The American Numismatic Association (ANA –www.money.org) World’s Fair of Money (WFOM) 123RD Convention was held at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, in Chicago, IL on August 5th – 9th, 2014.
The convention had close to 600 bourse tables, around a dozen world mints, many coin club tables, world class exhibits and a superb ANA museum showcase display. Congratulations to Mack Martin for winning the coveted Howland Wood Best-in-Show Exhibit Memorial Award. Two major auction companies held separate sales during the convention. StacksBowers – www.stacksbowers.com and Heritage Auction Company – www.ha.com held phenomenal auctions and probably set a record for a total sales price as well as lots sold. We compare this ANA Convention to the ANA 1991 100th Anniversary Convention held in this same building. The numismatic theatre presentations and Sundman Lecture Series were great. Many coin clubs had outstanding educational programs in conjunction with their meeting(s). The Scouts had a great clinic and you could see them after their meeting on the bourse floor. Young Numismatists (YN’s) had their own Kids Zone in the back of the bourse along with a treasure hunt. The Show Guide was excellent and covered everything. The convention medal by Jamie Franki was exceptional. Security by PPI was outstanding.
Big thanks to all the dealers for taking tables, the early birds for purchasing badges, along with the show sponsors & patrons for their generous donations in support of the convention. Starting at this event on the second day, the ANA allowed its members to enter the bourse a half-hour earlier than non-members. Maybe, as a special perk, the ANA should allow its Life Members to enter a half-hour earlier on the opening day of the show. The half-hour earlier for ANA members is a great reason to join the Association.
Attendance was probably close to the numbers of the 2013 show which was held in this same building. Lines for registering were very long
to obtain memberships to enter the convention . This was due to the U. S. Mint releasing their 2014 Kennedy Gold piece on the opening day of the show. morning we looked out our window at the Doubletree and the line was well over two blocks long. Probably 1000 plus people trying to get one of the first 500 released on the opening day. The release of the Kennedy Gold piece turned out to be a huge problem for the mint and the ANA. It was agreed upon by both that the last few days of this release be canceled. If the U. S. Mint has special releases like this at future conventions, we suggest that they make some available for special daily drawings at their booth. This would give visitors, dealers and collectors a chance to purchase one of the coins being offered.
Other than the U. S. Mint Kennedy release, the convention ran very smoothly and a large thank you goes to: Convention Director Rhonda Scurek and Executive Director Kimberly Kiick and all their staff; President Walter Ostromecki, Jr. and the Board of Governors; the host Chicago Coin Club (CCC), Host Chair William Burd, Honorary Chair William Cross and 75 plus coin club volunteers in their red convention shirts. Kudos’ to the CCC and all the volunteers wearing red shirts for doing an outstanding job. By far the most volunteers of any convention ever held by the ANA. This was the 14th ANA Convention hosted by the CCC. Thanks also to the ANA National Volunteers for their dedicated service to the Association. Thanks to the exhibitors, judges, educational speakers for their tireless work; along with the numismatic press, media, sponsors and patrons for their many contributions. The show featured a
evening Kickoff Event – Oktoberfest in August at MB Financial Park (behind the hotels on River Road – an easy walk). The Friday ANA banquet had Wendell Wolka as MC and it ran smoothly. The steak dinner was great. The ANA held its first donor – Silent Auction at the banquet and it realized $18,918. These funds will be used to fund the Robert Lecce Advanced Scholarship Fund. We want to congratulate Neil Shafer on receiving the ANAs highest award, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award. Congratulations to all the other award recipients.
Many other great events were also held in conjunction with the show. They include: The Numismatic News Ambassador Award Breakfast – www.numismaticnews.net. It was announced that this great award program is ending after 40 years. Congratulations to Mitch Ernst, Dan and Kathy Freeland, Eugene Freeman, Dr. Jay Galst, Warren Jackson and Simcha Kuritzky for being the last recipients of this award. Other events held were: The Tokens and Medals Dinner, TAMS – www,tokenandmedal.org; the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America Dinner, CONECA – www.conecaonline.org; two great coin clubs held a joint dinner meeting at the show – The Chicago Coin Club – www.chicagocoinclub.org and New York Numismatic Club – NYNclub. The Numismatic Literary Guild Bash, NLG – www.nlgonline.org was also held and many awards were presented. Visit the club links we are submitting with this report.
Thanks again to everyone (and anyone we missed) for their donations, work, effort and contributions who helped to make this an outstanding convention. We hope to see you at the next two ANA Conventions which will be held in Portland, OR (Oregon Convention Center) on ; and Chicago, IL, at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL, on . Yours in Numismatics, John and Nancy Wilson, ANA National Volunteers