Preparing for the 2009 ANA Convention

Amazingly, it’s time for yet another Summer ANA Convention. This year’s edition is going to be held on August 5th through August 9th at the Convention Center in downtown Los Angeles and if past shows are any indication, this will be one of the best coins shows of the year. If you’ve never been to a major coin show before, attending your first ANA can be pretty intimidating. The display area is enormous and there are hundreds of dealers from all over the world. What things should you absolutely not miss at the ANA?

The first thing I’d make sure to do at this year’s show is to view the exhibits. The competitive exhibits are always fun but it’s the Smithsonian’s display that has me very interested. This year’s star coin is the unique 1849 Double Eagle; a coin that, if it were to come to market, would set a record for the most valuable United States issue. There will be other amazing rarities on display as well but the chance to see the 1849 double eagle is just about enough to make any serious gold collector get on the plane and go to L.A.

The next thing I’d do is hit the Whitman Publishing display, buy copies of all their wonderful books and try to get as many as possible autographed by the author(s). Whitman is planning on having many of the authors attend the show and they will be signing their books throughout the show. I certainly wouldn’t miss any of the specialty club meetings in the area(s) that were of interest to me. As an example, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club will be holding a major meeting during the show and if I were a collector of Seated coins this would be an event I absolutely wouldn’t want to miss.

And, of course, I’d be going to look for coins. Even if you don’t plan on making any purchases, you’ll be amazed at what you see at an ANA show. Some dealers will have incredible rarities that they will be happy to let you hold and examine. Other dealers will have deep inventories of coins that you collect. If there was ever a place to find the proverbial “needle in the haystack” it’s at an ANA show.

I would suggest that as far as looking for coins go, you come prepared. Most dealers at an ANA are going to be reasonably busy (it gets more and more relaxed as the show draws to a close) and it won’t be quite the Mon-n-Pop atmosphere that you might be used to at a small, local show. Bring the pricing information that you rely on with you, don’t forget to bring a good glass (or even a lamp if you can ) and be ready to pull the trigger quickly if the coin(s) you have been searching for just happen to be at a dealer’s table.