If you are new to coin collecting, or have been collecting for decades, a coin show could benefit you. Coin shows bring local and distant dealers together to sell their coins to the public.
The picture above is from the New Hampshire Coin show in November, 2016. It is one of the biggest coin shows in New England. If you live in New England, I suggest you check out this coin show in May or November of each year.
Here are a few reasons I suggest you attend coin shows:
Coin shows can help you fill holes or complete sets
Let’s say you are working on a Jefferson Nickel collection, but haven’t seen any of the 1938 nickels out in change or coin rolls. There are some dealers that have binders full of Jefferson nickels and can help you get those nickels.
I personally went to the New Hampshire Coin Show in November, 2016 looking for one particular coin, a Proof-67 1942-P Silver Proof Jefferson Nickel certified by NGC. This was because I had built a Wartime Nickel collection, which is 11 silver nickels minted from 1942 and 1945. I collected all of them in MS-67 condition and thought it would nice to include the only Proof Silver Jefferson Nickel minted, the 1942-P. I walked to the different dealer tables and found four silver proofs in NGC slabs. The first one didn’t have a grade because only half of the obverse had a mirror image. The second one was a Proof-65, but I was determined to get a higher grade. The third was a Proof-66. It looked real nice and I considered getting this one, but the dealer wanted a little more than it was worth. I told him I may come back, but there was still a row of table I hadn’t looked through yet. So, I walked down that row, asking dealers who had coins similar to what I was looking for if they had the proof in the condition I was looking for today. I almost gave up hope when I saw on one table the one coin I was looking for, the 1942-P Silver Proof Jefferson Nickel in Proof-67 in an NGC Slab. I asked the dealer if I could look at it. It was perfect, to me anyway. I knew I wasn’t going to do any better as the highest grade was Proof-68 that would go for over $2000, if you could find it. I definitely didn’t see one at the show. Anyway, I asked the dealer how much he wanted for it. It turned out he only wanted $30 more than the Proof-66 I saw previously. Good thing I waited because I could had ended up with a coin in lower condition than what I wanted.
You’ll see things that you won’t normally see
I remember around 25 years ago when I went to a big coin show in Boston. It was here where it would be the first time I would see bright and shiny 1909-S VDB and 1914-D Lincoln Cents. It is not every day you would see these coins, let alone in MS-65.
There are coins that you will see at coin show, that you may only see in books or magazines. I’ve seen coins that I may never own personally, like proof Twenty Cent pieces or Gobrecht dollars, but are cool to look at up close.
You can learn from Coin Shows
Some of the bigger coin shows will have lectures that may help you know more about the coins you collect. When I went to the New Hampshire Coin Show in November, 2016, I attended lectures on Carson City Seated Liberty Dollars, Barber Coin Errors and the Fugio Cent, which some consider the first United States coin. Not only can you learn from the lectures, but also from the coin dealers. If you ask to look at a particular coin, the dealer can give you information about that coin that you may not had known about. It sometimes fun to hear dealers talk who had been collecting for a long time.
Check out Coin Shows
Whether you go to small monthly shows locally or go to some of the bigger shows in Baltimore or Long Beach, there is a lot to find out there and a lot to learn from others.