“number nine, number nine, number nine…” The Beatles, 1968
Well, we’ve had snow three times so far this autumn here in NH, and it’s only a few days after Thanksgiving as I’m writing this! None of the snowfalls amounted to more than an inch or so, but they represent a harbinger of Old Man Winter’s plans for all of us flannel-wrapped Yankees. Thank goodness there’s a woodstove in our greatroom that heats the entire house – it’s a handy item for woodsy New England living, especially when snow and ice take out the powerlines in the dead of Winter. It’s an all too familiar happening here.
The last Sunday of the month consisted of a day that began before sunrise with a 125-mile drive to Devens, MA. After setting up my cases and lamps and walking the floor for a few moments, I returned to my spot, a highly visible table against the wall, and prepared to greet the dealers and collectors who would stop by.
It’s funny in a way, because I’ve always loved coins, but I’ve always loved exonumia too. These days, it seems, so many collectors and dealers alike stop by my table early to inquire “what’s new,” to which my usual response is “oh, you know me, things come and go, have a look.” This week my supply of exonumia practically flew out of my cases. Aside from an 1837 Bolivian 8 Soles in choice AU/BU with solid luster and exceptional eye appeal, very few actual coins were sold. I’m not complaining, mind you; it was a typical day in MA with the usual amount of business and chatter that generally accompanies the Devens show.
Our host in Devens, Ernie Botte, loves to have a good time at the show, held as it is the Sunday immediately after Thanksgiving every year. This year the U.S. Marines and old Santie Claus himself were there and dealers and visitors alike were encouraged to bring a new, unwrapped toy for the Toys For Tots program – it was a large haul of perhaps 100 or more toys all told! Best of all, the dealers who donated toys had their names entered in a drawing for three $50 Amazon gift cards – yours truly won one of them!
Just prior to the show, I purchased a pair of numismatic items that I thought were nice but might be too commonplace to sell. I won’t tell you what the items were, but they sold so quickly it baffled me – coin dealers know the old “did I let that go too cheaply” feeling. I made a good profit, even after knocking a few bucks off for the dealers who bought the items in question. Now, I am procuring duplicates -- not an easy task, but fun and hopefully, profitable next time around, too!
The next time you hear from me it will be the first week of December, and time for NBAR #10. There will be a contest in the next installment, so we’ll see just who reads this drivel! Until then, see yas’!