By Jesse Robitaille
One of Ontario’s most popular numismatic shows is changing hands.
Long-time numismatist Ted Bailey recently sold the rights to the biannual South Western Ontario Numismatics (SWON) show to Jared Stapleton, the owner of another popular biannual show, the Toronto Coin Expo.
Bailey is a resident of the small town of Paris, Ont., where the SWON show has been held since 1996. With more than 50 years of numismatic experience, he also owns Ted’s Collectables, which specializes in Canadian, U.S., and worldwide gold and silver coins as well as paper money. For the past two decades, Bailey’s SWON show has been a fixture of the numismatic calendar – always the first Sunday of each February and the second Sunday of each August. The previous show, held on Aug. 13, was the 42nd edition since the inaugural show in 1996.
“I think it’s going to a good guy,” said Bailey, of the SWON show, adding he will keep his dealer table at future shows, the next of which will be on Feb. 4, 2018. “Jared’s going to keep it going, and keep it up and running.”
Stapleton, who has been a dealer at the SWON show for several years, said the decision to purchase the rights was something he considered “for some time.”
“I’m honoured that Ted would allow me to acquire the show and continue the great success that he’s had with it, and my goal is to continue that success going forward,” said Stapleton, who also owns Metro Coin and Banknote in Toronto’s west end.
Stapleton’s plans for the future of the SWON show include adding an auction, to be hosted by New Brunswick’s Geoffrey Bell Auctions, which has been the official Coin Expo auctioneer since teaming up with Stapleton about six years ago. The SWON auction will take place on the Saturday night before each show at the nearby Hampton Inn, which is less than 10 kilometres from the Paris Fairgrounds, where the SWON show is held.
“This will allow people to come in the night before and enjoy a great Bell-style auction with some great material, and then come on down for the show the next morning,” said Stapleton, who added there are few changes being planned aside from this “Bell-style auction.”
“Paris is a show that I don’t know why it works, but it does very well. Everyone has access in Southwestern Ontario, and we get great collector support from that great show location,” he said. “We want to make a great experience even better by bringing the Bells in, but it’s going to remain the way it is; nothing else is going to change. It’s still going to have a fun atmosphere with the same location in Paris.”
21 YEARS, 42 SHOWS
Bailey, 71, began the SWON show more than 20 years ago, in 1996.
“I live in Paris, so I decided to start one here in Paris. A buddy of mine who has passed away now a long time, he helped me with it to start, but I basically owned it all myself,” he said, adding there are 56 dealer tables with about 30 dealers at each show.
“It’s always been well attended. We’ve had as well as 505 (attendees) for the one day, but we usually average right in the area of 300.” Bailey said selling the long-running show came with his decision to “downsize.”
“It’s a lot of work,” he said, of running the show, “and my wife did the kitchen all the time because we also did the food — that was our responsibility as well. We had roast beef on a bun, back bacon on a bun, juicy jumbos, salad and egg salad sandwiches.”
Stapleton confirmed his intention to continue offering food in the same style as the previous SWON shows.
“It’s the best one-day show in Southwestern Ontario, and it’s a great brand that Ted has developed over the years,” said Stapleton, who’s the past president of the Canadian Paper Money Society and currently sits on the pricing panel for Charlton’s Standard Catalogue for Canadian Government Paper Money.
“It’s a show that I wanted to have continue on, and I think a lot of dealers and collectors would agree with that statement.”