by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Christina Schlögl
January 18, 2018 – There is a certain appointment, most internationally active coin dealers, trading in ancient and early modern coins, will write down in their calendars every year. It is the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC), which takes place every year in early January. A lot of attendees have not been coming for years, but for decades. A number of exhibitors have even been there since the first event, more than 40 years ago. This is a good sign. The NYINC has become an institution – an event that does not need to be measured by the number of exhibitors. On the contrary: Attendees compete with each other at the stock market: If anyone wants to “stay in the game” internationally, they cannot afford to be absent and without a table at the New York International.
The Grand Hyatt in the shade of the Chrysler Building. Photo: Nicolai Schäfer a. k. a. Nize, BY-CC 2.0.
Since 2003, the New York International had taken place at the tradition-steeped hotel Waldorf Astoria. A noble setting. But the somewhat antiquated hotel also had its downsides. One disadvantage were the rooms. Although they certainly spread the charm of New York at its greatest times, they could not compete with the modern conveniences of today’s hotels. The other disadvantage was the Waldorf’s lack of a large hall, big enough to accommodate all coin dealers in one room. A numismatic class society thus came to existence, which was dependent on exhibiting or not exhibiting at the Starlight Room.
Still, people had gotten used to it and merely complained about it all by force of habit. And it would have probably stayed like this for several more years, if a Chinese group of investors had not ended the discussion. The Waldorf Astoria is currently being rebuilt and after its renovation to an ultimate luxury hotel, it probably won’t be affordable for most coin dealers any longer.
The new main hall at the Grand Hyatt: Too big to fit into one picture. Photo: UK.
Consequently, a new accommodation had to be found. And it was found at the Grand Hyatt, a business hotel above the Grand Central Terminal, which was rebuilt in the late 70s by the Trump Organization (of all organisations!).
Abafil and Token Publishing had their exhibition booths right next to the entrance. If you are wondering why no one is standing at Token Publishing: By Saturday noon, they had already sold all the books and distributed all the magazines they had brought. Abafil did not have to take any of their items home, either. The few coin boxes that were left were sold with a special discount on Sunday. Photo: UK.
The Grand Hyatt has a gigantic ball room with a big lobby, and so all coin dealers can now sit in one hall. The lobby accommodates the infrastructure, with magazines, the ANS and all those who need more space than an average coin dealer, due to their equipment or numismatic literature.
Kevin Foley, organiser of the NYINC. Photo: UK.
Kevin Foley and his experienced team are in charge of organising the event. For several years now, his daughter Patricia has also been part of the team. She has taken over the organisation of the Central States Numismatic Convention since 2012. The future of the New York International is thus secured for the next generation.
Security check at the entrance. In the US, security at coin conventions has a different status than in Germany. Photo: UK.
Before entering the highly secured convention room with numerous security guards, everyone must get some identification. Name tags are given to every person, to ensure that everyone knows who they are talking to. Incidentally, these name tags also serve the wonderful function of reminding coin dealers of their customers’ names, which they might have forgotten over the course of the year.
Dmitry Markov and Lucien Birkler, co-owners of “The New York Sale”. Photo: UK.
Even though the actual convention only lasts from Thursday to Sunday, most people already arrive a lot earlier, since the auction program of the New York International is tightly packed like no other. The viewing already starts on the Friday of the week before the convention. And attending the viewing pays off, as every auctioneer is trying their best to surpass the others in quality.
Heritage also had a top-class auction that started on Sunday, 7 January. Mark Emory is delighted by the result. Photo: UK.
Baldwin’s of St. James, CNG, Heritage, Kolbe & Fanning, M&M Numismatics, Spink and Stack’s Bowers-Ponterio – they all used the outstanding market place of the New York International for their auctions.
Cathy England (l.) usually stays in the background at CNG, even though nothing would work without her. She is in charge of accounting. Photo: UK.
Consequently, there are not just record results every year, but there is also an increasing number of extraordinary material. We will be reporting on the results of the auctions in the next issues. For the moment, let’s summarise: The auctioneers were beaming with joy – without exception.
In memoriam Catherine Bullowa – a truly noble gesture for a magnificent woman who had been there since the first event. Photo: UK.
One auctioneer was missing, and it was not just noticed by the people who have been coming for years. One table at the convention was dedicated in memory of Catherine Bullowa. A noble gesture at a show, where every table costs several thousand dollars. Of course, you will also find an obituary of this marvellous woman in CoinsWeekly.
Aaron and Harlan Berk from Chicago. Photo: UK.
Since the year before last, Aaron and Harlan Berk are no longer holding their successful Gemini Auctions in New York. They are hosting their own coin convention, the Chicago Coin Expo, in their home town Chicago. The Gemini Auction is one of the main events there. Of course we have reported on the event.
Tim Wilkes has his coin dealership in London. Photo: UK.
Young coin dealers, like Tim Wilkes, also make a point of either having their own table, or at least attending the convention, to reinforce their numismatic network.
Shanna Schmidt with her own table, supported by her charming mother. Photo: UK.
Shanna Schmidt, who has been running her own coin dealership since 2016, made sure that she had her own table in New York as soon as possible. You can find more information on Shanna in our Who’s who.
Representatives of the aspiring Italian auction house Bolaffi. Photo: UK.
The Italian auction house Bolaffi also participated in the New York convention for the first time.
Alanus I of Bermania in private, as a coin dealer. Photo: UK.
Allen G. Berman, also known as King Alanus I to connoisseurs of the Kingdom of Bermania, was extremely happy with this year’s New York International. He called it the “best show he could generally remember”. Of course, like in the previous years, King Alanus hosted a meeting of the Bermanian court. He entertained the court with a witty presentation on the Bermanian space program.
If you have not heard of Bermania yet, CoinsWeekly has of course reported on the matter.
There is also an entry on Allen G. Berman in our Who’s wo.
The Swiss auction house Sincona was also present at the convention. In this photo, you can see Michael Hardmeier and Arne Kirsch enjoying good business and good conversation. Photo: UK.
The Swiss and the German coin trade were certainly also present at the convention. Arne Kirsch did not have a choice, after all. As president of the IAPN, he regularly participates in the meetings of the IBSCC, which serves as arbitral tribunal do determine if a coin is authentic or a forged.
If you want to know more about Arne Kirsch, please consult our Who’s who.
Alexandra Elflein and Fabian Halbig of Künker. Photo: UK.
The German coin trade by tradition makes up a large part of the exhibitors at the New York International, although Italy and Spain in particular have started to catch up in recent years.
cgb – almost entirely sold out. Photo: UK.
And if you are still wondering if you should come to the New York International yourself, here is one last argument for coming: The representatives of cgb from Paris could rejoice at something which normally does not happen in coin trade. With the exception of less than ten select objects, cgb was completely sold out!
The CoinsWeekly team. Photo: UK.
Of course the CoinsWeekly team, supported by Martje Peters (you can see her in this photo), was also happy with the result of the New York International.
After all, the New York International Numismatic Convention is an institution, people like to visit time and again.
You will find more information on the website of the NYINC.
Even though there is a long waiting list, it is worth asking Kevin Foley for a table at the convention, because there are new openings regularly.
On her trip to the United States, Ursula Kampmann also visited the FUN Convention in Tampa and wrote a report on the NGC, the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. You can read it in the upcoming issue of CoinsWeekly.