With summer here, I usually only have one show a month, which leaves more time to spend with my family. Last weekend we were very fortunate to celebrate my dad’s 97th birthday! Many of you have heard me talk about him being in the Navy and a Pearl Harbor survivor, so we are especially proud to still have him with us.
With less shows during the summer, I especially look forward to each show I do attend. And the Long Beach show is one of my favorite shows since it is so close and I get to see a lot of my local friends and customers, as well as sleep in my own bed each night!
I arrived as usual to the loading dock area around 10:30 am the noon set up time. Since they only let a handful of cars up at the loading area at a time, it helps to be there early. Instead of waiting in the long car line, I decided to pull next to the ramp, unload my inventor onto my cart, and my booth helper and I pushed the cart up the ramp to the back door and waited to be let in at noon. That was much quicker than waiting for each car to go up the ramp, unload, and eventually move their car.
After I set up my booth (in record time with three booth helpers!), I did my usual buying from a lot of the vest pocket dealers, as well as my regular dealer friends. By the end of the show, I definitely out-spent my show sales, which some times happens when a show is on the slower side.
When I got home and set up the coins to photograph, Penny got very curious and I had to hold her back from sitting all over the coins! (She’s also a huge rubberband fiend and I have to hide them from her.)
In the later afternoon when things died down, I opened one of my favorite wines, Rombauer Zinfandel.
After set up was over, my boothmate Rich and I went to dinner at our usual Wednesday night Long Beach restaurant, Cafe Piccolo’s, with our foreign coin dealer friends, Karl and Joanne Stephens. We each bring a bottle of wine to share and have an informal tasting and “judging” of each wine.
I also picked up a couple of scarce Condor tokens from Karl for my personal collection.
On Thursday, Fred Weinberg stopped by my table and handed me this interesting Conder token that he had gotten in a group of coins. It came with a note that stated it was a Die Trial Uniface Strike.
However, I contacted my favorite Conder dealer, Gary Groll, who sent me this response:
“The token is not associated with Cambridgeshire, is not a halfpenny, not a die trial, nor a uniface mule. It was manufactured by Peter Kempson for use at the Birmingham Workhouse and is one of three different denominations produced. The obverse is a stock die that Kempson used for a number of tokens; the reverse displays punches signifying 1s (shilling) and 6d (pence), or eighteen pence. It is illustrated on page 259 of D&H; noted as Warwickshire 3. The token is readily available.”
Thank you Fred and Gary!
Thursday was very busy, and I did more buying and selling. I apologize, but unfortunately, I neglected to take photos of the Tyrant Collection, but thankfully I see some others have posted photos of the exhibit. I borrowed a couple photos from the Long Beach Expo Facebook. Hopefully those of you who attended the show stopped by to see these amazing coins.
There was a guy who was alleged to have stolen coins at some local shows but for various reasons wasn’t arrested. He showed up at the Vegas show last month and was watched by dealers and security but they didn’t see him steal anything at that show. He also showed up at the Long Beach show on Thursday and Friday and was immediately flanked by security and watched from the catwalk above. Apparently, the show promoters are not able to eject suspected coin thieves unless they are caught and/or convicted. But it was interesting because many of the dealers knew of his history from the other shows and passed the word around so everyone was keeping a close eye on him. He’s the big guy in the red plaid shirt in the background to the right of Chris. I don’t believe he was caught stealing anything during this show, but he did try to exit the show through the back doors where the dealers come and go, and was told to leave through the door at the front of the room.
My good friend Buck who also helped during set up brought me this great bottle of Feathers red wine, which we really enjoyed.
After the show on Thursday, we joined several other dealers at Naple’s Ribs. This Long Beach show Thursday night ritual is set up by our dear friend Ernie who reserves the back room of the restaurant for whichever coin dealers want to go.
Ron Guth and Ernie
Me and Todd/BlueCCPhotos
Nina always enjoys whatever she’s eating!
Roger/MustangGT (Todd’s dad)
Rick Snow and Richard Murchanian – the glare from the mirrors made them look like they had light beams shooting out of their fingers!
