With fewer coins appearing at shows, coin shows have become dull affairs. The Baltimore Summer show was the worst ever in terms of attendance. If there weren’t enough reasons not to go, now auctions are holding their live sales the week after. Even more of a drain of attendees.

In their heyday, auctions drove people to shows. Granted the big auctions were horrible for single operators and for me too. I used to have to stay up until 1 am bidding. As much as I complained I reveled in the action. Now, I can sleep at night during a show. But is it really worth it?

The first session of the Simpson sale held right smack in the middle of the pandemic changed everything. There was no lot viewing and the sale was held on its own-not during any show. It worked and worked too good. Auction companies woke up and realized they could save money and have the same strong results as during a show. Auctions have never been the same since.

We used to have so many people come up to us at show and say “lets see how I do tonight, maybe I’ll be back”. The auctions did bring people to the show. Sales were made on the floor because people were there. The auction companies can still argue they have lot viewing at the show, but it is NOT the same. We do know several collectors who quit coming to shows because of no auctions. Sadly, I think this trend will keep growing as the best coins are not at the show any more.

Legend Rare Coin Auctions will keep doing our small auctions at shows. We see the difference it makes. Collectors come in walk the floor and bid in the sales. I think its healthy. My opinion is shame on the show promoters who let the auction companies hold the sales at a different time. They all should hold at least one night at the show. Give these shows some spirit back. I can see coins show dying out as time goes on. Sad.

I have been looking at the ads for the upcoming ANA sales. In my opinion, they are really NOT ANA sales anymore. I hope rare coins have not become commoditized.  What’s next? Internet only sales every day?

This article is just MY opinion.


I just spoke to an old time major dealer. He spanked me for my writing. He thinks its better for everyone with no auctions at shows. I was reminded by him of every time I had to stay out until 1 am bidding then be at the show by 8am the next day. I was reminded how many bids I would miss when the auctions were held during the day

He feels the public can still lot view. Things are more tolerable for dealers. He did however admit he can see it hurting show attendance. Hmmm.

Okay, I still say have one night 250-500 lots max at a show. Major shows will be obsolete in a few years. Yes, I am sentimental fool.


I thank everyone for their prayers and well wishes. I do have a living donor and we are working through the process. The current center just dropped the ball so we are going to a new one. We do not yet know if she is a match, but if she isn’t we can trade. I am optimistic this will work out soon.

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