A Trip Down to the Carson City Coin Show

Friday, August 21, 2009, was the first day of the annual Carson City Coin Show held this past weekend at the Nevada State Museum. This year, the event also served as a host for a regional meeting of the Carson City Coin Collectors of America. We were surrounded by many good friends and C4OA members—what an exhilarating weekend!

As Maya has said in her posts on the C4OA web site, our regional meeting and Southgate’s participation in the coin show took months of organization and preparation. In the last few weeks before the coin show, all of us Southgate girls were very busy making sure that we organized all of the things we needed to take with us. We even used a check-off list so we wouldn’t forget any essentials at the store in Reno.

When Friday came, it was time to leave for the coin show. I (Crystal) was very excited to travel to Carson City to be a part of the show. I’ve never been to a coin show before, and honestly, I had no desire to attend one before I started working here. But, after a year at Southgate Coins, I have developed some knowledge and appreciation for coins and coin collecting—“CC” coins in particular—and found that I was very excited to attend this show.

Southgate Coins staffers gather at the Carson City Coin Show

It was fairly calm throughout the day. There weren’t as many people there as I thought there’d be, but since it was a Friday, many people were probably working. It was so fun, though, to see so many C4OA members gathering there for the regional meeting. It was nice to put faces to the names of the people I’ve only talked with over the phone. I also loved chatting with those members I was already familiar with.

All Ready for the Coin Show...

When Rusty, Maya, and the C4OA members went upstairs to the meeting, Nicole and I watched the booth. We heard all the clapping and foot stomping coming from the upstairs room. Some members even came out for mini-breaks and said hi to us before heading back up to the meeting. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, judging by the huge grins on their faces and the excitement in their voices as they told us how it was going with the show-and-tell session.

All together, it was a very fun, first-coin-show experience for me, even though I was a bit exhausted by the end of the day.

Now here’s Nicole to tell you her thoughts on Friday’s and Saturday’s events:

This was not only Crystal’s, but my (Nicole) first coin show too, so I was glad my first one was in Carson City. As I got ready for Friday morning, I was excited for this weekend that we’d planned so intensely for. Maya took Crystal and me for a quick tour of the museum, and we grabbed some coffee and doughnuts to take back to our booth where we got set up for the first big day. It was very interesting to see all the other dealers’ tables and the little gems they’d brought to the show. Throughout the day, the best part was meeting all the C4OA members and friends of Southgate Coins. It was pleasing to finally be able to meet with people I’d only spoken to on the phone or corresponded with through emails. Some of them I’d only just heard about. All the members were so friendly and their passion for Carson City coins was obvious. It was very rewarding to be a part of the big event.

Snacking on lunch at the Carson City Coin Show

Even though Crystal and I weren’t a part of the club’s regional meeting, we still reaped its benefits: Members came down and showed us all their show-and-tell items. Some items were my favorites—coins that displayed kaleidoscopes of colors in various patterns. It was also interesting to hear members talking about the rarity of lower-graded Carson City coins, compared with the rarity of higher-graded ones, especially examples from the GSA hoard.

As the first day wrapped up, Crystal and I carpooled back to Reno, and said goodbye to Rusty, Maya, and the C4OA members who went to their big dinner at Adele’s. When I got home I was already preparing for the second and final day of the Carson City Coin Show, which was much different than the first.

Saturday started like Friday, with yummy doughnuts and Maya and I setting up our booth. When the show opened, we instantly had a crowd, which we were expecting since most people were off for the weekend. The galleries were full of happy onlookers, and I was surprised by how many young children were there. It’s good to know that parents are exposing their kids to the history and importance of Carson City coins at such a young and knowledge-hungry age.

Busy Saturday at the Carson City Coin Show

The day was full of both buying and selling, as well as hearing many people’s stories of how they obtained their own little treasures. After the adventure of getting lunch and many more stories, 4:30 approached, and we began to break down our table and pack up for good. Maya took me for a quick run—literally—through the museum to look at the underground mine and the museum’s super collection of Carson City coins. We headed back to Reno, and we were greatly anticipating our traditional after-show company dinner after a very exhilarating (and exhausting!) weekend.

