I have been to a total of five ANA Worlds Fair of Money shows and this year's show was far and away the best I have attended.
That said, I have good memories of all the shows I attended. My first show was 2007 in Milwaukee. There I saw a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel, a 100 kg gold coin, and Chet Krause's extensive collection of Wisconsin National Currency.
Next for me was the 2011 show in Chicago to view M.L. Mosers spectacular collection of Morgan Dollars. Incidentally, I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Moser in person and as an extra bonus of our meeting he signed his collection brochure for me. To top it off, I came home with an AU-50 1828 half-cent and a panda for my wife.
I had mixed feelings about the 2013 show in Chicago as I observed a long line of people at the US Mints booth to buy reverse proof buffalos for the express purpose of flipping them. Yet it was at this show that I met Collectors Society user yankeejose and attended the Friday PCGS luncheon as his guest. This made the show much more enjoyable as we spent a considerable amount of time just talking coins. Furthermore, I came away from this show with a gorgeously toned MS-63 1870 half-dime for my type set.
Then there was the 2014 show, and who can forget the Kennedy Half-Dollar fiasco. Yet once again this show was more about people than anything else. Here I met Collectors Society users coin928 and JAA USA/Philippine Collection. In my estimation there are no two people in all of numismatics who are as knowledgable and passionate about USA/Philippine coinage than these two gentlemen. It is always a joy for me to converse with people who are passionate about what they collect, no matter what they collect.
This all brings me to this years show. To begin with, I decided to attend the show on Wednesday instead of Friday as I had done in the past. Going to the show earlier in the week allows for a better selection of coins available for sale.
When my wife and I arrived in Chicago, we quickly checked in and soon afterwards met up with yankeejose. I had been looking forward to this show for quite some time because I knew Collectors Society user RichH would be attending the show with yankeejose. Thus, as with the previous two shows, I had the opportunity to personally meet somebody I had only electronically conversed with before.
One of the things that my wife and I always make a point of doing is to look at the collectors exhibits. Im finding that the exhibits seem to get more creative and informative every year. This year though, I was also looking for some ideas to possibly exhibit some of my coins at a future show. I have won a number of awards for my virtual sets, but it would be nice to win one for a show exhibit.
While my wife and I were perusing the exhibits I observed coin928 doing the same. Immediately, he and I picked up where we left off a year ago. One thing that I did not know was that Collectors Society user JAA USA/Philippine Collection displayed his award winning Manila Mint set as a collector exhibit. Incidentally, I really enjoyed his exhibit.
Like last year, I did not buy any coins at the show. Instead I bought this years show medal that coincidentally had the same serial number as the medal I purchased last year. I also bought the 2013 show medal at this year's show to make a complete set of Chicagos three year ANA show run.
That said, I did have an opportunity to examine a nice PCGS MS-63 1901 $10 gold eagle. After examining the coin, I expressed my interest to purchase the coin from the coin's custodian and we settled on a deal a few days later. By the way, I will be posting a picture of that coin with this post.
Unlike the coin I recently bought sight unseen, I had the opportunity to examine this coin in the hand before deciding to buy it. This coin in my estimation is an exceptional coin at MS-63. The luster is fantastic and the contact marks look more like scuff marks than dings. As an aside, this coin is more like the MS-63 Indian Head Gold Eagle I should have cherry-picked instead of the MS-63 Indian Head Gold Eagle I bought sight unseen.
Since I was already intending to buy the gold eagle I set my sights on an inexpensive coin to add to my seated imagery set. This is when I stopped at Jeff Shevlins so-called-dollar table and began looking through 11 boxes of so-called-dollars hoping to find a nice piece to add to my collection. Unfortunately, I didnt see anything of interest. However while I was looking through Jeff's boxes, Jeff's wife and my wife had a pleasant non-coin related conversation. On our way home, I mentioned to my wife how pleasant both Jeff and his wife seemed to us.
Once again, based on good customer relations and a pleasant experience, I emailed Jeff a want list of a copper piece I lost in a Heritage auction and the same piece, but less rare, minted in white metal. He replied back to me that he had the white metal piece but didn't bring it with him to the show. With that, I bought the piece for my seated imagery set and I'll be posting it later.
One thing I noticed about this show is that it seemed larger and busier than all the previous shows I attended. More importantly, this show was all about coins and collecting without the distractions of the two previous years.
Unlike any other show, this year when I left the show I felt like I could have used another day to explore the show. Until now I had never felt that way and thats what makes me say that this year's show is the best yet.
That said, there is one thing that is still a miserable constant. That thing is the over-priced food court on the show's grounds. My wife and I spent $31 for a drink and a plate of stir-fry on rice that tasted more like cardboard than food. Oh well, nobody goes to the show for the food they serve anyway! Happy Collecting!
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