‘Well-oiled machine back again’ as National Show returns

By Jesse Robitaille

After a 31-month pandemic hiatus, collectors and dealers returned to the Greater Toronto Area this April for the first National Postage Stamp & Coin Show since 2019.

With virtually all of Ontario’s pandemic restrictions lifted by mid-March, the two-day show kicked off on April 9 at the Hilton Mississauga/Meadowvale hotel in northwestern Mississauga, Ont. An unexpectedly strong turnout saw hundreds of collectors come through the doors, where they were met by a 50-dealer bourse of numismatic and philatelic dealers from across the country.

“It’s nice to see the well-oiled machine come back again after two years of shutting down,” said dealer Gerard Feehan, the owner of Citadel Coins in Halifax, N.S., who added the show set a template for future in-person events. “We know we can do it now.”

Travelling more than 1,800 kilometres from the Nova Scotia capital, Feehan has worked the bourse at every National Show – held each spring and fall – since Trajan launched the event in 2016.

“We felt that the show this spring was very successful, so we were very happy to attend,” he said, adding the turnout and activity on the bourse were “extremely positive.”

“All the people who came to the show told us how happy they were to return to some kind of a normal in-person show experience with stamps and coins.”

Feehan and other dealers remained “very busy” throughout the weekend, he said, “so it was a success, and we’ll definitely be coming back for the next show in September.”

“Business was very brisk – we were buying, selling, trading material – and it was very active considering that it might not have been that way. It was a really good turnout on Saturday, and some people came back on Sunday, too.”

Show organizer Mike Walsh, Trajan’s managing partner and CCN’s editor, agreed the event “was an astounding success with lots of excitement in the air and record sales for many dealers.”

‘STRUGGLING TO FIND MATERIAL’

Another dealer, Sandy Campbell, who came to the show from his hometown of Baddeck, N.S., found his sales were “better than expected” but added many sellers are still “struggling to find material.”

Since the outset of COVID-19 in March 2020, the flow of numismatic collectibles has been stymied due to the widespread show cancellations plus other constraints on collectors, who have been hesitant or unable to sell material (“Market plateaus amid pandemic with hopes high for 2021,” CCN Vol. 58 #21).

“I would’ve thought things would soften up a bit by now, but it’s just the opposite: it’s probably more of an aggressive marketplace than it was even a year ago,” Campbell, the owner of Proof Positive Coins, said following Trajan’s recent show.

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