August 5-9th, 2014
The ANA was in Rosemont, Il, ten minutes from O’Hare Airport at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center. The weather was 75 to 65 degrees and warmed up to 80 on Saturday. The show had 527 dealer booths along with the ANA Showcase, US Mint, Kids zone, including 16 tables of world mints, Wizard supply, and the exhibit area. All the grading services were there. Both Heritage and Stacks-Bowers had auctions, with some overlapping of sessions. Heritage sold over $34 million, including four coins over $1 million each. Stacks-Bowers sold $14 including an 1804 dollar for $1.88 million. The hall had 17 aisles of dealers and the entrance was in the far left front of the hall. FUN’s table was in the last aisle along with 20 other clubs.
The talk of the show was the release of the Mint’s Gold Kennedy three quarter ounce half dollar selling for $1240 each. Tickets to get the coin were limited to one per person with proper documentation. 500 tickets were available per day, Tuesday thru Saturday for a total release at the ANA of 2500 coins. This did not happen. Thursday morning, the Mint announced that Thursday was the last day due to safety reasons for both customers and Mint employees at all locations nationally. A couple of ingenious coin dealers hired people to stand in line 12 to 14 hours to get the gold coin. One dealer bought 150 coins, the other, 100 coins. The line to purchase the coin went out the front door, down to the end of the block and around the corner down a side street. The police put up barricades so that people in line would not walk into on coming traffic. They slept out there overnight in the line. I saw two of the coins offered on the bourse floor for $3200 & $3400 each. The first four coins purchased were sold to Silvertowne who then sold the first Kennedy, through dealer Kevin Lipton to a California collector for $100,000. Most of these coins are going to TV Marketers for say $3500 to $4000 each and then they will sell them on TV for $4000 to $8000 to uneducated non-numismatists.
We sat down and talked with Q. David Bowers, Cliff Mishler, Dave Harper NN editor, Fred Schwan, Ray & Fran Lockwood, and others. We spoke with Coin World & Panda America about possible promotions for the January FUN Show. We picked up an unusually high number of paid bourse apps for the January show and more than usual FUN memberships.
I arrived on Wednesday and Cindy and Bob got there last Friday and helped PNG and ANA set up. Cindy had a Women in Numismatics meeting and judged exhibits. Bob gave a program on the “Treasures of the 1715 Spanish Fleet”. They both attended the TAMS Banquet. I lost my ribbons that say, “Life Member, Glen Smedley award, etc.” I went to registration and Kim Kiick was there. I told her the problem and she said, “Come on back here” where I picked out the ribbons I needed. Thursday morning was the Numismatic News Ambassador Awards breakfast. Six new ambassadors were inducted. At the end of the meeting, Cliff Mishler announced that the program was ending after 40 years and about 400 ambassadors. We the ambassadors talked later and agreed that we will keep the program alive. We attended the ICTA Board meeting Thursday night. Friday night was the ANA Banquet where the major awards and exhibit awards were handed out. Mack Martin of Georgia won Best of Show for Georgia “Baby Bonds”. The Peoples Choice Award went to Charmy Harker for “Penny Potpourri”. There were 69 exhibits, 62 were competitive. Saturday morning was the ANA District Representatives meeting. We had about 20 Reps there and I was honored to receive the ANA’s “Outstanding District Representative of the Year”. Saturday there was a “free appraisal” table manned by five people giving estimates on coins.
All in all it was a very successful show for FUN and we all had a good time.