CICF Gets Strong Results
By Numismatic News
"Surprising" was the word many used to describe
bourse activity at the 34th annual Chicago
International Coin Fair, held April 23-26 in
The show, sponsored by World Coin News, enjoyed
a public attendance total that was up slightly
from last year, according to Kevin Foley,
"I'm really very pleasantly surprised," he said.
"I did not expect it to be as strong as it has
Sunday attendance was also better than expected.
A larger proportion of dealers stayed through
the day, according to Foley.
He attributes CICF's success to its
"The collectors who come to this show know that
they will see dealers that they won't find at
the typical U.S.-oriented show."
It is this same international flavor that drew
dealer Joseph Algazi to CICF for the first time
"You have to expose yourself," he said.
Algazi said that in general he does more
business with dealers than the public at
numismatic shows, supplying them with Cuban
currency, coins and historical documents.
"It's all about timing," he said. "One buyer can
make it for you."
Foley speculated that this CICF was more
commercially active than the previous year's.
"One thing you notice ... is the level of noise
in the room," Foley said. "The noisier the
bourse room, the more activity, the more sales,
the more transactions that are going on. And I
did notice that both on Thursday and Friday the
room simply had a buzz all day long, from
beginning to end."
This sentiment was echoed by Distinctive Coins
dealer John McCaugherty. He said the show was
going very well and described business as being
"better than expected."
His wife, Gayle McCaugherty, agreed that
business was brisk.
"We are all tired at the end of every day," she
So what items were hot sellers at the show?
World paper money, Greek and Roman gold, as well
as lower-priced material seemed to be in demand,
For the Distinctive Coins folks it was Polish,
German and Chinese coins. Rarities were also
hot, they said.
"Generally scarce items, no matter what the
level of overall market activity, are stronger
than more common items," Foley explained.
Business aside, CICF was also about catching up
with friends. This year was bittersweet for
German dealer Ernst Neumann. He had the
opportunity to spend time with his friends the
McCaughertys, including their son Chris
McCaugherty. However, absent at the show was
Neumann's Austrian partner, Erich Mozelt, who
was forced to cancel due to health reasons.
"We wish him the best in his recovery," Neumann
For the Chicago Coin Club, CICF had yet a
different meaning this year. The organization
celebrated its 90th anniversary in conjunction
with the show.
"We've been through two World Wars and haven't
missed a beat," said Jeffrey Rosinia, CCC
president. "Our club is ambitiously striking
medals and publishing articles."
Rosinia and Carl Wolf, CCC secretary, manned the
club's booth at CICF, selling bronze, silver and
gold anniversary medals. The pieces feature
Augustus Saint-Gaudens' "Standing Lincoln"
statue that is located in Chicago's Lincoln
The club hosted an anniversary banquet for
members, family and friends on the evening of
April 25 at Giannotti's Steak House in Schiller
Park, Ill. After dinner, Jewish coin scholar
David Hendin gave a talk on "Economics, History
and Money in Judea and Early Christianity."
Among the clubs to hold meetings during CICF was
the Every Country Collectors Group, which met
April 25. Lisa Bellavin, Krause Publications
online editor, shared her experience at the
Berlin Munzkabinett with a presentation titled
"Berlin Coin Cabinet One Impressive Coin
Bellavin and Maggie Stigsell, editor of World
Coin News, then fielded questions and comments
from the group pertaining to KP's NumisMaster
database and the Standard Catalog of World Coin
Other group speakers included Alan Berman, or
"King Alanus I of Bermania," who told the
history of dragons in the "kingdom" of Bermania
to the Bermanian Guild of Numismatists April 24.
The next day Hendin presented "Ancient Judean
Coins: New Discoveries from Yehuds to Judea
Capta" to the Ancient Coin Club of Chicago.
Elizabeth Hahn, American Numismatic Society
librarian, spoke on "The ANS Library, Sicilian
History and Early Numismatic Literature" for the
Chicago Coin Club April 25.
Rounding out the presentations was Chuck Jacobs,
who spoke to the International Primitive Money
Society on "Hammered Dump Coinage from Feudal
Japan - 1576-1870," also on April 25.
Hendin, Hahn and Jacobs all were awarded an
American Numismatic Association Education
Certificate for their presentations.