Sunday, 2 September 2012

Monety Expo Warsaw 2012 (2)

(Part two, part 1 several posts below)

Those 'potential hoard' gold coins kept going through my mind. I decided I ought to go back to the Coin Fair and confront the issue. First stop, the German dealer I'd had such an amiable chat with yesterday. Last night my tracking software told me that not long after we had said our goodbyes, from a certain big central Warsaw hotel which has its own servers obviously, somebody spent an hour in the evening pretty carefully going through the top twenty or so pages of this blog (could be a record!) before finishing by searching specifically for her name. I asked her whether we were still speaking after she'd read my blog... It turned out we were, which is gratifying...

Then over to the stand with the little heaps of fresh Balkan dugups... the bloke was nowhere to be seen, "not been in today" said his neighbour, "well, I hope nothing has happened to him" I said, wondering if it had. He was about the only guy actually getting anybody buying ancient coins yesterday. Apparently all these dealers had paid c. 200 euros for a table, but they were a bit annoyed that nobody was coming, the organizers had not advertised it enough they felt (also its the first week the kids are back in school, a bad weekend to hold a coin fair). Also it seems to me that the prices many of them were asking was more suitable for the outside market, about three or four times what comparable material would normally fetch in an auction here. Instead of coming here selling at their prices, they should have come on a buying trip at ours. Only one foreign dealer had gone to the trouble of putting their prices in Polish currency.

Then over to the solidi, gone. There were trays of modern gold coins on show, but no sign of the solidi that had been there yesterday. The lady behind the counter was a different from the lady there yesterday and did not know what I was talking about, she said. "Maybe they've been bought?" she suggested helpfully.

Some of the British folk were fed up, they'd not made many sales over the weekend, not enough to even near cover their expenses. I saw the same coins were on the first page of the "Roman" folder on one stall as were there yesterday. So I pressed on, asked how many were metal detector finds. I heard a few choice things about UK "metal detectorists", their finds and dealers who buy from them... interesting. Certainly the Roman coins I looked at again did have, some of them, some very obvious 'cabinet toning'. The hammered coins too.

But, then while I was standing there, up came the Jordanian guy with coins to sell which the other dealer had refused yesterday. The Brits were not proud to look.  Out came two little bags of  corroded metal detected dugups, prutahs and that kind of stuff. One of the British dealers deftly pulled out from the rest about ten coins, centred with decent legends, said he'd give seventy euros for them (the rest of the bag were complete crap - like the bought-by-a-kilo uncleaned stuff offered by a certain Jerusalem dealer mentioned in this blog - in fact the two groups differed in corrosion quite noticeably). The Jordanian wanted a hundred, and actually started to lecture the dealer that collectors like to look for errors in the lettering...  (I think the other guy, quite a well-known dealer, knew that!). The Jordanian insisted that he could get a hundred euros for them back in Jordan, so the Brit told him good-humouredly to take them back and do so, because he could buy "plenty" of such stuff back in England for much less. The Jordanian gathered up his coins and went.

By chance I also met a talkative Californian dealer (other end of the state from Dealer Dave) who'd not come to sell, just look, he said. He'd used the trip as an excuse to visit the part of Poland his Jewish family had come from [he'd braved the Polish roads and their atrocious signposting in a hired car and no GPS, and survived to tell the tale]. Sadly, a nice friendly conversation was marred by him telling me the PAS was the way forward. I suppose I could have been polite and just said "yes"... Oh well, very nice guy, has a pretty website with some nice stuff on it.

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