Featured Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo Summary

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Seattlite86, Nov 17, 2019.

  1. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I visited the Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo on Saturday, November 16th. I got to the show about 30 minutes later than intended, but 10:30am wasn’t too late. Per my usual, I purchased some raffle tickets and headed in. I think I had the opportunity to see the whole floor and stop in front of just about every booth. Up until around 1:00pm, the show was pretty busy, but dealers started packing up over time and the Expo was mostly a ghost town around 3:00pm.

    I had the pleasure of meeting with @furryfrog02 , who very generously provided me my first West Point Quarter and gave me an extra for my grandfather, who also collects coins. His son seemed deep into digging through ancients, so I gave him a Talon Head IKE dollar and we parted ways.
    I spent the most time chatting with Ernest Swauger from VIP-Coins and Collectibles. I purchased a few coins from him at the PAN show in Pennsylvania, when we last met. He’s got a great inventory of all kinds of coins, US and World, to include a huge display of Large Cents. I didn’t buy from him this time around, but have his card handy in my wallet. I should’ve taken a picture of his setup to show you the awesome display rack he uses. If you went to the show, you’ll remember seeing the nice, black wooden stacker with trays of beautiful coins in them.

    Ernie directed me to where I made my first purchase: Karl Stephens. Karl comes recommended from members of CT and does a mailing list for his coins. I found a German States coin from a region I did not have yet and he sold it to me at a discount. I took a copy of his last mailing list and will be sure to get on his next one. The coin I purchased is from Lippe Detmold, 1 Groschen, 1860A, KM265.

    From there, I went over to David Melamud from Enumismat LTD. Good thing I had a couple napkins in my pocket, because I found myself drooling over the displays. They had an amazing selection of NGC-graded world coins. If my pocketbook were bigger, I’d have purchased more of their German States coins that they let me look at. They had a beautiful top pop Augsburg coin that had incredible detail for such a small surface. Unfortunately, it was out of my range. I know that I’m focused on buying XF or so German States coins, but this one stood out to me and was reasonably priced. Nurnberg, Kreuzer, 1678, KM194.

    I told myself I was done purchasing and changed to “just browsing”. Then I came across Don Erickson’s table from DNE coins. He also collects German States and had some regions that I don’t yet have. He let me dig through a couple of his boxes and I found one that I just couldn’t leave without buying. This coin just had the look for me and despite already being over budget, I happily took this coin with me. Hall, Half Kreuzer, 1712, KM15.

    At this point, I switched to browse mode and started looking for a couple of coins to gift to others. One is for my military history professor and the other is for a friend who showed extreme interest in Chinese coins. I’m afraid I don’t recall the name of the gentleman I purchased from, but he was kind enough to help me seek out a I hope I made good choices and that I can lure them into numismatics. If nothing else, I think they’ll share these coins and their stories with others, and possibly bring new collectors to the hobby. The Civil War Token (CWT) is the 82/352A, and the Chinese cash coin should be from emperor Zhenzong, 1023-1031, H1673
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    I stopped by Jon Sullivan’s table from Sullivan Numismatics. He specializes in mint error coins. He politely took the time to look at a few of my coins, to include an off-center 1957 Wheat cent and some DDO 2 Euro coins I have. I was happy that he confirmed at least two of the coins I had were DDOs, and gave me an estimate to the value of my wheat cent.

    After returning from a walk down to Chick-fil-A for a late lunch, I took a lap or two to see if I could find some US coins at a decent rate for some of my friends who couldn’t make the show. I unfortunately didn’t find any they were looking for, but managed to fork out a few more dollars for this conch. I have a small collection of fossils and minerals. I just can’t resist the urge to pick one up when I find one that interests me. Edit: Jim and Lynda from Rockin Coins were very friendly and told me about their many travels and adventures dealing in coins and fossils/minerals.

    I had a great time and look forward to being able to attend coin shows in the future. Feel free to share any pictures of the event or of coins you saw or picked up while there!
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2019
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  3. Johndoe2000$

    Johndoe2000$ Well-Known Member

    Very cool coins, and sounds like fun.

    My advice, if you see furry frogs at Coin shows, you should be more mindful of the type of mushrooms on your pizza, or spaghetti. :wideyed:
    furryfrog02, green18 and Seattlite86 like this.
  4. Rick Stachowski

    Rick Stachowski Well-Known Member

    Sound like you had a great time .
    Nice pickups to ..
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  5. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Sweet fossil, and nice pick ups. What is the Indian Head coin?
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  6. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Apologies, I fixed the acronym to show that it's a Civil War Token. If you're not familiar with them, here's a short explanation: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_War_token

    Basically, during the Civil War, folks hoarded their copper, so they ran out of cents to make change, so businesses started minting their own until the government put a stop to it with a new law saying only the government can mint legal tender.
  7. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    Karl Stephens is an awesome guy. He is usually set up with Al Boulanger. Between the 2 of them, they usually make my wallet lighter. I couldn't make it to this show but Al is doing the show in Indianapolis in December.

    This is a recent purchase from Karl's current list.

