The Atlanta ANA show was among the oddest coin conventions I have been to in many years. This show was, at times, an exercise in futility yet it featured crowds that were far greater than at any show in Atlanta since the heyday(s) of the great regional conventions that were held there back in the mid-1980’s. The pre-show activity was extremely strong with most dealers reporting very strong sales. The hot gold market was a major catalyst here, with many buyers seeking pieces like MS63 to MS65 Indian Head eagles, better date Saint Gaudens double eagles, New Orleans gold and gold commemoratives to fill orders. Nearly everyone I spoke with claimed that they would have happily spent double what they were able to write checks for at the show. The competition for the few available fresh coins was brutal and the quick lesson learned by most dealers was if you saw something you liked, you bought it first and worried about the price later.
The show was extremely crowded but there seemed to be very little actual retail buying taking place. I was so busy running around the bourse floor looking for fresh coins to buy that I was not able to spend as much time being my table as I would have liked. When I was there, I found most of the people to be new collectors who were either attending their first large-size show or who were looking for items such as Dahlonega half eagles priced at under $1,000. I must give the ANA some much-deserved compliments on their pre-show publicity as the crowds really were impressive from a numbers standpoint.
The highlight of the show for me was the sale of the Duke’s Creek collection of Dahlonega gold coinage. I was pleasantly surprised at the strength of this sale. I wound up purchasing ten lots which constituted around one-third of the dollar value. Three coins (the 1855-D and the 1861-D gold dollars plus the 1854-D three dollar gold piece) broke the $100,000 mark and a number of price records were set for individual dates. I am working on a detailed analysis of the sale results which I plan to have posted on my website by the end of the week.
On Saturday morning the area around Atlanta was hit by tornados and, in case you haven’t had the pleasure of being woken up by a screaming tornado warning siren at 4AM, it’s interesting to say the least.
Going into the traditionally strong Spring season, my best guess is that the coin market will continue to display a good deal of strength. I look for the rare gold coin market to be extremely strong due to the run-up of bullion prices to $600 and over, plus the upcoming releases of at least three potential classic books on United States gold coinage within the next few months.