The Biggest Week of the Year

Posted on 8/1/2013

The ANA convention is an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded collectors and dealers.

Dealers and collectors around the world are very busy making last minute plans for the biggest coin show of the year: the American Numismatic Association (ANA) World’s Fair of Money. Beginning August 9, hundreds of dealers and thousands of collectors will descend upon Rosemont, Illinois, to buy, sell, trade and socialize. There will be dozens of educational opportunities and nearly every specialty numismatic club in the country will be holding a meeting. There will be meetings for individuals interested in everything from Hobo nickels to rare United States gold coins. It’s truly an exciting week for the numismatic industry!

The annual summer ANA conventions are very special to me personally. This year will mark the 40th summer convention in-a-row that I have attended. Each year I purchase one of the small convention bars to add to my lanyard of past conventions. When I pin it on, I start to look like one of the old timers in the business. Upon examining the lanyard and all of the past conventions cities, there is a rush of great memories from shows past. My first ANA convention was in Miami in 1974. Luckily for me, it was in my home state of Florida and the funds required to attend were minimal. It was the first time I was able to see some legends of numismatics that I had previously only read about. Abe Kosoff made the strongest impression on me. He was dressed in a white summer suit and looked the role of the senior professional numismatist of the show!

The 1975 ANA convention was much more of a stretch for me to attend. The show was held in Los Angeles and getting there seemed impossible based on the modest budget of a 17 year old, wannabe coin dealer. As luck would have it, about two months before the convention I found an unattributed 1839 No Drapery Half Dollar for sale at one of my local coin clubs. I sold the coin for a $500 profit and my travel funds for the Los Angeles show were then secured! I vividly remember the show being held near the airport and seeing the West Coast for the first time. For anyone interested, the following is a complete list of ANA convention cities for the past 40 years:

1974 Miami
1975 Los Angeles
1976 New York
1977 Atlanta
1978 Houston
1979 St. Louis
1980 Cincinnati
1981 New Orleans
1982 Boston
1983 San Diego
1984 Detroit
1985 Baltimore
1986 Milwaukee
1987 Atlanta
1988 Cincinnati
1989 Pittsburgh
1990 Seattle
1991 Chicago
1992 Orlando
1993 Baltimore
1994 Detroit
1995 Anaheim
1996 Denver
1997 New York
1998 Portland
1999 Chicago
2000 Philadelphia
2001 Atlanta
2002 New York
2003 Baltimore
2004 Pittsburgh
2005 San Francisco
2006 Denver
2007 Milwaukee
2008 Baltimore
2009 Los Angeles
2010 Boston
2011 Chicago
2012 Philadelphia
2013 Chicago

This year’s convention promises to be just as exciting as any of these past shows. There will be hundreds of dealers with tables, many of which have been saving their best merchandise for this convention. There will be quite a few rare coin dealers with sales of over one million dollars for the week. Collectors flock to these shows because they know that it’s probably their best chance to find that obscure, rare coin they have been seeking. Nearly every numismatic specialty will be represented by multiple dealers. Numismatic items from the dawn of coinage to world mints with their recent issues will be offered for sale. Currency dealers will be strongly represented and token and medal dealers will abound as well. On top of the incredibly strong bourse floor, there will be a series of auctions by Stack’s Bowers offering the full gamut of numismatic delicacies. Last year, Stack’s Bowers sold over $25,000,000 worth of rare coins and currency at auction during the ANA convention!

In addition to the abundance of numismatic material that is offered at an ANA convention, there will be dozens of wonderful opportunities to meet and socialize with other collectors who share the passion for rare coins. Fellowship is an important part of truly enjoying the hobby of rare coins. Sharing the hobby with others can be fulfilling and a great opportunity to learn more about numismatics. I have mentioned many times how important it is to find others that can mentor your numismatic journey. The ANA convention is an excellent opportunity to connect with like-minded collectors and dealers. On Tuesday night of the convention, the ANA is sponsoring a “Kick Off” party on the roof top of a house facing Wrigley Field. This would be an excellent time for anyone interested to meet a wide range of players in the numismatic arena.

One of the most exciting parts of any ANA convention is the special numismatic exhibits that are shown each year. In addition to the hundreds of competitive exhibits, there will be several unique exhibits offered for viewing. NGC will be showing gold coins from the incredible Tacasyl collection. This collection consists of a nearly complete Type Set of United States gold coins in superb Proof. A few of the highlights include a complete set of Stellas in NGC PF 67 and an NGC PF 69 High Relief Saint-Gaudens. Wow!

Also, on special exhibit will be an NGC PF 64 1921 Double Eagle. It will be a great week for Proof gold collectors.

Whether you collect Condor Tokens or Proof United States gold coins, the second week of August will be a wonderful week to be in Rosemont, Illinois. I truly look forward to this week each year and anyone who is serious about numismatics would probably agree. Don’t be intimidated by the giant bourse and the million dollar coins. There is truly something for everyone. I will be manning my tables for the entire week and I welcome you to stop by and say hello.

Questions about the rare coin market? Send them to

Jeff Garrett bio

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