The ANA 2000 World’s Fair of Money Show Sets Attendance Record
A record-breaking number of people thronged through the door of the 109th ANA Money Show this year in Philadelphia. This trend has been evident at the major shows for some time and is one the coin industry should be very excited about. An enthused ANA President, H. Robert Campbell said, “It was our greatest convention ever.” The registration line closed at 2:00 PM on Sunday to lines of people still awaiting admittance to the bourse floor.
Mr. Campbell and other officials credited many issues to the rise in the numbers, but topping the list is renewed interest in collecting as a result of the US Mints programs of recent years. These include the new State quarter program, the Sacagawea dollar and the very successful modern commemoratives. They also pointed to the Ship of Gold display which offered the public on the East Coast its first opportunity to see gold coins and bars from the SS Central America shipwreck.
Trends to Watch
I have been talking for years about the noticeable rise in public interest in not only coins, but historically significant collectables of all types. I attribute the increase to many things. Of course, the financial aspect of collecting coins, art, classic cars, etc. is appealing because of their historical price appreciation and privacy among those items topping the list. However, my experience has convinced me that there is an even more significant factor generating demand, particularly for classic American rarities.
This demand stems from a psychological point of view rather than financial. In talking with many of my subscribers, both the purist of collector to the shrewdest of investors, in regards to their current holdings of coins and the coins they wish to acquire in the future. I have noticed their comments to be more about the shear amazement and joy they receive from just holding their coins are much more nostalgic and psychological in nature than they are excitement about the potential value it may have in the future.
Sure most people buy that first investment quality coin out of a sense of greed, but what keeps the long-term interest is more historically connected. I believe that as society becomes increasingly wealthier here and abroad, these trends are much more significant to the value of coins than many of the economic issues that can force demand higher.
Attribute it to people wanting to be connected to their roots, the History Channel, increasing wealth, volatile stock market, better access to information, or whatever. One thing is crystal clear: collector Mania is alive and well.