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Long Beach Show Report by Ian Russell

Ian Russell on Mon, Feb 26, 2018 05:23:50 AM
I rarely write a show report - mainly because most business in the coin industry these days is done outside of coin shows, however, this Long Beach show warrants special attention.  I started attending the Long Beach show in 2000, the show last week has to be one of the best I can remember.

The show organizers and PCGS went overboard in marketing.

My bullet point observations:

1.  Ship of Gold.  Really cool to see coins that were brought up from the ocean in their original form.  Amazing coins, like the 1857-S $3 that PCGS graded MS-67.  Beats previous finest known by 3 points.  There's only 3 or 4 or 5 MS coins known.  There were Territorial coins you've never seen in such quantity.  The coins that have yet to be conserved.  The original bags.  

2.  Tyrant Collection.  This should really be #1.  This was being hyped as the most valuable collection ever formed and up until Wednesday, I had my doubts (it was such a big claim).  Well, it's phenomenal and exceeds the hype and might beat the most expensive collection ever formed by a LONG way.  Only the British coins were on display and I heard from the show that the Tyrant Collection is going to display different coins from the collection over five years of Long Beach shows.  That is 15 shows of new material on display.  The British coins has to be the best British collection ever formed (outside of Royal Collection?) and I hear there is amazing U.S. and many other countries.

3.  Attendance.  From my point of view, attendance was up significantly.  From Wednesday set-up through Saturday morning, we were non-stop busy.  I won't write about the impressive coins/paper money consigned - but consignments were more than previous shows.

4.  Special appearance by John Albanese.  John rarely attends shows anymore, so it's always great to see him in person.

5.  PCGS Crossover Special.  This always attracts a lot of interest.  It's a cheap way to try to cross a large quantity of coins - the % that crosses is lower, not really because of the flood of coins being submitted, mainly because you end up trying coins that have a lower chance to cross.

6.  Timing.  Being 6 weeks after the FUN show is perfect and there was no major show in between.

7.  Coin-wise, I don't really want to comment on a lack of fresh coins/paper money etc. - there's always fresh coins on the market - sometimes more than others and so much is done outside of the show and in auctions today compared to 10-15 years ago.  We had many fresh coins on display and accepted many on consignment as well (should be a press release about one consigned at the show in the next few weeks).  Others had fresh coins too.  Of course, we always want more and that is part of the problem - balancing the fresh supply with the fresh demand.

8.  The market overall is much stronger compared to 12-18 months ago.  We started to see it immediately after the election in 2016 with many different statistics internally at GreatCollections and it's been steadily increasing since.  There's still some weak areas (not everything is higher), but if you look at the whole market, it's definitely stronger today.

Thanks to Cassi who runs the show and everyone involved!

- Ian