New York International Numismatic Convention

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by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Annika Backe

January 22, 2015 – It is an institution, this New York International Numismatic Convention that attracts the most important dealers in the field of ancient and medieval coins to New York, to the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, year after year.

A look into the show room. Photo: UK.

128 dealers from 18 US-American states and 17 nations had come to offer their coins and medals for sale. 139 “early birds” were willing to pay $125 to be admitted to the Professional Preview already on Thursday. The mere number of visitors that browsed the booths of the coin dealers over the course of three days, from Friday to Sunday, does not seem very remarkable, strictly speaking. Yet they all had paid $20, which is some entrance fee, and had therefore made up their mind that this fair is worth such high a fee. Other coin fairs might get considerably more visitors with no fee at all or a smaller one, but there is a crucial difference between them and the New York International Numismatic Convention: most of the 1,999 visitors were willing to spend much money on interesting coins.

At the London Coin Gallery booth in the Palm Room. Photo: UK.

Every coin dealer knows that he needs his table to be visited not by as many buyers as possible but by the one, the true buyer. The New York International Numismatic Convention has become established as an international venue for dealers and collectors from all around the world to seal as many deals with each other as possible. That promises solvent customers as well as coin dealers that bring their most intriguing material with them.

CoinsWeekly shares a booth with MA-Shops. Photo: Arne Kirsch.

Thus, most dealers were really happy with the business they had conducted at their tables. The best indication for this is the fact that the New York International 2016 was virtually sold out when the 2015 fair was not even concluded yet. Only three booths are left for the long-term host of the NYINC, Kevin Foley, to allocate.

The gallery of the Starlight Roof. Photo: UK.

So what is the secret of the New York International? Well, the most obvious thing is the great number of auctions that are conducted alongside the main bourse. New York is an excellent place to buy first-class ancient coins in particular. Many important auction sales are held, therefore. There you have the auction of Heritage and of Gemini, of CNG and Stack-Bowers-Ponterio, The New York Sale is a joint venture of Baldwin’s, Goldberg, M&M Numismatics and Dmitry Markov. Not to forget the book auction sale by Kolbe & Fanning, probably the world’s most distinguished seller of bibliophilic numismatic literature.
The most important auctions are attended by the most important coins dealers and coin collectors. Of course, they not only spend their money at the auctions but like to have a look at the booths as well.
This means that everybody who intends to organize a well-attended coin fair is recommended to not do this single-handedly but to bring as many auctioneers, societies and associations in as possible. Green with envy? Hating competition? Be my guest, if you can afford the luxury. The NYINC, though, is the best proof that it is precisely this co-operation that generates the best results for everybody.

When many people meet at the same time again and again, there develops something like the personal factor. For many visitors the NYINC has become a place where they can meet friends they have not seen for quite some time. Even before their plane lifts off they have a fixed schedule who to go out with on which evening. The ANS takes this opportunity to invite to their gala dinner on the occasion of the New York International. The associations entertain the visitors with lectures. They all provide good, additional reasons to come to the NYINC.

Year after year, the pessimists rumor that the rival FUN-Show in Orlando will cut the ground from under the NYINC’s feet. Yet year after year, Kevin Foley announces that the bourse in New York is sold out an entire year in advance. Although every European coin dealer would wish for the dates of these important US-American bourses to be coordinated in a way that he might visit them both on two subsequent weekends, nobody should worry about the future of the NYINC.

By the way, the website makes it easy to plan the date of the NYINC five years in advance. In 2016, it will be held from January 7 to 10.

Anybody wanting to know more about the New York International will get plenty of information on its website.