Some of Naple’s Ribs’ amazing ribs!
Sales on Friday were much slower than Thursday, though I did more than the usual number of people stop by and ask questions about coins they found.
I am currently writing an article for the Numismatist on the history of “capped cents” which I have been collecting for some time. Capped cents were created by Louis Werner in the 1930’s and were designed around important events during the depression era, such as the Lindbergh kidnapping trial of Bruno Hauptmann, the disastrous Morro Castle ship fire, Admiral Byrd’s famous second Polar expedition, Joe Louis becoming the world heavyweight boxing champion, as well as the Lord’s Prayer for Easter and three different Santa Claus designs for Christmas. Werner would set up his capping machine at these events, run a piece of copper sheet through the machine, and stamp a design on the copper sheet which is molded over a 1934 or 1935 penny. He would sell each piece for 10 cents. Interestingly, Werner donated his capping machine, dies, and related pieces to the ANA Museum in the 1970’s, and they still have it! Doug Mudd at the ANA located it in the basement and Rob Kelly photographed it for my article.
I saw an amazing set of some of the capped cent designs on eBay (this sale on eBay was also recently mentioned in an exonumia thread on the PCGS message board). I was thrilled to have won this amazing set of capped cents since it contained some rare silver and gold plated pieces, as well as one struck over a Canadian cent and one struck over a Panama cent which I didn’t even know existed. I picked up the set at my post office on my way to the show for Todd to photograph for my article. Todd is still working on the photos so I took some pictures with my cell phone.
I’m not sure when (or if) my article will be published but I will let you know when it is!
Most of you know that I also collect penny teapots made by prisoners and soldiers during the 1930’s and 1940’s. Each one was made by hand often using a spoon to tap and mold the penny into a teapot so each teapot is unique. I have collected dozens of them but I have never seen one that actually contained a date until I recently found this one that had the original date from a 1907 Indian cent on the handle. I had Todd previously photograph it and the pictures came out amazing!
Friday night, we went to King’s Fish House which is located within walking distance of the convention center up on Pine Street. They have a wonderful selection of seafood, even for non-seafood lovers like me!
While waiting for dinner, I ran into Steve Ellsworth (ANA Governor) who was waiting for his own group to arrive.
King’s is one of the few restaurants that doesn’t charge a corkage fee (which usually ranges from $10-$25 per bottle), so everyone brought a nice bottle of wine, and we had a great wine tasting dinner party. Just so you know, we don’t usually finish most of the bottles so there’s plenty left over to take home!
Joe and Sarah Wargo and me
A dealer friend, John, who is also a wine enthusiast was sitting right next to us so we shared some tastes of wine with his table as well! – these were two of the amazing wines they were drinking.
Whenever I go to King’s I usually have the same thing because it is sooooo delicious – the macadamia nut crusted halibut!
Saturday morning I gathered all the raw coins I planned to submit to PCGS, filled out the forms, put the coins in the PCGS flips and took them over to the PCGS table. This is always a chore as I still need to take care of my customers and the public who come to my table, so it usually takes me a couple hours. Yes, I know, I really should plan ahead and prepare my submissions before the show, but I never seem to get around to it until the last minute! This is my pile of flips from the coins I submitted.
The PCGS customer service folks at the show are so wonderful, patient, and always very helpful!
The Long Beach Expo’s kids’ treasure hunt was once again very popular and well attended by a throng of enthusiastic kids! It’s so great to see this next generation embracing coins!
Saturday had quite a crowd in spite of some of the dealers having left to catch their flights (mostly towards the front of the room). My table is located in the middle of the room and I took these photos looking towards the back of the bourse floor later on Saturday so the crowd had thinned out quite a bit by 1pm.
So that’s about it. Next week we’re headed to our place in Lake Havasu for some fun in the sun with my family and a first boat ride for our grandson! He got a new life jacket and we tested it out on him, however, I don’t think he was very fond of having to wear such a bulky vest!
Next up: The San Diego Conarama in July, then the Philly ANA in August!