NYINC: The Favourite of All Those Who Love Ancient Coins

by Ursula Kampmann, translated by Bernadett Gärtner

Why is the New York International Numismatic Convention the top place to go when it comes to ancient coins? Ursula Kampmann has the answer and explains what will be new and different in New York in 2024.

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Paul Russell, NYINC Chairman, at the CoinsWeekly booth to take a mandatory picture with Ursula Kampmann. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

Paul Russell, NYINC Chairman, at the CoinsWeekly booth to take a mandatory picture with Ursula Kampmann. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

Once there was a time when you had to know exactly where an auction had taken place to be able to put the hammer price of ancient coins into perspective. The highest results were achieved by coins auctioned off during the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC). Why? Well, because this coin fair, which has been held for many decades – initially in December and since 2003 in early January – established itself as the most important meeting point for all dealers of ancient coins.

After all, the New York International has other focal points than your usual American coin fair. They do without US coinage. The NYINC is focused on antiquity and on what is referred to as World Coins in the US, i.e., coins produced outside the US and/or before it was founded.

This concept hit like a bomb at the time. All dealers and important collectors in the US who were interested in coins from outside the US were keen to be part of the New York event. And ancient coins have always played a special role at it.

Europeans quickly discovered that a wonderful market was developing at the NYINC. Loads of them came. And thus, since the late 1970s, everyone who wants to become a player in this field and has anything to do with ancient coins has attended the fair. To finance their trip, dealers gathered commissions from their clients to place bids at the auction sales. And this means that, prior to the internet, no auction was better advertised than the sales held within the framework of the NYINC. You can imagine how this affected the prices.

For sales, it is not important how many people are in a room. What really matter is that the right people are in a room. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

For sales, it is not important how many people are in a room. What really matter is that the right people are in a room. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

Auctions, Auctions and Even More Auctions

Of course, things are completely different today. Thanks to the internet and live bidding, the place where an auction is held is no longer as important as it once was. However, something else remained the same, namely that you can see more fresh material in the high-price range at the New York International than at any other coin fair.

And this starts long before the fair opens its actual doors. As early as on the Friday before – for the upcoming NYINC this will be on January 5th, 2024 – the first auction house begins to show its coins. Thousands of lots with estimates between the three- and seven-figure range will be on display at the viewings. Numerous dealers and collectors use the opportunity to take a potential purchase into their own hands. After all, this is still the best way to decide whether the quality of a coin meets your standards.

The first auction starts on Monday, January 8th, 2024. The last one ends late on the following Sunday. In the many hours in between, an incredible amount of lots will be offered.

A Place to See the Greatest Rarities of Ancient Coinage

However, this is surely not the only attraction of the New York International. Many collectors come due to the unparalleled selection of coins in the high-price sector at fixed prices. Nowhere else in the world can you find a comparable offer of ancient rarities.

Year after year, dealers present a selection of very special pieces because they know they will make great business. The tables at the NYINC are always fully booked. Once you have got hold of a booth there, you keep it unless sickness or other valid reasons prevent you from coming. There is of course a waiting list, however, it can take long to be admitted to this fair.

Paul Russell, the Chairman of the NYINC, attaches great importance to the fact that not all dealers are admitted to the New York International. He explains: “Only the best exhibit with us. We check every application carefully. Our customers must be able to rely on the fact that they only meet the crème de la crème of coin trade at the NYINC.”

A Matter of Security

Due to the precious items on all tables, security is a matter of great importance to NYINC Managment. They substantially revised and improved the security concept for the 2024 event. First, more plain-clothes security guards will mingle with visitors. A guard will be placed in front of each lift. Additionally, uniformed and armed officers of the New York Police Department will be patrolling the corridors for the first time. In case of danger, they can immediately call for backup. Paul Russell puts it in a nutshell: “We have increased our security measures, which makes the NYINC now probably the coin fair with one of the highest security standards in the world.”

He adds: “In addition to upgrading our security staff, we have adopted another important measure. In future, every single visitor will wear a name badge with a photo that will only be issued on presentation of ID. We want our dealers to know exactly whom they are talking to. The NYINC won’t give the bad players a chance. We want our dealers to be able to concentrate on talking to their customers instead of guarding their coins.”

The welcoming team that looks after visitors. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

The welcoming team that looks after visitors. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

An Organisational Masterpiece

Even under normal circumstances, organising a coin fair of these dimensions is quite a lot of work. But with the new photo badges for every visitor, the queues are likely to become even longer. Paul Russell also has an answer to this problem: “For the first time ever, tickets can be purchased conveniently from home on our website. Visitors can pick their tickets and upload a photo. We will have a special booth in the hotel lobby where they can then collect their tickets on presentation of ID.”

A glimpse into the hotel lobby. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

A glimpse into the hotel lobby. Photo: CoinsWeekly.

New York Is Always Worth a Trip!

Since the two previous venues, the world-famous Waldorf-Astoria and the Hyatt Grand Central, had to close their rooms due to major renovations, NYINC management had to look for another home for the old-established event. They found it at the InterContinental New York Barclay. This hotel is a superb location with state-of-the-art facilities, elegant surroundings and – for New York – reasonable room fees. At least if you book your room in early and use the special NYINC prices! The discounted rates expire on December 12th, 2023, which means that the rooms may cost much more afterwards. By the way, this deal is not only for coin dealers; collectors can also benefit from the affordable prices if they appreciate the convenience of being accommodated in the hotel where the NYINC takes place.

Paul Russell wants to make the NYINC particularly attractive to European dealers and collectors. He would like to convince them of the advantages of the New York International Numismatic Convention: “I would like every single person who comes to feel safe, do good business and have a great time with their colleagues. If you attended our fair once, you will try to be there again and again.”