John Thomassen recently published an American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article on January's New York International Numismatic Convention. In it, he discusses two conversations at the show relating to tokens. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more.
For over 10 years, I have attended the NYINC show every January without fail, with the lone exception of 2021, as there was no convention that year due to COVID-19. By attending this show, one really gets a sense for the strength of the numismatic market that year—how active buyers are, how dealers are faring, what material is hot and actively trading, and what inventory is sluggish and slow to move.
So how did this year's show fare? In short, the sense I got from dealers and buyers alike was that it was an all-around positive and successful convention, and more specifically, that the numismatic market remains strong, and in-person attendance is bouncing back. To be sure, the show was more bustling this year compared to the 2022 convention, at least from a visual assessment of the bourse floor on the days I was there (Friday, January 13 and Saturday, January 14) and the material on view at dealers' booths as well as in the auction rooms was plentiful and diverse, with offerings for many different budgets. A common thread was that finding enough coins of a certain caliber to present to buyers (at least at fixed prices) has remained difficult for dealers, owing to fewer large collections of high-quality material coming into the marketplace, but this has been the case for at least a few years now, and many buyers are well aware that certain types in particularly spectacular condition (rare or otherwise) are almost always destined for auctions first, although many hidden gems can still be found amongst dealer stock.
Two conversations in particular really stuck with me while speaking with fellow numismatic devotees. The first was with Caleb Noel, current Editor-in-Chief of The Numismatist published by the American Numismatic Association. While admiring a token recently struck by the ANA (and designed by ANS Life Fellow Alex Shagin), Caleb explained to me the current setup of their in-house minting operations, including their screw press, their process for obtaining new dies, and other interesting details. This really got my mind churning, as I've wanted to do something similar at the American Numismatic Society for some time now, and thanks for Caleb, I now have much more information to explore if a similar small-scale striking operation is something that we can make a reality at the ANS as well, as I believe this would be particularly instructive (and entertaining) for guests and visitors.
Obverse and reverse of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum's
Medal In America token.
The second conversation was with Katie Bishop, owner of Principles GI Coffee House in the Gowanus neighborhood of Brooklyn. Katie became an ANS member at last year's NYINC show, and in that time, she not only dove deeper into the world of numismatics but opened the aforementioned coffee shop. As proprietor of a Brooklyn coffee shop myself, I was more than happy to talk at length (and also commiserate) about the journey that is small business ownership. But what really fascinated me was Katie's idea and implementation of both copper and silver merchant tokens advertising Principles GI Coffee House, which can also be redeemed for actual goods. These tokens were just one of several ideas Katie had come up with to bridge the seemingly disparate worlds of numismatics and coffee, and I can't wait to see what else she implements down the road.
Obverse and reverse of merchant tokens in copper and silver issued for Principles GI Coffee House. Images courtesy of Katie Bishop via Instagram (@principlesbk).
To read the complete article, see:
Highlights from the 2023 New York International Numismatic Convention
Wayne Homren, Editor
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