I attended the inaugural International Money Expo (IMEX) on Friday, October 27, 2023. I served as one of the paid staff registration workers during the Friday afternoon session. The coin show took place at the Music City Center in downtown Nashville, TN. Open to the public on Friday and Saturday (10 am – 6 pm), with Thursday and Sunday designated as dealer days.
IMEX successfully brought together a significant number of high-end numismatic dealers and serious collectors. The event featured:
- United States Mint booth (no new mint product was released at this event).
- PCGS conducting real-time coin grading and slabbing at the show.
- NGC accepting submissions.
- Presence of other grading services: ANACS, CAC, ICG.
- Special guest speakers: Steve Forbes, Nathan Lewis, and Elizabeth Ames, who signed copies of their 2022 book, “Inflation; What It Is, Why It’s Bad, and How to Fix It.” Mr. Forbes served as the keynote speaker during the show’s opening.
- Numerous high-end dealers showcasing materials not commonly available.
- Robust security measures in place.
- Spacious aisles, preventing the show from feeling overcrowded.
Some distinctions between IMEX and typical numismatic organization coin shows included:
- Admission fees: $10 per day.
- Paid parking: $20 per day at the Music City Center.
- Absence of coin club meetings.
- No numismatic educational programs or exhibit competitions.
- Lack of numismatic supply dealers or literature dealers.
For sustenance, a small food court within the Music City Center, near the IMEX show hall, was available, offering food at standard large convention center prices. Several numismatic dealers presented intriguing items for sale, including Jhon E. Cash Rare Currency & Gold of Dallas, TX, showcasing five notes valued at about $1 million dollars. Specializing in high-grade $500, $1,000, $5,000, and $10,000 United States notes, two $10,000 notes were priced at $255,000 or $265,000 each.
During my stint at the registration table, my responsibilities included verifying government IDs, mainly state driver’s licenses, against completed attendee forms. Attendees hailed from various states, including CA, IL, IN, MD, TX, and the southeast states. Notably, some attendees possessed foreign passports, with reports of overseas participants, although official attendance numbers were not disclosed.
Attending and working at IMEX proved to be a rewarding experience. Having attended numerous coin shows annually, IMEX stood out for its excellent planning and organization. The key individuals behind IMEX were Col. Steven Ellsworth, ret. and Gary Adkins.
Many dealers also showcased lower-priced materials, and I personally acquired a couple of items for my collection. While contemplating a high-end United States $10,000 note versus a house, my wife emphatically chose the latter.
Meeting Steve Forbes and obtaining his latest book was a highlight. His expertise and informative speaking style added value to the event.
For additional information on the show, visit www.IMEX.show.