2008 Central States Show Preview

The 69th annual Central States Numismatic Society convention will be held in Rosemont, Illinois next week. What’s the buzz surrounding this show and are coin dealers excited about attending it? I regard the Central States show as one of the better coin conventions of the year. It’s not quite at the Summer ANA or FUN levels in terms of attendance or importance but I’d rank it up in the second tier along with the Baltimore shows, Long Beach and one or two others. Most dealers I know like this show and approach it with a good degree of enthusiasm.

I think this will be a good CSNS show for a variety of reasons. The first is the location. Chicago is traditionally a good coin show town and the convenience factor of Rosemont (which is about five minutes from O’Hare airport by cab) makes this a much better venue than some of the more recent Central States shows. Secondly, most coin dealers have not been to a major show since Baltimore in early March. Being home for over a month means that there will be a good deal of pent-up demand for coins. The third reason is that the coin market remains strong and this includes a better precious metals market than at any Central States show since the early 1980’s.

I go to coin shows primarily to buy and, as usual, I’m hoping that I can uncover a few interesting coins on the bourse floor at Central States. I’ve spoken with many of my suppliers and while no one is holding a collection of Carson City eagles in first generation PCGS holders for me, I think a few neat items may come out of the woodwork.

What will be in strong demand at this year’s Central States? I’m sure you’ll be absolutely shocked to hear me say this but most coin dealers at Central States are going to be scouring the bourse floor looking for nice coins. If you were to walk into the show with a group of choice, fresh, attractive coins and price them “right”, the chances are good that you would sell most—if not all—of your coins within an hour.

To be more specific, I think some of the areas that will experience strong demand include Proof gold, early gold, 19th century type coins and anything that is genuinely rare.

In my opinion, the CSNS auctions are interesting but they lack the impressive array of gold coins that have been included in past sales. I am quite interested to see Heritage sell the David Quellar specimen of the 1804 dollar. This exact coin last sold for $475,000 in 1993 and my best guess is that it will bring about ten times this amount today. If you are attending the show in person I’d strongly recommend that you watch the sale of the 1804 dollar but given the fact that the actual buyer is likely to not be in attendance I can’t vouch for how “exciting” the sale will be.

After Central States is over, there are no other major shows until Long Beach at the end of May; another reason why dealers are excited about Central States and hopeful that they will be able to spend some coin in Rosemont.