    Stork, Jaelus, tibor and 3 others like this.
  8. Mountain Man

    Mountain Man Well-Known Member

    Thanks @Seattlite86 for the clarification. I wasn't familiar with CWT, so you helped educate me once again. :bookworm:
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  9. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    I like it! I need to sell some coins so I can free up some space for Karl's list :)
    Chris B likes this.
  10. Sullykerry2

    Sullykerry2 Humble Collector Willing to Learn

    Karl Stephens and his lovely wife Joanne are one of the hardest working and honest world coin dealers/couples I have encountered. They have patiently taught me a lot about coins. You can keep up with their offerings on karlstephensinc.com.
  11. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Good news! Both gift coins were well-received and I think I might have inspired the friend who received the Chinese coin to start collecting Chinese coins from the Opium Wars era. :)
    tibor and furryfrog02 like this.
  12. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    Great looking coins! Glad you were able to find some good stuff. That CWT is especially awesome! I have always wanted to get one of the Army/Navy ones but have yet to find one in my price range. Will keep looking :) Was good to meet you as well!
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  13. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Thanks! It was hard to give that one away, but a lot of people studying military history will see it, so it went to a good cause. It was great meeting up with you as well.
    furryfrog02 likes this.
  14. kaparthy

    kaparthy Supporter! Supporter

    Nice coin. We had a discussion here on denominations and other people posted different kinds of "30 to the thaler." That would be like a US 3-cent silver. Thanks for posting. Glad you enjoyed the show. (And: would you call it a convention? Did they have exhibits and talks?)
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  15. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    Couple of questions if you don't mind, maybe you can answer, maybe not:
    1. How far did you travel to get to this show ?
    2. About how many tables/dealers there ?
    3. How was attendance on Saturday if you have anything to compare it to like a past show ? Did you have to wait at any dealer tables because of people ahead of you ?
    4. Did you speak to any dealers about THEIR thoughts on dealer attendance....public attendance...how their sales were going ?
    Thanks, great review !
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  16. furryfrog02

    furryfrog02 Well-Known Member

    1. Took me about 20 minutes. I live in the DC/Baltimore metro region
    2. Several hundred
    3. Saturday morning was decent though some of the dealers had already left. I've been on Friday before and it was much busier and I have also been on a Sunday and it was practically a ghost town. There were a couple tables that I was at that were crowded but not so much so that I wasn't able to browse.
    4. One dealer I talked to said that the attendance was pretty good. There was quite a bit of hype for the Enhanced Reverse Proof ASE so that may have been a factor. IDK. I never asked about their sales. I feel like that is kind of taboo.
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  17. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    You know, the show promoters need to tell the dealers to NOT leave too early. If a show lasts through Sunday, you really shouldn't be packing up until that day, maybe early afternoon.

    Our club hosts a huge 2-day weekend expo and we have/had the same problem with people wanting to get a jump on the Sunday departure by packing up a bit early. Now, this is the 2nd of a 2-day event so it's different and we charge admission, so we definitely don't want people paying for a Sunday-only ticket (or even a 2-day) and seeing 1/3rd of the vendors starting to pack up at 1 PM on Sunday. It's tricky, but it hurts other vendors and the overall show if this happens too much.

    I understand that when you have already spent 2 full days at the show that maybe Day 3 you have made most or all of your major sales and want to get a jump on departure either that day or Sunday. But it's also the 1st day of the weekend and lots of people can't come to shows on Thursday or Friday (if it's a 4-day event) or the Friday before a 3-day event (Friday-Sunday).

    The quarterly shows in the NYC area I have gone to they MIGHT pack up late-Saturday (no admission charged here).
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  18. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Thank you. :) I like the 3-cent silver correlation. I think you could call it a convention, because I think they had exhibits and hands-on stuff for kids, but this was mainly about selling coins.

    1. The drive was about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
    2. Several hundred, they were numbered to at least the 400s, from what I saw
    3. Attendance seemed okay. I never really had to wait long at any table, but I drifted quite a bit across the floor. My biggest frustration was dealers packing up pretty early, but I think it was due to lower attendance Saturday afternoon. I wish I had attended an earlier day to compare.
    4. I didn't talk to too many dealers about it, but seems like there were more inter-dealer sales than sales to customers. At least that was the experience of one of the dealers I spoke to.
    GoldFinger1969 likes this.
  19. GoldFinger1969

    GoldFinger1969 Well-Known Member

    People make "their year" at our show so most want to stay until Sunday 5 PM. But it's unfair to the paying public to come by and see someone starting to pack up at 1 PM. 3 PM or later is a different story.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  20. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    Having set up food shows in the very building that the Whitman show is held the Baltimore Convention center.
    What makes the dealers leave early isn't if the show is good or bad sales wise it's travel!
    Having traveled east to west north to south doing shows I can tell you this....a east coast show is extremely hard on west coast dealers. If you ever tried to book flights coast to coast to do a show or sales meeting.
    Last Summer I was working in New England with my help cominig from the west coast. Her flight to and from with time changes 14 hours! So remember both travel days to the show and home are real long days and your body clock is going nuts.
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  21. Paddy54

    Paddy54 Variety Collector

    I myself prefer the local shows held in this area....over Whitman show.
    Last edited: Nov 24, 2019
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