I attended the semi-annual Watertown, SD coin show this past Saturday. Here are a few of my more interesting purchases.
I am having a heck of a time finding information about this Lincoln bronze medal. If you know what it is, or who may be able to point me in the right direction, please let me know.
This is easily the "coolest" token I will ever own. I bought it from a super friendly guy named Glen from Lake Region Coin & Currency. (If you visit their page, he is the guy behind the counter in the first photo you see.) The reason this was an awesome find is because I live in Marshall, MN where Mr. Cool's clothing is still in business. I hope to take the token into the store and ask Joe Cool about it.
And this is the "crappiest" token I may ever own, both for condition and content. "Butt" when I saw it, I couldn't NOT buy it. $4 - Totally worth it. Also, I bought this from two guys who were more interested in talking to each other than with me. Not the best customer service, but not everyone is a people person. So whatever.
I couldn't help but eavesdrop on a few conversations (it was not a big show). I heard two folks talking about computerized grading. I am not the type to force my way into a conversation that I was not originally a part of; so I just listened. The consensus was that computerized grading is impossible because a computer cannot recognize eye appeal. Should I have launched into a tirade about neural networks and deep learning? Maybe, but I didn't. I took it as an example of the prevalent opinion in numismatics. Also, it serves as confirmation that this blog, and the problems I try to address in the hobby, are important.
As if that conversation wasn't enough to stoke my ego and dissatisfaction with the status quo in coin collecting,, I also overheard a conversation about how the hobby is going to die. The reasons? Aging collectors and Red Book prices going down.
Again, I didn't butt in. However, as a collector, declining prices are a welcome sight. The cheaper I can score some sweet coins (or medals and tokens), the better! That is the kind of behavior you see in a truly competitive market. Competition breeds lower prices. Innovative business people find ways to undercut the competition and prices go down. I'm happy to see some price declines, especially as a "young" collector (I'm 33, soon to be 34).
I took this as further proof for myself that what I am writing about is important. Please see my post Newmismatics if you have not already.
Bottom line - I love coin shows!
That reminds me - the guys from J&J Coins and Collectibles were good to talk to. I didn't end up buying anything from them because I was on a very limited budget, but they struck me a good guys and I would absolutely buy from them.
One last thing. I have had a lot of fun writing this post. I think attending coin shows and posting about my experience there would be a good addition to The Coin Blog. If you agree, please let me know!