By Steve Carr
Last week, Jim and I went to the 2016 annual convention of the Early American Coppers (EAC) club. EAC 2016 was in Charlotte, NC. What a great time! For us, it was a 14-hour drive or a 13 hour flight. We decided to drive.. We planned on taking two days to get there but when we hit Nashville, TN at dinner time, we decided to kamikaze it in. That was somewhat of a mistake, although not fatal. Tennessee is a long state and we hit the Smokey Mountains after dark. There was little night-light and talk about curvy roads! We arrived in Charlotte about 1:00 am.
On Wednesday, we slept in and then made our way to the convention hotel, about a three quarter mile walk from our hotel. We ran into several EACers in the lobby. It is wonderful to meet with similar minded collectors, even if we only see them once a year.
On Wednesday evening our convention really started. We went to the Boyz of ’94 (you can become a member with just an interest in 1794 large cents) meeting. This get together was really fun. Everyone showed some their new coppers and caught up with each other on things that happened over the last year. I met several newbie’s (new members) and some collectors I have known for more than 20 years. I also looked at some neat coins, including a newly discovered 1794 NC 2, only the third coin known of this variety!
The next day started with the Grading and Counterfeit Seminar, presented by Doug Bird (a well known California dealer) and myself. This seminar is a pre-convention meeting of interested members, who want to look at some coppers before the convention starts. In the seminar, we pass around a group of coppers and everyone examines them, determines if they are real or counterfeit, then grade the real coins. It is amazing how closely most members grade. Sixteen people attended and the emphasis this year was on the most recent die transfer counterfeits. We even had one in a slab! This fake was so good that only one person identified it correctly! These coins are very deceptive.
This is the first EAC where we set up as dealers. That was certainly a different experience. I am used to walking the floor, seeing all the dealers and their stock, visiting with other collectors, and just milling around. Now, I was behind the table. I was amazed at the people who came to our table. Talk about an intelligent group of dedicated collectors!
During the convention, I only had time to go to one educational seminar, the one dealing with the transfer die counterfeits. It was well attended and very informational.
Saturday was a little slower, so I took the opportunity to walk the bourse floor. Talk about nice coppers (and other items, too). I picked up a couple of nice Liberty Cap cents and a few higher grade Draped Bust cents. We also purchased a few high grade middle dates (1816-1839). To top it off, we got another 1804 large cent, nicer than the one we sold a couple of weeks before.
Saturday night was the EAC Sale. There are always nice coins in this sale and we got a 1793 electrotype half cent, a nice Colonial, and a mis-aligned die 1853 Newcomb 19 (for my own collection). Sunday was really dead on the bourse floor, as many dealers had early morning flights. We left about 1 PM, got to see the Smokey Mountains, and pulled into our home at about 3:30 AM. Another kamikaze trip!
We bought and sold a lot of coppers and Jim showed his 1800 half dime, which experts agreed was a new variety. More on that in a future blog. All in all, a great EAC.
Next year, the convention will be in Philadelphia. Hope to see you there!