2013 Melbourne International Coin and Banknote Show Report

October 20, 2013

Arriving at Southern Cross Station in Mlebourne at 9AM on Saturday October 19 I could see the imposing Etihad Stadium across the other side of the railway line. This interesting stadium with a retractable roof usually hosts Australian Rules Football but on the weekend of 18 to 20 October 2013 it was hosting the Melbourne International Coin & Banknote Show. After fortifying myself with a double shot espresso I walked across the footbridge toward the stadium and what I hoped would be the best Australian coin show I'd ever gone to. And I promptly got lost because there were no signs showing where the show was. And no surprise I had trouble because a stadium that holds 50,000 people is BIG. After wandering around the huge edifice for 15 minutes I finally found a solitary A4 sheet taped to a column telling me that the show could be accessed from Gate 9. I found Gate 9, took a lift up to level 2, walked out and this was the view that greeted me. Cool.

The View of Etihad Stadium Upon Entry

I was an hour early to the show and took the opportunity to chat to my fellow attendees who were waiting in line with me. All advised me to buy two of the very limited (300 released) Birth of a Prince PNC's that were being sold by Australia Post. Normally I don't go in for such things but given the recent success of the PNC from the World Stamp Expo I thought it might be an opportunity to help pay for my airline tickets. The show opened at 10AM and the line of about 30 people (myself included) made their way to the Australia Post stand where we all handed over $15.95 each for our alloted 2 PNC's. Yay. As we stampeded (slowly) into the show I happened to notice John Mulhall of the Australian Coin and Banknote Magazine taking pictures of the oncoming horde. So there's some chance (however small) that you'll see a picture of one of the authors of this esteemed blog in an up-coming CAB magazine.

Enough jocularity. Onto the show itself. It was held in the Medallion Club room of Etihad Stadium and one wall of the room was glass opening out to the inside of the stadium giving a spectacular view of the playing field. Awesome. The room itself was kitted out with high quality professional exhibition grade stalls and signage. Certainly a step above the usual grouping of mangy tables and home-made signs we see at a normal ANDA show. Looking behind the glitzy accoutrements the show itself was little different to any other coin show held in Australia in recent years. Sure, there were a few international exhibitors I've never seen before but these were purveyors of mint product (Royal Mail and the Royal Canadian Mint) or sellers of bullion product (Coin Invest Trust). PCGS Asia had a table (and some cool freebies) but given that we are already converted to the gospel of PCGS we are not exactly their target market. And the RAM showed up with their portable press unlike the last 2013 ANDA Show in Melbourne. The press was putting M counterstamps on 2013 holey dollar and dump dollar coins. But other than that it was the usual suspects. But kudos to those usual suspects for showing up and having a go!

The View from Inside the Show

Exhibitors I spent some time with included Drake Sterling, Pacific Rim Coins, VP Coins, Peter Strich Coins and Stamps, Universal Coin Company, Steel Waterman Coins and Banknotes, JPW Coins and Banknotes, Global Coins and Banknotes, and John Eccles of New Zealand. Special mention must go to the ebullient Klaus Ford with whom I spent some time with discussing the meaning of the word ebullient! I also spoke with the volunteers in the ANDA information booth who were very cheerful even if (I believe) some of the volunteers were there not entirely voluntarily. The people at the RAM stand were as helpful as ever and thanks to Guy, the operator of the portable press who let me take the image below. Apologies to those I didn't visit (or perhaps they are lucky I didn't) who included Tony James Banknotes, the Silver and Gold Stackers stands, the Perth Mint, and the previously mentioned Royal Mail and Canadian Mint.

The RAM Portable Press and Operator, Guy

I only had a few hours to spend at the show so was rushing around looking through dealers books trying to find some nice coins to make the trip worthwhile. There were a lot of people I didn't talk to that I wanted to, and more people who I wanted to talk to longer. I was expecting more from the show and left feeling vaguely disappointed with both the dealers who were present and the numismatic material that was on display. Mainly because I'd seen so much of it before. Perhaps next year the show organisers may be able to attract some dealers from the USA or the UK. I, for one, would love to see a quantity of material that was fresh to the country. So let's hope the Inaugural Melbourne International Coin & Banknote Show has a sequel.

The Royal Mint Stand

Posted by mnemtsas at October 20, 2013 12:50 PM
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