And it certainly won't be my last. I'm already planning for next year.
As a member of the Philippine Collectors Forum (PCF), I've wanted to attend the annual ANA show for many years since this is where the PCF holds its annual meeting. The stars aligned, and this year I was finally able to make everything work out. I spent two and a half days at the show and could easily have added another day. Surprisingly, the highlight for me was not the coins. It was the people!
I planned in advance to meet up with fellow Collectors Society members JAA USA/Philippines Collection (JAA), gherrmann44, Yankeejose, and Vesel. It was great to finally meet JAA and gherrmann44 in person. My only regret is that there was so much to talk about and so little time to do it. Vesel and I have been best friends ever since the 7th grade, so as fellow collectors, this was a great opportunity to get together in Chicago and have a good time.
I attended five "Money Talks," and all were excellent and well worth the time spent. The speakers were all knowledgeable and very well prepared. These talks are free with the show admission or ANA membership, and I strongly encourage all who attend next year's show to work a couple of these talks into your schedule. There's plenty there to interest even the most advanced collector.
The PCGS luncheon provided good food at a great price (free!), conversation with fellow collectors and the opportunity to hear from some true numismatic legends like Q. David Bowers.
The PCF (also free for the price of admission) was well attended and chocked full of great information. The talks by the PCF members were well presented and very informative. I was able to meet and converse with other like-minded US/Philippine collectors and true legends in Philippine Numismatics including Ray Czahor and Neil Shafer himself.
The bourse floor provided even more opportunities to meet people. I connected with several dealers I would never have met if I hadn't attended this show. One of the best connections I made at the show was with Mark Salzberg. Mark is chairmen of NGC and for one hour on Wednesday and again on Thursday he was offering expert consultations to Collectors. I wasn't even aware of this until JAA told me about it. I just happened to have 6 coins with me that I was going to ask the folks at the NGC about anyway, and here was a chance to go straight to the top! Of the six coins I asked him to look at, three were deemed worthy of submission and two suggested for a grade review. All five were submitted right then and there. I'll follow up with another post when I get them back.
Except for a trade with JAA, I didn't acquire any coins at the show until late Saturday morning. I just happened by a dealer with nothing but world coin bargain bins, and a BU Cuban 1916 One Centavo caught my eye. At $3.00, it seemed way too good to pass up. Then I realized everything in the bins was uncirculated AND 50% off, so my $3.00 bargain BU was actually only $1.50! We began digging in earnest and came away with 26 world coins that had all been minted by various branches of the US Mint. All BU and all for a super bargain price! At least 10 of these will be taking a trip to NGC in the next few months.
It was a great show!
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