Market and Activities Commentary

week was as busy as ever for those of us at Stack’s Bowers Galleries who were
attending conventions. The New York International Show was anchored by our fine
sale of ancient and world coins and paper money that saw excellent prices and
strong competition. Melissa Karstedt was auctioneer at the American Numismatic
Society Gala held at the Harvard Club on Thursday night—always a grand event.

In the
meantime I and other staffers were busy at our bourse at the Florida United
Numismatists convention in Orlando. It was rather quiet overall, but this could
be explained in part by the sheer acreage of the bourse and over 625 tables.
The market was strong, however, and every dealer with whom I talked reported
good activity buying and selling. On one of the evenings Chris Karstedt and I had
dinner with Dave Sundman and his wife at Christini’s, our long-time favorite
Orlando restaurant.

Tuesday evening, the day before the set-up at the show, the American Numismatic
Association hosted a seminar to address the future of the rare coin industry
(as some call it). Gary Adkins, ANA president, was emcee, and I was one of four
speakers. My thesis was and is that newcomers who enter the field with
investment in mind soon burn out when they find that the prices of gold and
silver don’t always yield quick profits or find that their purchases of MS-69
coins that are “rare” in terms of PCGS or NGC certification become very common
when more and more are certified. 

only consistent way to make profits is by carefully collecting coins, tokens, medals, or paper
money slowly and after reading about and studying a favorite series. In
handling thousands of collections and consignments over the years, I have never
seen a single person who has done this and who has held items for the long term
and has not made a generous profit.

It is
strange that buyers will instantly spend $1,500 for a common date double eagle
but will be very hesitant to spend even $500 on books! Hard to figure out. This
reminds me to say that in Orlando I spent some time at the Whitman Publishing
display, staffed by Dawn Burbank and Lori Kraft, and signed quite a few
books—always fun to do.

As you
continue into the New Year, do some reading and pick a new specialty to collect—one
that is interesting to you.

good wishes,


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