2006 Central States Show Report

The Central States show is traditionally one of the better shows of the year. In fact, I usually place it in the second tier, immediately after the FUN and Summer ANA shows. This year’s CSNS convention was held in Columbus which does not have a great reputation as a coin town. I would give this show a mixed overall review. The show started out very slowly. It was introduced by the invitation-only PNG day which is usually a dealer dominated affair. This year’s PNG day was exceptionally slow without absolutely no buzz generated. It didn’t help that only a small section of the large convention center was used and it felt like playing a football game in one small corner of a mostly-empty arena.

Things picked up quite a bit the next day. Of course the huge upward spike in gold didn’t hurt. The theme of the show became generic gold as any dealer who had a large number of generic issues was kept very busy. It is really remarkable to see what generics are now selling for. As an example, MS63 Indian Head eagles are now trading at over $1600 per coin on a wholesale basis and this is more than double what they were worth last year.

I expected this show to be very poor for buying but I was pleasantly surprised to find a few very interesting coins. I purchased some interesting early gold, a few important Condition Census branch mint rarities and a nice group of better date St. Gaudens double eagles. I was also able to sell a number of coins including some pieces that I had owned for a while and was getting a little sick of.

Two areas that were extremely strong at the show were Classic Head gold coins and early gold. I bought an interesting collection of branch mint quarter eagles and half eagles and sold every single coin before I could even finish putting them out in my display case. Nice early gold coins were extremely easy to sell and the first person who stopped at my table bought my 1799 $10 in NGC MS63 which I had just raised in price a few thousand dollars after the newest Coin World Trends had increased the levels in this series.

The Heritage auction was mixed. I was able to buy some very interesting coins in the $1,000-5,000 for what I felt were fair levels. In the past few Heritage sales I haven’t been able to buy many “bread and butter” coins and it was nice to be able to purchase some pieces. On Friday night, some exceptional Indian Head eagles belonging to Dr. Steve Duckor were auctioned. The prices were, in my opinion, extremely strong. Two common dates, the 1912 and 1913, both graded MS67 by PCGS, brought $138,000 and $126,500 respectively. These are record prices for these two dates by a factor of at least three times—if not more.

The show finished rather slowly but the root of this problem was that most dealers left early on Friday and PCGS stopped accepting submissions early on Friday due to being hit with far more than they could grade.

May should be a very interesting month. There are no major shows until the very end of the month but the demand for coins remains insatiable. This suggests to me that Long Beach should be exceptionally strong.