PNG-over-ANAAccording to a press release issued on January 15, 2014, the Professional Numismatists Guild and the American Numismatic Association will jointly host “the first” PNG-ANA Numismatic Trade Show the weekend prior to the 2014 World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont that will be open to the public.

The PNG-ANA Numismatic Trade Show will be Saturday through Monday, August 2-4, 2014. The World’s Fair of Money will be held Tuesday, August 5 through Friday, August 9, 2014.

Doing this eliminates PNG Day(s) prior to the World’s Fair of Money and will extend the entire show week to eight days.

It was my understanding the PNG Day was for PNG members to buy and trade amongst themselves to prepare inventory for future sales. Inventories were bolstered by wholesale dealers or dealers who would rather sell to other dealers rather than staff a table at the World’s Fair of Money. While it was closed to the public, it was possible to either buy your way into the PNG show or get an invitation from a PNG member dealer.

What may have been the driver of this decision is that it was getting easier to obtain an invitation from a PNG dealer. Citizens of some of the popular coin forums would be able to download an invitation posted by member dealers to use for PNG day. A friend who attended PNG Day in 2013 said that non-members clearly outnumbered members by a large margin.

Where I question the decision is that it makes the show eight days long—emphasis on long. While some dealers will not attend both shows, there are many dealers who will be there all week. Those of us who are buyers know that some dealers can get surly toward the end of a show like the World’s Fair of Money. Can you imagine how prickly these dealers will be by August 8?

With the show ending on a Friday, a day that will attract local attendees, will the long show, cranky dealers, and the inevitable empty tables turn the World’s Fair of Money into a bad showing for the ANA?

As part of the PNG-ANA show, there will be a daily give away of a Double Eagle gold coin that will be donated by a PNG member dealer. There will also be an auction by Stacks-Bowers Galleries.

There will be no similar give away for the World’s Fair of Money. Both Stacks-Bowers and Heritage Auctions will combine to be the official auction of the World’s Fair of Money.

Since Numismatic Guarantee Corporation is the official grading service of both organizations, they will be present for the entire week. Good luck keeping staff motivated!

This decision brings back the concept of a pre-show that was discontinued because it was poorly attended and made the week too long. It also has the possibility of up staging the ANA and the World’s Fair of Money.

Since most collectors work people outside of the numismatics industry and Rosemont is not exactly a destination location for families, this will increase the attendance during the weekend of the ANA-PNG show rather than during the week for what should be the premier show, the World’s Fair of Money. Casual collectors who have to arrange for travel and time off from work will be more attracted to the co-branded show on the weekend rather than the ANA show.

The ANA should not give up its premier status to share the stage with PNG.

While the ANA should work with PNG and other organizations, the ANA should not play second fiddle to any other organization regardless of the organization. If the ANA wants to be the premier numismatic organization, the one that anyone wanting to learn about and be about numismatics, this type of partnership that has been clearly driven by PNG is not the right way to be premier.

This is a bad decision for and by the ANA.

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