When an avid coin collector walks into a coin show, magic happens. They are dazzled by rows upon rows of displays, showing the most unique and precious souvenirs in the country. But this environment can also be overwhelming for first-time attendees or budding coin enthusiasts. Coin shows are held around the country and the US. Canadian coin dealers turn up prepared to wow prospective customers with their impressive collections. If you are a fan of these valuable collectibles, then you should be in attendance at these shows.
Here are some tips for what to expect at your first coin show!
The Dos and Don’ts of Coin Show Attendance
Arrive early. Punctuality is key when it comes to ensuring that you capitalize on the best available offers. If you arrive late, you may only catch a few displays since, towards the end of the show, dealers start to pack up to leave.
Arm yourself with a very good coin guide. You can refer to it as you inspect the pieces on display. A good guide will have information on how to identify valuable coins and the different grades of coins as well as popular coin types. While having a guide is recommended, you should also try to ensure that you use it discreetly. Dealers are sometimes offended by buyers who openly use checklists and books as they scrutinize the samples.
Prepare to collect information for future reference. You will meet many coin dealers. If you are serious about coin acquisition, you should collect their contact information. Many of them may have business cards but it is still good to jot down the details in one area. If you have a smartphone, you can add them to your contacts lists there. In the future when you are ready to make your purchase, you’ll have a wide range of options to select from.
Take a friend or fellow coin enthusiast with you. It will be more fun if you have someone to share the experience with. Your companion can also help by holding your valuables when you need to use the restroom or get a snack and refreshments while you continue to browse the displays. In other words, whenever you need to be in two places at once, an extra person can be a big help.
Keep your bag or purse away from the display. Remember that Canadian coin dealers put their most expensive and treasured pieces for you to see. Imagine how unnerving it must be for them to see guest after guest loitering nearby with bags, especially since they won’t really be able to distinguish between a genuinely interest customer and a would-be thief on the prowl. Try slinging your bag towards your back so that it remains at a good distance from the displayed items.
Ensuring that a Coin Dealer is Reputable
You may run into undesirable characters at a coin show. Be wary of anyone who tries to get you to move away from the crowded areas of the coin show to secluded areas or spaces such as the car park. One common ploy that shady dealers use is to invite you to go with them to their car to look at purported special pieces. A reputable dealer will have a designated area set up within the show and will conduct all business there.
Be sure also to watch out for lurkers who might follow you out to your car, suspecting that you have valuables in your possession. If you feel like you are being followed, ask a member of the security team or a friend (this is another situation in which bringing someone else along works to your advantage)!