So, you’ve decided to attend this year’s Summer ANA show (aka The World’s Fair of Money) in Philadelphia. I’ve never attended an east coast ANA show that wasn’t excellent, so if this is your first show or if it’s your 100th, you have very reason to be excited.
If you are used to small local club shows, prepare to be amazed by the size of the ANA. There are hundreds of tables from dealers all across the country (and from foreign locations as well) and you will quickly become overwhelmed without a game plan. As a veteran ANA-goer, let me make a few suggestions to get the most out of your time.
1. View the Auctions
Both Heritage and Stacks Bowers are conducting official ANA auctions this year and even if you aren’t going to bid, you should take advantage of the opportunity to view coins in your area of specialty. Let’s say you collect US gold. The Heritage sale contains the exceedingly rare 1854-S half eagle. Even if you aren’t going to buy it, wouldn’t it be cool to hold it and study what is destined to be a multi-million dollar coin?
(If you are viewing for sport, don’t be greedy and hog the coins as there will be dealers and collectors you will keeping from doing actual business.)
2. View the Exhibits
Both the ANA and private dealers (not to mention clubs) will have exceptional exhibits at this year’s ANA. You will be able to view great coins at the ANA’s exhibit space and the competitive exhibits (which I ALWAYS try to view) are likely to contain some great specialized collections.
Many dealers—including DWN—give a case or two to favored collectors for the purpose of showing neat coins. These are not for sale but they can provide lots of educational value.
3. Tour the Bourse
Most collectors go to the show for two major reasons: to buy and sell coins and to fraternize with other like-minded individuals.
If you are going to the show to buy, here are a few helpful hints:
- Don’t carry huge wads of cash with you.
- Don’t walk around downtown Philly with lots of cash or coins.
- Go see your favorite dealers first.
- Don’t expect to sit down at a dealer’s table for a long chat. For most dealers, ANA is an exceedingly busy and intense week. Save the chatting for small local show.
If you are going to the show to sell, here are a few helpful hints:
- Price your coins; don’t ask the dealer for an offer. If he disagrees with your price, let him counter.
- Show the right coins to the right people. Don’t show a gold specialist a run of Indian Cents and vice-versa.
- Don’t argue with the dealer. If he doesn’t think your Gold dollar is ‘PQ’ don’t get in his grill about it.
- Don’t sell out a dealer. If a dealer offers you $9,000 for a coin, it is bad form to sell it to someone else for $9,100.
4. Fraternize, Fraternize, and Fraternize Some More…
Most of the year, you are a solitary Coin Weenie whose obsession with little discs of metal is met with condescension and confusion by family and friends. For a few days every year, you are in a big building with thousands of like-minded people who actually care about die breaks, Registry Sets, and reddish-gold coloration. Take advantage of this.
Many clubs have annual meetings at the ANA show. If you collect Liberty Seated coins, you can attend the LSCC meeting and weenie-out with dozens of serious collectors. Or, you can have a face-to-face conversation with a fellow collector you know only from message boards or email exchanges.
I’ve attended every ANA show as a dealer since 1981 and I still get excited by the summer version. If I can help you benefit from your 2018 ANA experience, come by Table 429 and ask me some questions.