PAN Monroeville, PA Show Report, Day 1&2

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by V. Kurt Bellman, Sep 17, 2018.

  1. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    What's better than a Pennsylvania ANA show? Well..., maybe a PAN fall show in the Pittsburgh suburb of Monroeville. After work last Wednesday, I pointed the ol' horseless buggy west (sans Turnpike tolls, by way of State College) to Monroeville. After arriving dead tired and needing to use a rest room (Buy the SMALL drink next time!), I hunkered down for a nice night's sleep at my hotel chain of choice to maximize the benefit of points earnings, yet still a respectable distance from the Monroeville Convention Center. The Official Show Hotel room rate was a little salty even with the show price discount.

    The show opened for the public at noon on Thursday, but I am a PAN member so got the 1/2 hour jump, and they outfitted me with a Volunteer badge anyway, so I was at their disposal. As it turns out, they were overstaffed with volunteers. Before going to the Convention Center, I strolled through the Monroeville Mall to locate an ATM. The mall is attractive, but WOW, TOO MANY VACANT STORES!! The recovery has NOT hit Pittsburgh's eastern suburbs yet, goys and birls! Vacant free-standing sites like bank branches and restaurants too. There is work to be done in that area.

    Inside the bourse, it was a different story. Wall to wall dealers, thick with inventory, wheeling and dealing. Like most multi-day shows, dealers got more aggressive as the days ticked by. And ALL the dealers were HIGHLY personable; no surly super-dealers or elite auction companies. The first day, it was a little difficult to find deals, but not impossible. I spent A LOT of time viewing the exhibits, reading each and every one in full. Good quality stuff but NO ONE exhibiting in U.S. coins, the area in which I am certified, so I was not needed to judge.

    I picked up a few British pieces (my new passion) including an 1820 shilling, and stumbled across an NGC (black insert) SP70 Enhanced Uncirculated 2014 Silver Kennedy half from the 4-coin set at a price too reasonable to turn down. I retired early to return to my hotel and charge my electronic gear for the evening's festivities at LeMont Restaurant up on the hill side overlooking the Golden Triangle downtown, which was to be my first ever PAN banquet. I opted for the PAN shuttle bus, because I've seen downtown Pittsburgh driving and I am afraid of it - genuine FEAR.

    Long story short - the 33-passenger shuttle bus broke down and I got the far left rear seat (the one you put the smallest kid in) in the 11-passenger replacement they sent, to be augmented with a couple of Ubers. David Lisot, ANA Governor and Butternut Coin guy Steve Ellsworth, and exhibiting savant Simcha Kuritsky were all on the same shuttle, but in seats much easier to exit the vehicle in case of emergency. I was in the "only one guy burned to death" seat. But the driver got us there no problem.

    The food at LeMont was superb, I had opted for the salmon (nod to cardiologist), but the company at the table was even better. I ended up with our good friends from, who opted for Monroeville rather than his own Gettysburg show.

    The program was given by Bob Evans. No, not the "down on the farm" guy who makes sausages and has restaurants, but the guy who discovered the wreck of the S.S. Central America. He gave a somewhat shortened version of the talk there at LeMont, to be augmented the following afternoon at the Convention Center, but what Bob gave "up there" about what they had done "down there" was enthralling enough. Always leave 'em wanting more.

    A return trip to Monroeville again in the "only one guy died" seat ended the first day successfully.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  3. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Friday morning started with a hearty but self-served, plastic utensils and styrofoam plate style breakfast, as had the previous day. "Maybe" scrambled eggs (certainly scrambled, maybe eggs) and sausage pucks. Clearly not Bob Evans'. The coffee was genuinely really good, as were the orange juice and the bagels, so all was not lost.

    The same three-mile drive to the Convention Center ensued, and the dealers were more vocal, literally, about being anxious to wheel and deal. The number of attendees looked good, but perhaps the buying was not brisk on Thursday. This was an earlier 10AM start, as opposed to the nooner the day before. I decided to start at the left side of the hall, as opposed to the right side like the previous day.

    There I encountered THE most aggressive signage offering "many items 50% off - ask me". Most of it was world material and all of it was well above what you might find in "book stock". These were in 2.5" x 2.5" non-vinyl flips with detailed info on the cards in the other half of the flip. This guy was as particular as I am. The first item that caught my eye was one of the nicer 1958 Canadian Silver Dollars (the British Columbia totem pole one) I have seen raw. I estimate it as a 65-66 coin, and I've looked at a bunch of them. I collect Canadian dollars and halves by type, and a nice raw '58 had evaded me. When the dealer knocked well over half off the label price, I looked over the stuff even more intently. Note: well over half the dealers were selling primarily raw coins - slabs were MAYBE 35-40% of the pieces in cases, if that. These are "collector dealers", not "investor dealers". Maybe it's a Pennsylvania fetish - most collectors I know locally PREFER raw coins. Anyway, I also snagged from this same dealer an 1891 British farthing in MS BR 60-something (62?, 63?) that was a big upgrade for the one in my set.

    After a few more stops for some exonumia items, including some transit tokens, I had only one "have to find" item on my list - an item to fill a hole in my Dansco 7070. I had been fixating on a 2-cent piece with a little genuine red remaining, but they were running too expensive for my tastes. My second obvious one was a really nice 3-cent silver, but they were not very easy to even find - at any price.

    When I was about to admit defeat, I set my eyes on an 1843-O seated half that was kinda high F or kinda low VF with what one of our members calls the "circam" look - "circulated cameo". I looked it over in the 7th edition ANA grading guide, and technically, it's a F-15 with an obverse that's kinda VF-20ish. I paid $65 for it, and it's in the 7070 tonight.

