Every show is a little different. Some shows I sell more national currency or large-size type, but here it has been a healthy mix.”

Another dealer satisfied with interest in world currency was Stephen Barber of S&P Collectibles, Colorado Springs, Colo.

“It’s been a great show this year as far as world paper money goes,” Barber said. “Attendance seems as good as last year. Perhaps it’s a little higher. I know from a selling standpoint, it’s been a good show.”

He characterized the world currency market as strong, but also country dependent. Right now, British Commonwealth issues are doing well, along with some of the Middle East countries, but there is some weakness for some South America issues and those of Australia.

“The show has been excellent,” said George Warner, Sheridan, Wyo. Warner, who deals mainly in world paper money, noted, “there’s been a lot of interest in a variety of different countries.”

The 21st annual CPMX is slated for March 5-8, 2015, at the Crowne Plaza Chicago O’Hare, 5440 N River Rd, Rosemont, Ill. For additional information, visit or contact convention chairman Scott Tappa at or (800) 726-9966, ext. 13428.

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