Coins We Love: FUN Events!

Coins We Love: FUN Events!

We’ve had a few extra days to mentally process the FUN Show and all of the events that occurred during the week. I keep thinking “Man, I’m still really tired.” While nothing was notably different than the past several FUN shows, it felt weird.

This year, the pre-show started sometime around Saturday as we heard that multiple dealers were searching for “first shot”. This seemed a little insane to us, but hey, why not? Wes and I traveled down on Sunday before the show to catch the Citrus Bowl. That was a blast! That evening JC and Andy arrived, so we enjoyed some NCAA playoff football over some wings that evening.

On Tuesday we hit the ground running. Instead of focusing on major wholesale dealers, we focused on several smaller folks that we’ve been building relationships with. This turned out to be the right move as we were introduced to some interesting deals that had not been recycled (or maxed out grade-wise). As a result, our inventory will be a bit more varied and “fresh” over the next few months. We had several appointments and ended the evening picking up Jason and Julia from the airport before a company dinner at one of our favorite restaurants, Charley’s. After a wonderful dinner, it was time for another appointment that went from 9-11 pm. This secret hotel room deal concluded our evening with a bang (and was the final event for the long day).

The next morning, I (John B) had an NCBA board meeting to discuss our taxation and education progress for the coming year. A lot of good work has come from this group and the latest news is that the governor of New Jersey has a bill on his desk that would grant tax exemption to coins and currency. This is a fantastic occurrence and one we’re excited to support. The rest of the morning featured some email catch-up before a PNG symposium on security and show set-up at 2 pm.

The set-up was active with many folks putting coins on hold or getting the early bird specials on the bourse. The six hours on the bourse were followed by a PNG NexGen dinner, which is essentially a mentorship program where YNs and younger dealers get to interact with PNG members who have volunteered to mentor them. This was a REALLY slow dinner of about four hours, but the conversations and camaraderie were amazing. I was honored to sit with about seven high school/college-age kids and my former mentor, John Feigenbaum (the PNG Executive Director and Whitman CEO). That was a lot of fun and I can say that I learned a lot about some series that I don’t often interact with professionally. But I can say one thing that highlights this event, the future is very bright!

Thursday was an incredibly full day of trading and bourse activities. I still can’t believe how many coins we sold to collectors. I haven’t counted how many orders we put through or delivered, but it could very well have been a record for a show. Our buying was a little limited at the actual show due to all of this activity at the table. JC, Julia, Andy, and I stuck around the table and we didn’t regret it. Overall, I can say it was a good day. The evening concluded with a dinner with the Witter Coin University students from the past 3 years and the instructors. This event was held at a local Sonny’s Bar-B-Q with an appearance from special guest, John Albanese (CAC Grading). While I consider John a good friend and advisor, he was a fantastic mentor who spent time with every single one of the 38 YNs in attendance. It was an absolute joy to spend time with these young people and to watch my son interact with so many numismatic friends.

When I was a teenager, I was very active with YN events and developed many lifelong friendships within the hobby that I still have today. The group in my day was far smaller, but this new base of future collectors and dealers is shockingly large. I may be the old guy amongst them, but I’m glad that they keep me around and let me join in on the fun (no pun intended...). NGC was nice enough to give the attendees a sample slab for the event! I’m a little astonished at the amount of barbeque that was consumed that evening. In fact, the restaurant ran out of French fries as a result of the food consumed! On the way back to the hotel, Jim Stoutjesdyk (VP from Heritage) and John both stated that they were so thrilled for the future of the hobby because it’s in good hands.

Friday started like Thursday, with a brief breakfast and then an interesting ANA board meeting. I have to admit, I’ve enjoyed serving on the NCBA and PNG boards in recent years, but the ANA Board is a different animal. With the focus on collectors and not dealers, I’ve enjoyed the challenge of changing my mindset and serving a broader educational mission that’s focused on the hobby. It’s been a true honor to serve so far, and the board is full of great people whom I am pleased to now call friends. If you have feedback for me that can be helpful to the ANA, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I’d be honored to try to help. However, after 3 meetings, I think we made some fantastic headway into the future for the hobby.

Once that concluded, I headed back to the bourse, which kicked my rear end. I was only there for 4 hours before heading to the airport, but I think I hand-wrote six or seven orders during that rush. That’s on top of what the rest of the team was doing there. I also had the pleasure to meet some old friends from the Birmingham, Alabama coin club I used to attend while in college in 2000-2001, a dealer that I hadn’t seen in 25 years, and a young man whose mom I used to work with at Spectrum. Honestly, this show was probably one of the best retail events we’ve had in quite some time.

I get the feeling that the major dealers didn’t have the same results sales-wise, but that’s just what I heard in passing the last few days. I would assume that this is probably a result of the lack of fresh coins on the market, but that’s okay because these coins are going quickly into collector hands. Now, this does make life harder for dealers, but I can tell you that it certainly bodes well for the consignments we’ve had flooding into the office.

The John Galt Morgan Dollar Collection concludes this week, but with the popularity of the set at the show, I have to think that the consignor will be pleased when the final hammer strikes. Next on the block, will be the Helen’s Quarter Collection (Complete Quarter Set from 1796 to 1964) that will launch very soon in our inaugural Red Carpet Rarities Auction. Keep your seatbelts fastened, folks, because January is going to be a fun month numismatically and we hope that it sets the course for the next year.

As for now, we hope that you’ve enjoyed this long-form diary of our 2024 FUN Show. We also hope that you enjoy this week’s highlights of the Coins We Love!

Numismatically Yours,

John Brush and Your Friends at DLRC

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