Many big shows come to Las Vegas: superstar concerts and huge conventions come to mind.
But Las Vegas has room for small shows as well. A couple weeks ago I attended the Las Vegas Coin and Colllectible Show at the convention center at Tuscany Suites & Casino. The show’s host, Bob Holston, said this was his third show in Las Vegas. His home and business are based in California, but he has a son in Las Vegas and the show is an opportunity to host a show and visit with his son. Bob said his own interest in collecting coins started as a youngster. He estimates that the most valuable coin he owns is worth about $10,000.
Marketed as “The biggest little coin show in Las Vegas”, the Las Vegas Coin and Collectible Show was free to enter and occupied just one large room, with a table out front also featuring jewelry.
Right at the entrance to the show was a large case with a handle on the outside and a claw on the inside available to pick up rolls of toilet paper–yes, toilet paper. The toilet paper claw was part of the Nevada Coin Mart display and visitors were told the concept arose during the Covid pandemic, when toilet paper was in short supply. During the show, anyone who purchased coins from Nevada Coin Mart got a free chance to land a roll of toilet paper (some of which had dollar bills attached). I was given a free shot as well and did not bring home a free roll.
I walked around the show and took a few pictures before being told that some of the merchants did not want photos. I kept walking, noticing the interested visitors and the many coins on display.
And I wondered, how popular is coin collecting these days? When I got home, I went to the internet.
Apparently, coin collecting became popular in the 1850s, but is still popular today. The official name for coin collectors is “numismatists.” The Smithsonian has its own National Numismatic Collection. Coin collectors know that a few cautions are required as well. Counterfeiting and fraudulent practices can also part of the hobby.
Coin prices are driven by collector demand and rise depending on historical value and artistic craftsmanship. The advent of the internet has created large numbers of serious collectors around the globe. Books are written about coin collecting. According to an article that Jeff Garrett, a numismatic columnist posted in January, 2023: “In recent yeas, the demand for rare coins in the top-end of the marketplace has soared. Multi-million-dollar hammer prices (what the bidding goes up to) have become common place. Last night, (January 11, 2023) a NGC-certiified (Numismatic Guaranty Company) ancient coin sold to an American buyer for $1.9 million dollars. The most recent collecting trend has been the emergence of mega-rich collectors battling for the finest and the rarest.”
Well, the little show at the Tuscany did not have mega-rich visitors, but it was a fun show to see and experience.