There was some trepidation going into 2019 Florida United Numismatists (or FUN) show. The dealer sector of the coin market had experienced its highs and lows in 2018, and struggled to maintain any sense of consistency. However, retail was the one constant, as collectors remained active throughout the year. The challenge with coin shows is that they are wholesale-driven. How then would the FUN show respond to this dichotomy?
The answer was provided last week, as FUN returned to its Orlando home base, and the public responded in force. It has been said over and over that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. Case in point would be the Orange County Convention Center vs alternative locations such as Ft. Lauderdale and Tampa. Although the other two locations were logistically fine, the public just didn’t respond to either like they did last week in Orlando. At the end of the day, the proof is in the pudding. “Best FUN show ever”, “I sold $100K in 10 minutes”, “We had them lined up 4 deep at our booth”, were just a few of the comments that we heard from tabled dealers.
Our personal experience of FUN was similar. It certainly was one of our most active shows in quite some time, with almost 1/2 a million dollars of business transacted. Everything numismatic was selling from coins under a couple hundred of dollars to five-figure rarities. Yes, the market has adjusted downward, and most dealers have resigned themselves to this fact. But, for those willing to play within these defined parameters, business could be transacted. Collectors are really responding to these new lower prices, and appears that the numismatic market has finally hit the sweet spot.
PCGS was conducting on-site grading throughout the show. We noted that the coins that seemed to get the best grades were those that were fresh and flashy. Coins with unoriginal or indifferent surfaces did not fare as well. It is plainly obvious to us that PCGS is taking the leadership role of improving the quality of certified coins in the marketplace. With the coin market getting off to the strong start that FUN was indicative of, we applaud PCGS’s efforts.
We believe that most people who attended FUN, whether a dealer, collector or passive observer, left the show with a very favorable impression. The room was buzzing all the way up to mid-afternoon on Saturday. We are not sure of the attendance figures, and how they rated against past FUN shows. But, if coin shows moving forward look and feel anything like FUN, we could be in for a very good year indeed!