PNNA Show Report, better late than never. LOL

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by jtlee321, Oct 24, 2018.

  1. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    I look forward to the Fall PNNA coin show every year, as it's hosted right here in my back yard. I love that I don't have to get up at the crack of dawn to make it there when the doors open. Some tight finances recently prevented me from bringing as much cash as I had hoped to save, but I'm still happy with what I was able to bring to the show and then take home.

    I arrived at around 10:20 in the morning, a little later than I hoped, but only 20 minutes after the doors opened to the public. I learned a couple of years ago, it's not really worth it to me to pay the early bird fee, I'm better off spending that money on the bourse.

    I was greeted with smiles and welcomes as always. The gentleman at the door recognized me from attending the Willamette Coin Club meeting way back at the beginning of the year. He asked if I was a member and I replied yes, he then told me I did not need to pay the entrance fee. :) I was given a small card to fill out for the door prizes, so I filled it out and as usual my name was never drawn. LOL.

    The first aisle I went down was all foreign and ancients, not my wheelhouse, so I skipped down it pretty quickly. At the back corner was the representative of the PNNA, he was set up with an elongated penny machine and was busy cranking out elongated cents to commemorate the 2018 show. I asked if I could take a few to give to my kids and some friends. He replied with a smile and told me to take as many as I wanted. He also offered some Washington State Centennial tokens. My kids love these because they are the size of a silver dollar, so I grabbed a couple of those.

    The next aisle looked quite a bit more promising, as I rounded the corner I came across a dealer that had a raw 1879-S reverse of '78 Morgan Dollar. It was attributed and really looked UNC. but the price he was asking made me question it. He typically has nice stuff and he prices accordingly, even his raw coins. So I put it back and told my self that I would look around more before I commit to it, if it was still there when I go back then I'd buy it. Long story short, someone else felt a little more confident with it then I had and it was gone by the time I got back around to it. I wasn't too disappointed as I still feel there was a problem I couldn't see under the show lighting.

    My next stop was Jerry Bobbe's table, he always has a small selection of premium Morgan's to offer. I've bought from him before, but nothing screamed take me home this time. He was busy chatting with dealers and customers, so I simply said hello and carried on.

    As I left his table I approached the end of the aisle and saw a large case full of what appeared to be recently graded PCGS Morgan Dollars. With as tight as PCGS has been lately, I was looking forward to looking through some recent submissions. Very quickly an 1880-S in PCGS 64 caught my eye, I asked to look at it closer. Sure enough, I confirmed my suspicions, it was an unattributed 80/79 and turned out to be a VAM-8. I liked it for the grade as it looks to be a very healthy 64 shot mid 65. The price I was quoted confirmed my need to buy it.


    I continued down the next aisle When I came across a dealer with a couple cases full of Morgan Dollars. One case had a bunch of coins with orange stickers on them, turns out those were on consignment. So I took a peak through several, most of them were 1880-S Morgans ranging from MS-64, 64+, 65 and 65+. I set a couple of the MS-65's aside and asked what he was asking for them. The price was very reasonable for the quality I was seeing. I set one aside that I knew I was going to buy without hesitation and I was torn between two others. The dealer laughed and suggested I buy both, I replied that I had already bought an 1880-S earlier in the show and that I was going to be buying two more from him. I did not want to end up with nothing but 1880-S Morgans by show's end and he agreed. The one I settled on is below, it was the subject of a GTG recently. The other Morgan I was torn between was very similar, but the obverse and reverse mirrors were not quite as strong. The reed hit in front of the eagle on the reverse of the one I eventually bought is what kept the internal debate going. I eventually told myself I would be happier with the reflectivity of the fields on this one over the lack of a hit in front of the eagle on the other.

    Here's the first one, that I knew I was going to buy.

    And the second one which I swear should be at least a PL if not a DMPL.

    I visited quite a few other tables, I was hoping to get something other than just Morgans but nothing really spoke to me. I did come across a really nice looking 1938-D Buffalo in NGC MS-67 that I liked, but I was on the fence about it. It had really nice color, but at the asking price I would have pulled the trigger had been an unattributed OMM or RPM, but that was not the case.