Now here’s Maya to share her experiences and Friday’s and Saturday’s dinners

Thanks girls! Well, I’ve been told that I’m the “veteran” when it comes to coin shows, but that’s only half true. You see, at the last Carson City Coin Show in 2007, I only attended for a couple hours, and was more of a spectator than an employee at Southgate’s booth. Other than that, the only experience I’ve had at a coin show was at the incredibly-expansive ANA World’s Fair of Money in Los Angeles. Again, I was more of a spectator, since most of my activity was with the C4OA meeting and symposium.

This time, the 2009 Carson City Coin Show provided me with an opportunity to get into the “thick of it.” As Nicole and Crystal mentioned, it took months of preparation to organize an event like this. Our main goal was to create a satellite store at the show, with many of the essentials that our regular store has.

Luckily, most everything “went off without a hitch” during the show. The girls and I were prepared with invoices, purchase orders, and knowledge about the inventory we brought. We even had a candy dish for the children participating in their first numismatic adventures. The crowd was slow for most of the day on Friday, but lots of C4OA members steadily popped in and said hello.

Speaking of the C4OA, my day flowed a little differently than Nicole’s and Crystal’s, because the C4OA scheduled a regional meeting at 1:00 p.m., upstairs in the Nevada State Museum’s auditorium. When the time came, I rushed upstairs, and met Rusty and about 25 other Carson City coin enthusiasts.

The CCCCOA Regional Meeting is a Hit!

The meeting was fairly informal, taking on a show-and-tell style. Each member who brought something was able to share the stories behind his items. Then the items were passed around so other members had the opportunity to drool over some of the fascinating creations originating at the Carson City Mint.

After the meeting wrapped up at 4:00 p.m., I met Crystal and Nicole downstairs to wrap up the show for the night. Our treasurer Don Haight and a couple volunteers removed the chairs and tables from our meeting room. Crystal and Nicole went back to the store to help Marie and Cara close up while Rusty and I headed to our next adventure: the continuation of the C4OA festivities at Adele’s; a historical and gourmet restaurant located two blocks north of the Nevada State Museum.

Dinner was spectacular. The food was delicious, and the atmosphere and company couldn’t be beat. Everyone was able to meet one another, and discover the diversity of membership within the C4OA.

After dinner, Rusty and I headed back to Reno, and I don’t know about him, but I slept “like a rock.” I got up early Saturday morning bright-eyed and bushy-tailed for day #2 of the coin show

Southgate Coins & C4OA members gather at Olive Garden after the coins show and club meeting

The morning started out similarly to Friday’s, except for the increase of “walk-in” customers. C4OA members were seen throughout the day, and we heard that many made a point to stop by our store in Reno before they headed back home

Since Saturday was the final day of the coin show, Nicole and I had to pull out another blank check-off list to make sure that everything made its way back home. At 4:30 p.m., we began to pack up all the contents of the satellite store, but before we were done, Rusty wanted me to give Nicole an ultra-fast tour of the coin-end of the Nevada State Museum. Nicole saw the museum’s magnificent coin collection, Coin Press #1, and we even rushed all the way through the mine in a matter of minutes. When we got back, we finished packing up the booth, and headed down to the Robinson Street entrance to load the truck and say our goodbyes to the helpful Museum staff.

We all headed back to Southgate Coins and quickly unloaded the truck. Then, everyone carpooled across the parking lot to Olive Garden, where we had our annual Southgate Coins after-coin-show dinner. Rusty, Marie, Crystal, Nicole, Cara, Don Haight, Michael Parrott, and me were all in attendance, and although it was noisy inside, the food was good, and the conversation was lively.

August has been one of the most action-packed months I’ve ever experienced in my two and a half years at Southgate Coins. This past weekend’s events at the Nevada State Museum left us all with many memories. One thing is for sure, there’s never a dull moment around here.

-Crystal, Nicole, and Maya