Gold is King at ANA Portland
By David C. Harper
for gold underpinned the commercial sector at
the American Numismatic Association National
Money Show held March 13-15 in Portland, Ore.
"My sales here were almost exclusively gold
coins. I sold one or two other things," said
dealer Julian Leidman of Silver Spring, Md.
Leidman held up a 1908 Saint-Gaudens $20 from
the Wells Fargo Nevada Hoard.
"The premiums are really high, 50 percent
instead of 10 percent," he said, referring to
In all, dealers saw a good crowd in Portland.
"Far more nonmembers than members were here," he
said. "A lot of them are unsophisticated
numismatists (with) a lot of questions."
Others commented on the packed aisles, too.
Official attendance was pegged at 7,943.
"I was very pleased to see the long lines
waiting to get in," said former ANA president
and Salt Lake City dealer Bob Campbell.
"It was better than I thought it would be,"
Campbell said. "Ninety percent of all my sales
were to dealers. Most dealers said the same
thing to me. I'm pleased."
He held up a Wass, Molitor gold $50 as something
he had just bought for his own collection.
"I think the ANA did a wonderful job at bringing
the people in," said world coin dealer M. Louis
For him, the economy was a dominant factor and
"business was off compared to last year's
And, he said, "There was nothing to buy."
But as for what did sell: "I sold mostly gold
Teller also mentioned Indian and British coinage
and high-quality European talers as good
Jon Lerner of Scarsdale Coins, Scarsdale, N.Y.,
said that "a lot of raw coins sold very well."
He explained that true collectors were spending
serious cash on them.
"Slabbed coins were kind of quiet," he added.
Lerner was also buying. He said at this show
Bust coinage, paper money and silver 3-cent
pieces stood out as purchases.
He gave show organizers a pat on the back.
"ANA did a great job with the kids," Lerner
said. "We had over 400 kids, which is a lot."
His table was a stop on the Treasure Trivia
At the Bowers and Merena table Kevin Foley said,
"It was a typical ANA event, very well organized
and well patronized with exceptionally good
Santa Rosa, Calif., dealer Jack Beymer was
satisfied with thes how.
"I bought lots of good stuff," Beymer said. "I
bought a lovely 1871 Seated Liberty dollar in
He also mentioned a set of early matte proof
Buffaloes in Proof-65.
His wife Sondra liked the Treasure Trivia
"I thought it was nice people brought their
families," she said. "It was so cute."
Gold was cited among the areas of strenght by
Mary Sauvain at the New World Rarities, Hauppage,
"Its been a nice, steady show," she reported.
Encino, Calif., error dealer Fred Weinberg said
the market since January has been "surprisingly
"The coin business seems to be to a degree
bucking the trend of most retail business," he
As for the Portland show, it was "surprisingly
Col. Steve Ellsworth of Butternut Coins,
Clifton, Va., said, "I think we had excellent
traffic, lots of people. Buyers are being very
Of early coppers, an area in which he
specializes, he said, "It's hotter than a
pistol. Sixty to70 percent of my business is
Other areas of strength cited by Ellsworth
included early type coins before the Civil War.
Monument, Colo., dealer Will Rossman of Atlas
Coins and Currency, who had stopped by
Ellsworth's table, said, "I basically agree with
Steve wholeheartedly. Collector coins are hot.
Investor coins are not."
Ellsworth also said the supply of gold coins was
basically gone. "There isn't any supply right
now. The public isn't bringing in any."
While the market was the central focus of the
dealer community, the show was attracting large
numbers of the general public because local news
broadcasts slated 11 morning segments during the
There was also a cheerleading competition in the
next hall, which probably added a few extra
attendees who might not otherwise have come to a
However, the biggest cheerleader for the coin
market in the convention center undoubtedly was