Whitman Baltimore Coin Show a Resounding Success-Wholesale Sector Still Shaky

Baltimore once again reaffirmed that it is one of the premier coin shows on the circuit. Although this show at times had a different feel, at the end of the day, it flat-out produced. Rob and Robbie arrived in Baltimore on Tuesday to start their usual array of  pre-show trading. They found some of their regular wholesale trading partners to be a bit more cautious and reserved in their buying patterns. Any initial trepidation seemed gone by Wednesday afternoon, as they concluded their wholesale trading with a regular client who in Rob’s words was “as aggressive as ever”.  Show setup however had that tentative feeling again. There seems to be a hangover in the wholesale numismatic arena that hasn’t entirely gone away throughout the year. Perhaps, this is due to declining values in the generic numismatic sectors causing a glut of stagnant inventory and associated cash flow challenges. The key to prospering in this environment is keeping inventory moving, a concept that seems to be alluding many dealers. We are pleased that the collectors seem totally oblivious to these challenges. For them, lower prices spell opportunity. We have noticed that many series seem to have hit their sweet spots and are selling again, with some vigorously. U.S. Commemoratives are a perfect example of a series that has experienced a renaissance. The guys also reported activity in U.S. Gold, and in particular, larger coins. There has been apprehension of late to buy $10 and $20 gold, a byproduct of the European bank hoards of U.S. gold that has been literally flooding the market over the last several years. We believe that collectors are finally coming to the realization that many dates are not represented in these hoards, and they needn’t fear the series as a whole. We sold several scarce date $10 and $20 pieces in Baltimore which is an encouraging sign, and hopefully signifies a shift in collector buying trends moving forward. It was argued by some of the dealers in Baltimore that the overall collector attendance was down. Although we can neither confirm or dispel this, we would comment that the quality of the customer attending this show was as good as ever. Friday was nothing short of pandemonium at The Reeded Edge’s booth, with collectors lined up two-deep for much of the day. By the end of Saturday, the guys were both exhausted and satisfied. Hundreds of coins were both bought and sold, and thousands of dollars of business transacted over the period of 5 days, the culmination of yet another very successful Whitman Baltimore Coin Show.