Thursday, May 6, 2010

EAC 2010 convention

EAC2010 has ended, but the pleasant memories should last for the rest of this year. I enjoyed myself more this year than any other EAC convention I have attended. There are many possible reasons:
I spent more time chatting about copper with old EAC friends than at prior conventions
I met more new EAC friends than I usually meet
I overcame my fear of a mistake and “stretched” my budget just enough to obtain a few special coins
I participated in many of the activities that were planned & brought about by generous EAC members just for our enjoyment.

A few of the personal covention highlights include:

>attending the grading seminar with Doug & Steve – this is a very entertaining and informative seminar, with the added bonus that the knowledge that is obtained can save many thousands of dollars!

>attending ALL the happenings – The large cents on display were awesome (as usual), the bust coinage die-state progressions were fascinating, and I was quite gratified to learn that my humble 1850 half cent earned a few complimentary comments.

>lot viewing for the EAC sale – There happened to be a number of half cent collectors in the room when I was viewing the lots, so the conversation tended to be dominated by speculation about the value of an 1811 C1 half cent with a 2-star break, or what might possess someone to modify a high-grade 1804 half cent to an (impossible) 1801. I found it all pretty fascinating, and I also located a few nice coppers to "shoot for" during the EAC sale.

>lot viewing for the Dan Holmes middle dates – although all the lots were present & available, it just so happened that Dan himself was also available, so I was happy just to grab a copy of the catalogue and spend some time talking to one of the “masters of our universe”. It helps to know the coins will also be available later, in Beverly Hills. The sale of the Dan Holmes middle-date cents is scheduled for May 30th, and it promises to be another BIG copper event (sorry - bad pun).

>prowling the bourse floor – Although the bourse is typically all about “buying & selling the coins”, there are plenty of interesting & useful diversions as well. I found this year’s exhibits to be fascinating & informative. I was especially enthralled by Jim Neiswinter’s 1793 Lib Cap cents. The guys from Heritage had a wonderful bit of Washingtonia on display at their table. This year, my “mission” was hunting down some decent, affordable 1796 Liberty Cap. Varieties to add to my meager holdings. I guess that I can claim some success, with three new varieties purchased during EAC, and I can now (for the first time) report that I hold an example of all 11 1796 Lib Cap varieties!

>late night lobby sessions – after dinner on Sat. night, I shared a couple of rounds beers with a few EAC buddies. Some old copper was soon on the table, and the lubrication seemed to improve our grading skills as the evening wore on!

>the EAC auction – this is often the marquee event for the convention, and once again this year we had a very successful sale. Bob & Chris produced a fantastic catalogue and a very smooth auction. The auctioneer maintained a blistering pace through most of the sale, which meant that snoozing could be potentially costly! I managed to snag 7 lots in the sale, which is better than average. Bob later announced that the EAC auction generated $273K in sales. A special note of thanks to ALL the volunteers who helped with the production of the EAC sale!

>the annual meeting – Denis Loring has piloted the EAC ship with grace & discipline, and he did an excellent job of giving credit where it was due for this terrific EAC convention.

So, that about wraps it up, at least for EAC2010. Brett Dudek (and his team) earned a standing ovation for this year’s event in Annapolis! Next year's convention in Portland faces a mighty challenge to top this year's event!