Whitman Baltimore Coin Show Report

Here’s a show report from Chris (aka wikyva) from our coin collecting forum. Thanks for the great information Chris! If you have show reports, articles or other information you’d like to share, let me know by emailing me or posting in the coin forum. Here’s Chris’ report.

As promised, I went to the Whitman show in Baltimore, MD yesterday. I had never been to a show this big before so I was not really sure how best to handle it. My plan for the show was to pick up some coins for my Dansco 7070 and to see if I could find something really unusual. Of course, I also love Peace dollars and Jefferson nickels so I had my eyes open for those as well. I also brought along my 1991 110 ounce Gold Eagle to try and sell. Finally, I brought eight presidential dollars with me because I have heard that people get strange questions or have difficulty using them in commerce. So I thought I would see whether I ran into any problems with them. (This is strange I know but I was curious.)

It took me over three hours to get to Baltimore and I arrived at about 11:30. On the way, I stopped for coffee and used one of the presidential dollars without any problems or questions. When I arrived in Baltimore, the first thing that struck me was the parking problem. I could not park near the convention center and I had to walk quite a long way to get to the show. It would not have been so bad had it been a warm day but it was cold and breezy. But I had finally arrived.

I thought the convention center was a great place to have the show. It really is a nice facility. Upon entering the convention center, I registered and was given a name tag to wear. The guy next to me was complaining to the people working the show about everything. He thought the parking was really bad, he didn’t want to have to show photo id, he thought that Baltimore was crappy etc. He also complained that one of the guys working the counter was wearing a cowboy hat and “didn’t belong here.”

Before entering the bourse, I noticed that Whitman had a little store set up in the lobby. They were selling many of their publications and coin supplies. They were not selling anything for any discount but I looked around a little and headed for the bourse.

As I walked in, I was amazed by the size of the bourse. As I said earlier I have never been to a show that size before and it really was overwhelming. I walked up and down the row of dealers for a while not really looking at anything in particular. The show was fairly busy and there seemed to be all kinds of items available. Foreign coins, paper money, coins and even things like rocks, artifacts, fossils and even some knives. As I walked though the bourse, I suddenly realized how little about collecting coins I know and I seemed to forget anything I did know.

After a quick breather, I decided to forge ahead and look for some of those 7070 coins. I found some dealers with some books of coins and I began to look through them. I found a great 1963 Franklin half and a great looking 1957-D Lincoln Wheat penny which will definitely upgrade my 7070. Later I found a couple of commems for my 7070. One was a Washington half dollar and the other was a 1986 Statue of Liberty Silver Dollar. Thanks to the guys at Wayne Herndon who helped me with the Statue of Liberty by pulling one out of a stash they were sending to another dealer. I felt they had the collector’s interests at heart.

Later in the show, I found a very nice looking 1935-P Peace Dollar. That leaves me with only 5 holes in my Peace dollar album. I also found a couple of Jefferson war nickels. I have to say that the BU war nickels are just beautiful. I had some circulated examples that I think are fairly unattractive so I am searching for beautiful BU examples of each coin. So far, I have four of them - seven to go!

I also held several coins in my hands that were just beautiful. However, they were beyond my price range. One of the coins was a 1950-D nickel graded MS-67, 5FS. It had a beautiful tone to the coin. The dealer said he wanted $2,000.00 for it. Even if I were prepared to drop that kind of money on the coin, I do not think that would have been the coin. I also held a beautiful proof Jefferson in my hand. It was, if I recall correctly, a 1953 graded PF-68 CAM. It was probably the most beautiful Jefferson nickel I had ever seen. At $450.00 I was very tempted. I knew, however, that that coin purchase might lead to divorce so I had to pass. :)

In all of the excitement, I never tried to sell my coin. I did use the rest of my presidential dollars without any problem or questions. Overall, I thought the show was a great show. Next time, I am going to have a better plan in mind. It is hard to remember price information for every coin. So next time, I will identify specific coins I am looking for and bring with me price information with me. It seems that almost any coin you would want you could find at a show like that.

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