    I continued on and stopped at another table where I found an 1879-S Morgan either VAM-106 or VAM-107. I could not properly attribute it on the spot. It resided in a gold PCI holder as an MS-65. I could honestly say I did not agree with the assigned grade, it looked more like a middle of the road 64 to my eye, but the incredible die gouge on the neck of Liberty is very intriguing, so I inquired as to the dealers best price, which turned out to be a bit higher that I would have wanted to pay. They were asking PCGS 65 prices on a lesser coin, so I passed.

    After I left that table I came across my favorite local dealers table, they always put him towards the back corner, so I razzed him a little bit about it. I looked through some of his raw coins hoping to find a hidden gem, but none were to be found today. As I rounded the corner to his end case, I happened to notice an 1885-O Morgan in an old NGC holder. I had not seen that one before, so I asked to look at it. I really liked it, it was an MS-64 that looked much more like a 65/ low end 66 to me. So I asked what his best price was and I jumped on it.

    This was the second subject of my previous GTG.

    We BS'd for a little bit and got to hear a story about how one of his partners a few years ago came across a PCGS MS-65 FH 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. My mouth dropped as I could only imagine how beautiful and spendy she had to be. He told me how he had to liquidate a bunch of bullion and sell off his 63FH to scrape together the asking price of the 65. I told him I would have done the same. He laughed as he told me how he had to hand the seller like 6 different checks from several different dealers, but he got the deal done.

    My next stop was a smaller dealer on the very back row of the show. He had some very interesting coins. One of them was a toned 1880-S Morgan that I asked to look at. The toning was not very attractive, but the highly reflective fields below it is what grabbed my attention. The price was fair, but I had already bought 4 Morgans, 3 of which were 1880-S, so I passed. However, he did have another Morgan that got my attention just before I walked away. It was in an old presentation box, the kind that really adds interest to a piece. The box was labeled "Oregon Trail Savings" and had a description of the uncirculated Morgan Dollar within. It really reminded me of the Tidy House holder, except this housed the card in a presentation box. The Morgan it held was an 1883-O, so I asked to look at it. The toning was neat and might not be everyones cup of tea, but I liked it. The obverse looked pretty decent and I looked for the clashing above the cap for a possible VAM-22, but the clashing was absent. So I asked to carefully take the card out to examine the reverse of the coin. I was told that would be fine, so I did. I noticed right away the outlining around the devices which is unmistakable for the VAM-1C series. I got excited, this is a coin that I have been hunting for for a while. I acquired a DMPL 1C1 earlier this year and now I have what appears to be a 1C2 which I didn't have yet. I inquired about the price and we negotiated a price that I was very happy with and he was happy with.

    Here she is an 1883-O VAM-1C2 with an incredibly interesting holder. I guess the bank opened in 1965 and they gave these out to people who opened new accounts.
    1883-O-Morgan-Dollar-VAM-1C2.jpg Oregon-Trail-Savings-Box-Top.jpg Oregon-Trail-Savings-Box-Inside-1.jpg

    After I left that table I ended up at an almost hidden corner where there were a couple dealers hanging out with a couple of cases. I struck up a conversation with one of the dealers who had a bunch of older holder coins, rattlers, no line fatties and so one. His center piece was an 1898-O NGC 2.1 in MS-64 CAC. I had recognized it from Great Collections, I would have loved to make a deal with him on it, except the reason I recognized it was due to a large chip in the holder at the top front. We had a good long chat and exchanged business cards.

    My final stop was a dealer that I had visited earlier, but I did not get a chance to dig through his binder of Morgan Dollars. So I started flipping through pages of some nice looking raw Morgans, better than what I am used to seeing in a binder. I came across a very nice looking 1886 Morgan that had an obvious strike through on the obverse on Liberty's neck. I also noticed a very strong repunched date. I was not sure of the VAM at that time, but I knew that it had a lot going on for it at the price that was marked on the 2x2. So I set it aside and finished looking through the binder. I did not find anything else that had to come home with me. I looked in his case one more time and I noticed a nicely toned 1884-O Morgan that was still there from the last time I came by. I asked to look it over and decided I really liked it. So I asked if we could do a deal on both, he came down a little yet was pretty firm, but I agreed on the prices.

