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Healthy Conditions Found at Shows
By Harry Miller, Numismatic News
March 17, 2014

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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I am in the midst of five consecutive weekly coin shows. The pattern I see is one of a healthy market with an equal number of dealers and collectors attending two Florida shows where bargains were sought, but seldom did they find anything good. There were several buyers with serious want lists and they were willing and able to acquire available items. Others with bigger wish lists were price conscious and often unable to close a deal.

The ANA event was different. There was buzz the first day, but sales were spotty and mostly wholesale. Day Two Friday was a more normal level of business both buying and selling, but still not brisk. Saturday over the last several years tends to start at 11 a.m. and end by 1:30 p.m. because without a Sunday wind down out-of-town dealers rush to make flights home. This Saturday was different. Early in the week there was the announcement of several old tin cans of a gold coin hoard uncovered in Northern California. Publicity kept building to a crescendo as the show progressed. Several of the best pieces were on display at the show and the news media just kept the exposure building. So Saturday’s business started at 10:05 a.m. and continued non-stop until nearly 5 p.m. (show closing 4 p.m.). The interesting and best observation is that contrary to what one would think business was not all about gold coins. While the publicity attracted curiosity seekers buying an interesting gift, there were people filling in Presidential dollars. There were serious type coin buyers. There were Morgan and Peace dollar collectors. Yes, there were gold coin buyers followed by silver and gold bullion buyers.

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While I would disagree with the flag waving and promotion if I were representing such a client, it certainly is a benefit to the hobby to have such national publicity. My reasoning here is that no one knows what the true origin of the hoard is and it would be very easy for someone or some entity to step forward and make claims either real or false and tie these folks up in court for years. There has already been conjecture about a San Francisco Mint theft, but the Mint itself sees no connection. The coins could have come from a bandit, miser, serious collector, or even a wealthy hermit. But silence is golden.







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