Nowadays, a lot of us, including me, buy most of our coins via the internet. This is way different from when I started collecting back in the late 1960's. In those days, even Department Stores had a coin and stamp counter, Heck even the local Woolworth's had a section of the store where you could buy a Red Book, a Lincoln Cent Folder, and all the other associated supplies. Local coin shops, at least in the Pittsburgh area, were plentiful, and there was always mail order through a dealer you might have spotted in Coins Magazine, or the Numismatic News. Those days are gone, for the most part, but the local, regional, or national coin shows are still around and are still one of the best ways to fill your want list, meet your fellow collectors (I really do feel completely at home surrounded by my fellow hobbyists), and even learn a thing or two. The Pennsylvania Numismatic Association (PAN) is hosting their Fall show this week, 17-19 October, in beautiful Monroeville PA. There will be about 120 dealers, ANACS will take your coins for grading, and there are a number of speakers, to include Clifford Mishler, holding forth on the 18th. As if that wasn't enough, here are the top 11 reasons you should attend the Fall PAN show:
1. Parking is Free, Admission is Free, Spending time at the traveling Burns Library is Free, Distinguished Speakers are Free, and the KidZone is Free (for all YNs under 18).
2. Clifford Mishler is going to speak about the remarkable Chet Krause on Friday afternoon. Cliff is a personal Numismatic Hero of Mine.
3. The weather should be excellent with no rain, or snow, or other natural calamities in the forecast.
4. Monroeville is conveniently located off the Pennsylvania Turnpike for those of you coming from other parts of Pennsy.
5. Monroeville is just a Parkway, a tunnel, and a Parkway from beautiful downtown Pittsburgh.
6. The concession stand in the convention center actually has moderate prices, an excellent breakfast burrito, and a $5 soft drink you can refill for free all day long.
7. The convention center is adjacent to the Monroeville Mall, which is WORLD FAMOUS for being the Mall featured in George Romero's Dawn of the Dead.
8. Clubs including the Harrisburg Coin Club, the West Penn Coin Club, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society, PAN, and the Barber Coin Collectors Society, will be present to answer your questions and solicit your membership.
9. There will be outstanding competitive exhibits available for your viewing pleasure and you can vote for Best of Show.
10. Did I mention Ben Franklin? Ben Franklin His Honourable Self will be appearing throughout the show to provide wisdom and selfie opportunities.
11. Finally, the bourse floor is populated by a number of dealers selling slabbed coins, raw coins, currency, ancient coins, books, and supplies. If you want it, you will find it.
I hope to see you there, if you do make it, stop by the KidZone table and say Hi, I will be there all day Saturday.