    Here's the 1886 which turned out to be a VAM-5 with what appears to be a struck through wood chip, and I would grade her out as an easy 65.

    Here's a closeup of the strike through and the repunched date.

    Here is the 1884-O that is currently the subject of the Toning Premium thread. She's an Unc but appears AUish in these images due to the lighting setup.

    I was surprised that I came home from the show with only Morgan Dollars, this is a first for me. I did not set out with that as a goal as I always look for nice Washington Quarters, Mercury Dimes, Buffalo Nickels and just about anything else that catches my eye. This show however turned out to be the big silver cartwheels that drew my attention. I had a whole lot of fun and I look forward to the Spring PNNA in Tukwila next year. I hope to make it up to Seattle for the Boeing Employee show as well.
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  3. heavycam.monstervam

    heavycam.monstervam Outlaw Trucker & Coin Hillbilly

    Very nice report Justin !! Awesome haul at the show. That 83o vam 1c though, that would be a dream coin to find with that bank packaging. That is an awesome presentation I know another Morgan enthusiast who might pay you an organ or a limb for it :woot:
    Ive had a few of those vintage bank savings booklets where you can put dimes in & when its full take to the bank and open up an account. They look really neat with mercs in them. Would be neat to have one of those for that Oregon Trail bank as a complimentary piece. Ya did good, Justin !! I think both the undergraded 85o and 80s show you have a sharp pair of eyes. The better vams confirm this notion. I love being able to spend a day at a big show, i like scoring even better!
  4. green18

    green18 Unknown member Sweet on Commemorative Coins Supporter

    Great narrative, great report, Justin. I hung on every word..........:)
    jtlee321 likes this.
  5. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    Awesome report and awesome coins! I didn't cherrypick much besides a 1920-S two-feather Buffalo Nickel, but I bought several ancients/medievals and bought something that I've wanted to own since I had first heard about it: a piece of colonial paper money.


    I sold an 1872 IHC (the one I cherrypicked as an 1878) for this. IMO, this is more interesting. The serial is 5174 I think. I bought it from a fairly prominent paper money dealer.

    Also, the dealer you bought the 1886 struck through from: Did he have several binders containing a variety of other coins on his desk, organized by type? I've cherrypicked a lot from him before.
    jtlee321 likes this.
  6. Dave Waterstraat

    Dave Waterstraat dave700x -1883 O nut

    Great show report Justin and a very nice group of pickins' and yeah, you know what my favorite of the group is. :)
    jtlee321 likes this.
  7. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    That is a cool piece of Colonial Currency!! I'd be afraid of it falling apart on me at some point. But I do love old currency, even though I have yet to buy any. :)

    Yes, that dealer did have a few binders. There are a few there that typically have stacks of binders to go through and I have cherrypicked quite a few from them. I feel like I have to go through the binders first as they seem to get picked over quite quickly. I was surprised the '86 was still there, but I think most people thought it was a large hit and figured it as damaged.
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2018
    Omegaraptor likes this.
  8. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Thank you for the incredibly kind words. I really love going to these shows, and I've found that I enjoy writing about them later almost as much as attending the show itself. I didn't want to just do a quick report, so I had to find the time to sit down and focus on nothing but the report. :)
    heavycam.monstervam likes this.
  9. Aidan_()

