by Jon Sullivan
Originally from sullivannumismatics.com
We recently attended the ANA in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, which was from March 27th-30th. The spring ANA as it is often referred, is one of the historically slow "big shows” of the year. Dealer attendance tends to be on the light side, and perhaps corresponding to that, so does the public attendance. However, I've always enjoyed the Spring ANA show since it does give you more time to spend with dealers and customers alike. There's not the crazy rush of the Summer ANA or Winter FUN show, but is much more laid back, which can lead to interesting conversations and more time to really dig through other dealer's inventories to find good coins for our customers.
This year, the ANA was pretty much all of what was just described. It was overall a slow show, with not a lot of activity, but we still managed to find a decent amount of quality inventory (most of which has already been listed on our website, seeing as this blog post is a few weeks late.) Some of it is still off at the grading services getting graded. There really was not a lot of error coins for sale at the show, and what few coins were in the auction went for super high money for the most part.
Any of the various auctions haven't been offering much in the way of error coins in the last 6 months or so, and what few coins have been offered, tend to sale for retail+ money. Perhaps it's the minimal number of lots that resulted in fiercer competition among bidders? But that pretty much pushes a coin dealer out, since if a coin isn't being offered at a wholesale price, there's no reason to buy it since you cannot retail a coin that you paid retail money for!
There were a few impressive error coins on exhibit at the show, including a red 1943 copper cent, and a nice AU 1944 steel cent (we have one of those in our inventory!) Also were the frequent guests of coin show exhibits, including an 1804 draped bust dollar, and a 1913 liberty nickel. Some other interesting exhibits were on display as well. Coin shows give local collectors the rare opportunity to see these historic and popular coins, so it's nice to see the ANA putting these coins on exhibit for collectors to see and appreciate (so often, coins simply sit in dusty drawers in museums, and really do not get shown to the public very often.)
After several days of buying and selling, we got back to our office on Monday, and sold a number of the coins we'd purchased fairly quickly.