September … just another month.

Posted on September 26, 2010 by

This is my first weekend at home in three weeks. It’s a welcome relief to play ball with the dog and watch my first football of the season. And of course, not to work too much, but it is impossible to get away from the computer and smart phone…

It started just after Labor Day as we held another of our Members Only shows in Las Vegas. We hold these at the Venetian Hotel & Casino (we have investigated several alternatives but the Venetian keeps coming out on top). This past show was again oversold as we squeezed in a couple of loyal PCGS dealers who at the last minute asked us very nicely if they could have a table. Our Members shows have a unique quality that you will not find in any other show. They are by definition – invitation only – as you must be a PCGS authorized dealer or Collector Club member to enter the show room. That eliminates the tire kickers and the “just curious”, the result of which is that everyone in the room is a serious numismatist (ok, some are more serious than others but you get the picture). The shows are small, typically with a couple dozen dealers setup and a hundred or so visitors mingling in the aisles. I usually hear of several sizable transactions and witness a lot of trading. Many dealers report they do as much business there as at most major shows.

The day after the Members show found me on an overnight flight to Paris. We opened an office in Paris this past June. We grade coins in that office on a regular schedule, app. every 6 weeks. So off we went to meet our many new friends from all across Europe. During this trip we had dealers from a dozen different countries submit coins for grading. Mostly World coins with some U.S. It is fast paced action as our team is only there for one week. All coins submitted are graded onsite and returned by the end of the week. In many ways coin collecting in Europe resembles coin collecting in the US back in the 60s & 70s. Third party grading is a relatively new concept, although it is rapidly catching on. I really feel that PCGS is providing a great service to the dealers and collectors of Europe by offering our independent opinion. Not only that, but there is a tremendous lack of information that we take for granted here in the States such as population reports, pricing information, rarity rankings etc. This is just the beginning, but I foresee PCGS having an extremely positive effect on coin collecting not only in Europe, but around the world.

After an 11 hour flight home my wife and youngest daughter were waiting for me at LAX. We drove directly north to Santa Cruz were my daughter was enrolling as a freshman the next day. That was a long trip! After helping her move in to her dorm room we spent the night in Paso Robles. We toured a couple vineyards the next morning before making the long drive home.

Then it was a couple days in the office trying to catch up on two weeks worth of issues. The good part of email, messaging and all of our technology is that we can stay fairly current on most things. Wednesday was the first day of the Long Beach show. I try to be at all the major shows because I think it is important to meet face to face with as many dealers and collectors as possible, as often as possible. I always get lots of questions, issues to resolve and good input to consider. This past Long Beach show seemed especially hectic as the crowd around our table was several people deep for much of the show. We not only grade thousands of coins at every show but we also receive thousands more coins to bring back to the office for grading. Shows are a great opportunity for collectors to get an opinion on their coin and some advice on their submission.

I got home Friday night about 7 PM. I am a home-body and there is nothing like collapsing in your favorite chair. It is a lot of work but I am so lucky to be doing something that I truly enjoy! I am already looking forward to October!

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