    Aidan_() Numismatic Contributor


    Don't tell Cascade but I like that '80 PL, I'm a sucker for proof like coins. :rolleyes:
    jtlee321 likes this.
  10. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    That 1883-O is just as cool as can be. The package it came with sold it just as much as the VAM that it is. This baby will be in my collection until I am no longer kicking. :) Now to find a 1C3.... ;)
  11. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    I love them too... I've been lucky enough to cherrypick quite a few this year and one of my goals was to cherry one from this show. I spotted quite a few, but the dealers were asking graded and designated prices on raw examples. I lucked out on this '80-S, I really cannot fathom how it did not garner at least a PL designation. I can only guess that it was part of a bulk submission and hence it just got passed over.
  12. heavycam.monstervam

    heavycam.monstervam Outlaw Trucker & Coin Hillbilly

    Ya know Justin, ive had a couple 80S that were real close in 64 & 65. One of them, like yours was a real head scratcher, slam dunk
    I even showed it to a friend of mine and his response was- they ALL look like that. I disregarded his response thinking he was an idiot, but, he had a good point. They sorta do mostly all look like that. TPG are waaaaaay tougher on this date than any other. If that was an 80P instead, i can almost guarantee it gets the nod.

    Edit : im talkimg PLs here not dmpl. I havent seen a should be dmpl not given atleast a PL
    Makes no sense
    jtlee321 likes this.
  13. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    Great report and sounds like a lot of fun! And nothing wrong with leaving with multiple Silver Dollars! :)
    jtlee321 likes this.
  14. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Which is probably why it was not even checked for PL. The graders just set it aside and carried on. The obverse is a no question DMPL and I'm almost 100% certain that if it were in an NGC holder, would have a star designation. I may send it in for designation review. Hopefully if it get's some individual attention, the correct call will be made. But as the old saying goes, I can hope in one hand and....
    ddddd likes this.
  15. ddddd

    ddddd Member

    The designation review may be your best course of action (especially if you have some other items to send it at the same time to spread out the costs).
    jtlee321 likes this.
  16. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    Yeah, I have quite a bit I want to send in. But I want to wait a bit for the pendulum to swing away a bit from the incredibly conservative grading that is currently going on. I have a handful of DMPL's and PL's that need to get graded.
    ddddd likes this.
  17. Omegaraptor

    Omegaraptor Gobrecht / Longacre Enthusiast

    I think I should mention that I looked through the IHC binder at the table I'm talking about and saw an 1864-L with a repunched date (unusually thick base of 1). Didn't buy it, though.
    jtlee321 likes this.
  18. Black Friar

    Black Friar Well-Known Member


    What a wonderful write up, thanks for the review of the show. We (Willamette Coin Club and PNNA) attached an ANA 2 day seminar on the grading and caring for coins the two days before the show. It sold out with 25 folks attending. As always, the ANA staff did a wonder full job. A couple of attendee's had a full or half scholarship to attend including a YN.

    There was a lot of buzz on the floor on Saturday and very good attendance. I hope you come to the next meeting and bring your haul to share with the other members, you done good.

    I purchased a few treasures of my own, all of the Byzantine type. I was set up there and basically sold out which helped me buy the Byz coins from one of my favorite people. He always has an amazing selection from $5 to really choice material. Something for everyone and everyone's budget.

    I'll bring my finds to the meeting to share 2017 P Kennedy NGC_Sample OBV.jpg , indeed, this is my hobby, I do it for fun. I do like shiney things too.
  19. Dave Waterstraat

    Dave Waterstraat dave700x -1883 O nut

    You and me both brother..:)
    jtlee321 and One Mans Trash like this.
  20. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    It was my pleasure! I really love this show and look forward to it each year.

    I was so excited when I found out that the 2 day seminar was going to be held here in Portland prior to the show, but by the time I found out, I had missed out as it hold sold out. I really hope it will be offered again next year, as I would love to attend. I know a few seats became available last minute, but I was not able to make proper arrangements to attend by then.

    I will mark my calendar for the next meeting of the Willamette Coin Club and try to attend. It can be difficult most of the time to make it, as I work nights, which is why I was only able to attend 1 meeting this year so far. I will see what I can do about attending next month. :)
  21. jtlee321

    jtlee321 Well-Known Member

    I thought you had found one? Isn't it your Avatar? Let's keep hunting my VAMpire friend. :)
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