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Two things on my top ten list is tour the US Mint, and attend a large coin show.  The Denver ANA show fit the criteria for a trip like this to get two of my top tens done.  We made reservations and purchased airfare tickets in early April.  The days went by and two days before our trip I decided to check the Mint website again for info on the tours.  To my shock all tours were cancelled during the week of the ANA show.  This was not the case when we decided on the trip.  Oh well disappointed but still going to a big show.

DAY 1: Wednesday.  Left home at 10AM for the 2 1/2 hr. drive to the airport 110 miles give or take.  Got to the airport and just our luck, flight delayed 1 hr.  Then 2hr. then 3, and 4hrs. delayed.  Finally got here and flight to Denver smooth and uneventful.  Another 2 hrs. before we got to the hotel.  All is well, had a good night.

DAY2: Thursday. Walked the few blocks to the Colorado Convention Center and got there for the 9:30 opening for members.  They wouldn't let my wife in until 10am.  I went in first, got the 2 Chinese coins commemorating the convention and the two medal set from the ANA.  Then my wife joined me and we headed to the US Mint booth.  I walked up there and asked for some one in authority.  I was going to give them a piece of my mind for cancelling the tours during one of the biggest coin shows in town.  They introduced me to a guy and I said. "who's bright idea was it to cancel the Mint tours.  We planned on this trip back in April, and now no tours."  The gentleman stood there and took my clean, but polite rant, quit clamly.  When I was done he said.  We are having tours for ANA members and show attendees and we have two times, 2pm and 3:30pm."  Well I don't wear bladder control underwear, but I nearly needed it right them and there.  After he explained why they closed it for the show and we talked awhile, I swallowed hard and profusely apologized, but walked away with two 3:30pm tickets.  We made the tour and was exhausted, so we walked back to the hotel, then out for supper.  Did I say we are from the upper mid west?  I mean upper upper mid west near the Canadian border.  Hence the words supper and 2 1/2 hrs. to the airport.

DAY 3: Friday.  Went back to the show and took my time and checked with the Mint to see if they had any 225th anniversary sets.  Forgot yesterday with my tantrum and all.  Explained to them I tried online the first day to no avail.  But as proven yesterday with the Mint tour surprise, they just got 2 cases in literally right in front of me and he asked how many.  I said 2 sets is fine, I am not greedy like the TV and online sellers.  I could have bought both cases, but I am not greedy.  Went through about half of the bourse and decided to go to NGC and get my purchases sent in for grading.  Back to the hotel to wait for my wife who had gone to visit a mutual friend who was seriously injured in a auto crash back in October of last year and is getting therapy in a rehab center in Denver.

DAY 4.  Saturday.  Went back to the show to finish the bourse.   I was shocked to find 30 - 40 % of the tables EMPTY,  And another 20 - 30 % packing up.  This was Saturday and the only free admission day, and probably the only day the working folks could probably make the show.  I was really disappointed and SAD these dealers did not stick around.  I can think of my early days at small 10 to 20 table shows hoping to find a key or something and coming on Saturday and they are half gone.  I did not expect this at the big show.   Found 1 more coin and brought the ones I had left in the hotel safe with that I forgot yesterday to bring from day 2 purchases for NGC to be graded.  Yes I know should have waited to turn them ALL in on the last day.  But I was excited, my first big coin show.  I was like a kid in a candy shop.  By the way we did stop in 2 candy shops on the way back to the hotel.  ENTIRELY my WIFE'S fault.

DAY 5.  Got up, actually my wife got up at 5am to get to the airport, I was up all night ill.  Must have been the candy shop.  No I was seriously ill, up over 39 hrs straight.  Got to the airport and of course I set off the alarms as I did at day one airport.  I have an artificial hip and I was then patted down again.  I have never been felt up so much in five days my whole like. Not even at home.  CHUCKLE CHUCKLE.  Finally got to the gate and the flight was switched to another gate,  got there and the flight was delayed 1 hr. 15 min.  Well that held and got in exactly 1hr. 15 min late.  Got to the car for the 2 1/2 hr. drive home.  Needless to say I welcomed my own bed.,  Good to be home.  8 top tens to go.  All in all, we had a blast.  All the dealers were very nice, chatty and willing to deal.  Left some business cards with some I bought from and made some connections for the future I hope.  So last night asked the wife.  Next big show is in Las Vegas and the FUN show in Florida, which do you want to go to?  NEITHER !!! she said.  We will see.



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I was also at the ANA show on Friday--flew in early and left late.  When I was at this show the last time it was in Denver, the ANA had a sign-up to go on the US Mint tours.  I did not see it this time an perhaps the Mint took it upon themselves to set up the tours.  When we were there before, it was right when the Colorado state quarters were being created and we were able to walk on the factory floor and see them landing in the hoppers.  Very cool...and also neat to see "coins discarded on the floor".  Hopefully you were able to experience something similar.

One head's up--all large shows have many dealers leave prior to the final day.  I used to work in Washington DC and I once trekked up to a Baltimore show on a Sunday and the place was more than 50% empty.  Mostly local dealers remained and the higher-end dealers had left.

I was able to find a few things myself on my one day there but it was a long day.

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We were not allowed on the floor.  But they were cranking out pennies and dimes.  We also got a free packet with a cent and a planchet in it.  Tour was very good I thought.

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