F.U.N. or FUN

Posted on January 11, 2010 by

The Florida United Numismatists have been hosting one of the best numismatic conventions in the country for decades.  I grew up in Florida (1960-1981) and the FUN convention was an annual treat.  It was more of a regional show back then, but we were proud to have it in our “backyard.”  People like Bob Hendershot, Mary Leuww, Grover Criswell, Roger Bryan, and Randy Campbell were some of the movers and shakers back then (Randy still does a phenomenal job of lining up educational seminars for the show).  Dealer friends like Jeff Garrett, Marc Earle, Brian Beardsley, Mike Joyce, Dave Goldsmith, and I met at the “big show”, some of us taking tables, some of us walking the floor, but always getting together for a long weekend of coin trading fun.  Prices were a lot lower then…I remember buying gem rolls of prooflike silver dollars for $80 and having a tough time selling them for $5 each!  As prices have increased over the intervening years, so has the level of fun.

I just spent two great days in Florida at the FUN show.  Although the weather was a little colder and brisker than usual, it was great to join up with old friends and make new ones.  Most of my time was spent in the grading room working with our photographer, but I had a couple of opportunities to get onto the floor and join the action.  Most of the dealers reported brisk activity and good sales (I’m amazed at how recession-proof our “industry” has become).  The PCGS Set Registry luncheon on Friday (put on by Registry queen BJ Searls) was a big affair of great food, important announcements, and our way of thanking all the people who have made the Registry such a great success.

Today, the FUN show is bigger, more exciting, and more FUN than ever.  Be sure to make it next year if you can.

Friday night I jetted up to New York for the NY International Coin Show and George Kolbe’s sale of the Stack’s family library.  The NYINC is a much different show than the FUN show, but it is just as FUN.  Dealers and collectors congregate from all over the world for what is perhaps the biggest and best world coin show (certainly in the US).  The Kolbe sale set new records for numismatic literature and it was poignant to watch Harvey Stack auction off some of the first lots from a collection that was near and dear to him.  I was fortunate to pick up several lots from the sale, much of which will soon be added as great content to the PCGS CoinFacts site.

As fun as the shows were, the after-hours socializing was even better.  Wednesday night was dinner with family at Downtown Disney; Thursday night was dinner at a Brazilian churrascaria with Marc Earle and friends; Friday night was an unexpected dinner at the airport with PCGS President, Don Willis (both our planes were delayed); and Saturday evening was a sushi dinner with German dealer (and great friend) Dirk Loebbers.  Additional good times were had at breakfasts and lunches with other close friends and associates.

Now I’m on a plane back to San Diego, where I’m looking forward to returning home and being with my family.  I’m carrying some great memories of a FUN week.

Until next time!

Ron Guth

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