I arrived at the Charlotte Convention Center at 9:45am and waited for the “official” opening. After registering, I milled about the crowd and noticed members of the ANA Board of Governors congregating at the entrance area. Executive Director Chris Cipoletti climbed on the podium to open the show. After words from ANA President Bill Horton and the Chairman of the Charlotte National Money Show, the ribbon was cut to allow the show to open.
After walking passed the club booths I entered the exhibit area. Since this was my first ANA convention, I wanted to see the exhibits to understand what I could do in the future. Some exhibits were very impressive. One on Israeli tokens won a blue ribbon was very good. Another showed State of Georgia error notes that was presented very well won second place in its class. It a few adjustments from a blue ribbon. Then there were some in the history category that did not include any numismatic items that confused me. Overall, most of the exhibits were very interesting and has inspired me to create one in the future.
As I was leaving the exhibit area, I found Don Pearlmann standing with the George Walton 1913 Liberty Head Nickel. Pearlmann, who is just as entertaining in person as he is in print, held court near the famous nickel talking about his role in its introduction to the world after it was authenticated in 2003.
Entering the bourse floor, I noted that the traffic was brisk but smaller than expected. In fact, compared to what I have seen in Baltimore, the ANA show is less than half the size. I started by meandering through the “high rent” district where the auctioneers and high-end dealers were located. I saw a quite a few very nice gold coins, all beyond the limitations of my budget. But I looked anyway. In that area, I did find a dealer with some nice raw Morgan Dollars and picked up an 1879-CC Morgan Dollar in Extra Fine condition for a good price.
Touring the floor, I spoke with a number of dealers. Most are very friendly and are willing to talk about their coins, the show, the weather, or almost anything. I had a nice conversation with Joan Miller of Miller’s Mint out of Patchogue (pronounced PATCH-oag), NY; a short greeting with Julian Liedman of Silver Spring, MD; and the DC-area members of the United States Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing. I also met Dave Harper (editor of Numismatic News) and was able to thank Dave Lang (NGC Director of Research) personally for autographing a book I won from the Numisma-Quest weekly trivia question on the Collectors’ Society chat boards.
It was also an honor to meet Ken Bressett, the editor of the Red Book. Bressett was at the Whitman Publishing booth autographing copies of the new Red Book. Usually, I purchase the Red Book cheaper from a dealer. But I could not pass up the opportunity to have one autographed by Ken Bressett. Bressett is a small, slight gentleman who is very gracious and pleasant. This copy of the Red Book is now one of my treasured possessions.
I continued to walk the bourse floor looking for top quality 1976 coins for my registry sets. All things considered, I was very surprised to find a lot of dealers did not have many 1976 coins. Of the modern coins, State Quarters, Westward Journey nickels, and Kennedy Half Dollars seem to dominate the cases. But I sat in front of a number of tables with my loupe looking at some nice coins. My efforts lead me to find some really nice 1976 Kennedy Halves and Washington Quarters that I will be sending to NGC for grading.
Every show I have been to in the last few years, there is one coin type that seems to be there in abundance. For this show, there were a lot of Morgan Dollars. Nearly every dealer had rows and piles and Morgan Dollars of every year and every grade. If you were looking for Morgan Dollars for a collection, you could not have been happier in Charlotte.
While looking in the budget area, I found a dealer with Mint rolls of uncirculated 2007 American Silver Eagles. That dealer opened the roll and allowed me to pick out two beautiful coins that I purchased for $2 over the spot price! One goes in an album and the other will go to NGC for grading.
At 3:30pm, I returned to the BEP booth for the next drawing of the limited edition show print. BEP was selling 100 intaglio prints made at the show that was autographed by the printer on site. In order to win, you had to write you name on a piece of paper and put it in a bowl. When they drew the names, you had to be there to claim the print. After watching the demonstration and listening to the discussions, I put my name into the bowl and waited for the 4pm drawing. After 16 were claimed and many were disqualified for not being present, my name was picked from the bowl. This gave me the ability to purchase print number 37. I purchased the print and one of the regular prints and walked to the USPS booth. There, I purchased a 39-cent stamp, placed it on the regular print, and had it stamped with the special postmark the USPS made for the show.
Finally, at 6pm I went to the ANA Board of Governors candidate forum where I met Cliff Mishler. But that is another story for another time.
I returned to the show on Saturday afternoon with my father. While there, I purchased a 1922 Peace Dollar in a GSA package, something I have never seen before. My father looked at a lot of gold coins but did not buy anything. I even saw a Stella $4 goloid coin that Superior Galleries are selling for $500 thousand!
Over all, I had a wonderful time. I hope to have some time to take pictures of some of my better items soon. In the mean time, real work awaits.