    Day One at PAN is banquet day, along with exhibit judging day. But Day Two is "lecture day", and four top-notch presentations were on. One of the nation's finest EAC collectors, Ron Shintaku from California, gave a talk on 1793 copper coins - half cents and large cents. He has a full Sheldon variety set.


    Here is the full run down. I was able to take in the first, third, and fourth talks. After Mr. Frost was finished, I retired to the hotel to choose someplace "bonus pointy" to have dinner. I gave up and noshed at the hotel's restaurant.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  4. Mkman123

    Mkman123 Well-Known Member

    next time please take pics!
  5. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    I did, but they are all too big for this site's software. I will chop some down, eventually, but that's pain in my backside. The MAXIMUM size photo allowed on xenForo's software is smaller than the MINIMUM size photo my main digital camera takes. My lower-res Sony lives permanently on my microscope.

    Anyway, earlier in my life I was paid to take pictures. Now I'm paid to write. So now I write more and take pictures less.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
  6. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Day Three - kids' day. My buying budget was about shot, but I needed to snag some modern cent rolls and some Whitman hard plastic tubes for them and some halves. I picked up the following rolls:
    3 - 2017P
    1 - 2017D
    2 - 2018 plain
    2 - 2018D

    10 cent tubes and 4 half dollar tubes. What I hadn't planned on was finding the Dansco Euro album (7400) marked down to $10, so I snagged that too. On my way out the door a picked up two more shillings - an 1865 and an 1899. Vicky was big, you know? I left Monroeville at 12:43PM, backtracking my Wednesday route, arriving at State College precisely at halftime of the Kent State / Penn State game, and arrived home in Harrisburg with a minute to go in the game. And I sat in the car and listened to the end. Average speed - 60mph. Fuel economy 40.6 mpg. That average speed is impressive when you realize the first hour averaged 51mph. Too many lights on US22, the first 83 miles.

    This is PAN's 40th anniversary and I am proud to be a donor.

    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
    dwhiz likes this.
  7. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Who won the game? I ain't watched NCAA Football since they killed JOPA..........

    Great show report Kurt. Do they run this one every year? I like the idea of 'collector' dealers being present.
  8. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    TWICE a year. Next one in May 2019, and that's after having hosted the late Spring ANA in DOWNTOWN Pittsburgh in very late March. Penn State won 63-10. I drove to Monroeville, but trust me, in late March, it's an Amtrak thing for me. Downtown makes all the difference. 1/2 block - my house to Amtrak station. 2 blocks - Amtrak station to show hotel.

    Worst part of the trip - I lost a shot at one of my country auctions on Saturday morning in Lancaster.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  9. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    The reverse of my 1843-O half dollar for my 7070. Note the wacky stuff happening around the "H".


    Dealers present ran from New England states to Tennessee, with an obvious Pennsylvania, New York, Ohio emphasis.

    BTW, taking the PA Turnpike would have added >$50 to my expenses. Not worth it. They're constructing a 4-lane divided highway for the last 15 miles into State College from the east on US322.

    There were competing shows in Gettysburg and Erie, and an auction worth traveling to in Lancaster. A typical Pennsylvania embarrassment of riches.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2018
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  10. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Pittsburgh at sunset from the LeMont:

  11. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    By the way, I see the endless stream of "Look at these, what kind of error are these?" threads has not abated. I just can't handle that any more. I won't participate. I just CAN'T STAND IT.
    dwhiz likes this.
  12. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Ooh, ooh, update from Philly. My 2018-S proof ASE came back from NGC. PF70 with the First Day of Issue ANA show label. I don't consider it part of my regular coin collection; I consider it a show souvenir, which is its own subtopic. Another one of those was a reproduction Novo Constellatio quint piece with a modern date, or rather TWO modern dates. It's overdated 2018 over 7. Cool piece, distributed at the awards banquet at Philly.
  13. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  14. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  15. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes?

    Great show report, and Superb coin! Those appear to be attractive, original surfaces, and definitely meet LordM's ideal of circ cam. I love the retained cud near the H.
  16. V. Kurt Bellman

    V. Kurt Bellman Yes, I'm blunt! Get over your "feeeeelings".

    Thanks. The only reason I can guess I got it for the money I did was it was among some truly great coins, with prices to match. High three figure, some four. It was the "ugly duckling" in that particular case. Not that I got it at an obscene steal of a price. I got a little knocked off of sticker and I wanted the coin. I pay good money for honest coins. I feel if I don't, I'm encouraging dealers to handle dreck.
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2018
  17. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    That is indeed a handsome CircCam, and the crack is cool. Where's the obverse pic?

    It wouldn't take much arm-twisting to get me to have another go at doing a modest-grade 7070 set.
  18. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    That's a lovely shot of the town........Allegheny or Monongahela?
  19. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    I think I saw a Monongahela under some brush once. I understand they're quite venomous.
    Oldhoopster and green18 like this.
  20. green18

    green18 Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Good to see you back posting LordM........:)

    [Edit to add] And for those of you watching at home, I believe LordM is refering to the Black Mamba.......a vicious, poisonus and most to be avoided snake........:)
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2018
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  21. coinzip

    coinzip Well-Known Member

    Awesome show report @V. Kurt Bellman !!!

    I'm glad we had to opertunity to share a table at the Pan Banquet.

    The photo is one of the security guards posing with my hat.. 20171028_105045a.jpg
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