The first time I ever walked into a coin show was my first day
of work for the ANA. That's right, I got my start with the ANA in
Chicago at the World's Fair of Money in 2011. My first day of work
was literally to get on a plane to Chicago, find the convention
center, and get ready for the biggest show in
No pressure there or anything.
Walking into your first coin show can be overwhelming, as I
learned first hand. So, for those collectors who are attending an
ANA show for the first time, I've rounded up some tips that were
previously published in The Numismatist to share here at
Your First Coin Show
With hundreds of dealers, countless coins and lots of
great educational programs, the ANA World's Fair of MoneySM
can be overwhelming, especially if it's your first. However, if
you follow my advice, you won't miss the best
of the convention.
If you are here to buy or sell coins or paper money, you can
feel secure about doing business with any dealer who has a
table at the show. As ANA members, they are required to abide
by a strict code of ethics, and most are happy to answer your
questions. Write down the table number if you find something you
like-it's easy to forget where you saw it!
Be sure to see the Museum Showcase, which features selected
specimens from the ANA's Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and
Then pay a visit to the Collector Exhibits, where hobbyists
display their collections and compete for "Best of Show" honors.
While there, don't forget to cast your vote for the "People's
If you like seeing several million dollars, how about a
billion? Check out the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing and
its "Billion Dollar Display." And don't miss the U.S. Mint area,
where you can find out about its latest issues..
Children under age 18 can play a free game called Treasure
Trivia. Youngsters obtain answers to numismatic questions from
dealers on the convention floor, and receive gifts and prizes along
the way. The ANA Kids Zone offers fun, free activities and games
that allow young show visitors to learn about money and take home
something to start theirown collections.
There are tons of other fun activities and learning
opportunities, such as free Money Talks presentations, Scout
workshops and the "Coin Collecting Basics" program. Many meetings
of hobby groups are open to the public
If you have any questions or want to learn more about
numismatics in general, stop by the ANA Area.
Coin shows offer a wonderful opportunity to meet people and
learn about the hobby. Many dealers are happy to answer your
questions, but remember, this is their livelihood, not a social
event. When interacting with numismatic professionals at a show,
keep in mind the following advice:
- Don't interrupt a dealer and customer who are talking or in the
middle of a transaction.
- Don't ask to see the coins being discussed or inquire
about their prices.
- Do return to the dealer's table when he or she has
concluded the transaction.
- Don't block customer access to a dealer's table.
- Do spend some time learning before you buy.
- Don't search a dealer's entire inventory for the best pieces,
then expect him to sell you the coins at wholesale prices.
- Do allow the dealer to make a reasonable profit.
- Don't try to negotiate when the price is fair. Ask for a
discount only if you truly believe a piece is overpriced.
- Do ask permission to show a coin to another collector or dealer
for a second opinion.
- Don't buy a coin on the first day of the show, then try to
return it on the last day because you found something else.