Another Long Beach Coin Show in the Rear View Mirror
Well, the doors and closed. the janitors are sweeping up the floors and another Long Beach Coin Show is just a memory. Some changes that were so very apparent and are not (necessarily) good news. The name has been changed from the Long Beach Coin Show to the Long Beach Collectors Show. Nothing really added to the already existing Sports Collectibles and Stamps booths that were already there. Perhaps more of the former. The real scary sight was the number of booths that had clearly displayed signs that said "BOOTH UNSOLD. DO NOT SIT HERE." Booths unsold at Long Beach - that is as unbelievable as that the Sun will not rise tomorrow or there is no Easter Bunny. Already, over the past 20 years the size of the show has shrunk to under half of it original size. Maybe this should be a DEFCON 4 Alert as to the state of Numismatics today and to start thinking what needs to be done to ameliorate the situation.
On the good side, or even great side, our anonymous collector had a fabulous display of Tyrants of the Tiber, coins of the Roman Emperors and of the Popes. I was able to see Papal coins back to the 800s, coins I had only heard and read about. Also a spectacular collection of Roman gold and silver coins in the highest quality. I am eagerly awaiting September for the next installment of the collection.
From the personal side, I went to the show to drop off four ancients for grading, including a nice Cleopatra VII bronze from Egypt. I will let you know how that one turned out. I also went to unload a handful of minor ancient bronzes and some British private issue Coronation Medals. I definitely did not go to buy anything, so of course I did. I found an absolutely gorgeous silver tetradrachm from Damastian in Illyricum. When I get the coin photographed I may do a blog on it. It is from what is called the Period of Finest Art, just before Alexander III and the Hellenistic period. Unbelievable high relief and style. And the city - what can you say about the city where such a masterpiece was struck. Well, very little. Archeologists don't even know where the city was. (Yes - that was a Teaser. The full story coming soon to your local ANA Blog.)
Liberty Walking Half
online purchasing sites have also eaten into how many dealers/sellers/buyers will attend shows
I personally prefer a smaller venue show. I'm disabled and a smaller show is about all I can walk. I recently went to a show in Las Vegas put on by CK shows. That is a perfect size show for me. They are advertising 180 dealers for their next show in July. There are always a lot of dealer to dealer deals going on. That's fine. They need coins to sell..Thanks!
You can't make anyone collect coins. You have to want to collect. They can play Video games and have cell phones but that's spending money. I would rather make money. If they had a campaign concerning that issue we might get more younger collectors. Thanks interesting..
yeah. i'm sure that electronics today like cellphones and computers are moving kids and teens towards video games and stuff. its so bad, i'm the first and only youth at my club.
Do you have a friend of two that might have interest if you invited them to a coin club meeting?
Well worn Copper
I too have attended "collector" shows which fortunately were made up of about 95% coin dealers. I guess its just the way things are and if it attracts more dealers (whatever they sell) I suppose its a good thing. Ancients are cool, even though they don't command attention and prices like US. coins do. You still can't beat the wow factor when you show a coin over 1,000 years old.
This is so sad. The hobby needs to gravitate to our youth!
I read an article collecting is down five to six percent. That's not good. The kids get in open a magazine all they see is gold this and gold that. There in school no jobs no money.. More of a mess coming out of the mint. I can see why. Who wants to go to a show half empty. I would but others wont. I just hope we have a better year next year. I hope the mint has a better showing next year. Coins cost money. Kids the future of this hobby don't have it.
As a now semi-retired dealer, please allow me to comment on one aspect of your blog. Coin Shows. Yes the Long Beach coin show is smaller than it used to be. I started doing Long Beach in the late 1970's as a dealer. I was there in June of 1989 when the rare coin market "crashed".... I have done the Long Beach coin show as recently as 2018, so I have a little expertise here. Why are fewer dealers going to coin shows and fewer collectors attending these shows too? Is the hobby dying? Will no one want to buy coins in the future? Well for the last 11 years I worked for the largest online dealer in the country. And I can tell you first hand that their business is alive and well. Some collector friends told me that they pregfer to sit at home, view large digital photos of nice coins fromm dozens of dealers without the cost and risk of getting on a plane and traveling around the country. It is easier, faster, cheaper and safer than traveling to coin shows. Worry not about the coin business. There will still be lots of dealers to buy coins from or to whom you can sell your coins. You will just take advantage of a different way of doing it. In my humble opinion, coin shows will always exist, but the largest venue in the future may well be the online venue, unless something even better can replace it.
I am thinking that the last generation that actively started collecting in the 60s and 70s is keeping the coin market strong because we are at an age when our disposable income is fairly high and we are indulging our love of collecting. I betcha there was not a big influx of collectors in the 80s and beyond. Once us 55 plus start aging out, the market may see a real dip. But this is speculative and not based on any formal study that I've done. I do know that when I go to a show or even go to a local coin club meeting, the vast majority (75%) are in the 60 and older group.
I am sorry if I gave the impression that I am blaming the dealers for the decline in the Long Beach Show. I have nothing but praise for dealers who were there as well as for the dealers who feel that it is not worth their while to attend. I place the blame on the collecting community and especially on the "Numismatists" who should be sharing their knowledge and experience with the younger collectors who will be the next generation of Numismatists. Knowledge unshared is not really knowledge, it is just facts that someone knows. Real knowledge carries the obligation to teach that knowledge so others can use it and build on it.
Nice over view of the show. Thanks.