The Best Secured Coin Shows for 2017

Col. Steven Ellsworth
Col. Steven Ellsworth (retired).

Colonel Steven Ellsworth, ret. of the Butternut Company has announced the annual selection of “The Best Secured Coin Shows for year 2017.” COL Ellsworth personally attended over 36 coin shows and conventions in 2017, closely observing and evaluating the various types of security measures provided to both dealers and the public. In addition, he receives numerous reports from across the nation from coin dealers, collectors and crime-incident reports from the media and law enforcement sources. This is the 20th year a report with show-listings has been named.

“For the past 20 years, I’ve had the privilege of helping new- as well as experienced dealers by writing articles regarding security. I am also a principal instructor on how to build a solid, successful business and teach sound security protection-measures during the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) Summer Seminars in Colorado Springs. By all accounts, these educational sessions have been rewarding for the students as well as from the physic income I garner from the students and the other attendees,” said Ellsworth.

He went on to describe some of his instructional techniques in which he requires students to create a basic balance sheet for the fictitious ABC Coin Company. When students list the assets of a typical coin business, by far, the single most valuable asset of the company’s is the inventory of coins, noting that most students do not own a stationary store-front. If all- or most of a company’s inventory is lost, the survival of the coin business will be questionable. If this basic financial reality is correct, then why not implement as many security strategies and measures possible to minimize such risks? The answer is usually the same; “This is the way we have always done it and have not had a problem yet”. With that logic, why not cancel your home liability, fire and flood insurance since you have not had a claim since you owned your home? In today’s social and economic environment, whatever you can do to improve your own- as well as your family’s security- is never enough.

This year there have been over 115 coin and currency crimes reported during 2017. Violent crimes have decreased but there has been an increase in robberies and thefts that in all likelihood will continue through 2018. The coin business creates very lucrative target for criminals, especially since many of our hobby’s gathering sites are well-advertised.

“Over the years, I continued to address and emphasize two very important items to help manage the risks associated with valuables:

1st; develop a written security plan. The casual disregard in the need to draft a written security plan, by the majority of dealers and collectors, is still a major security lapse facing our industry. It does not matter if you’re a part-time dealer, collector or employed by one of the major numismatic firms, without a written plan, you are not being pro-active in managing risks against you and/or your business. “If it is not a written plan, your security plan is just an idea”! Remember; your plan is relevant and remains dynamic when it’s updated, actively engaged (used) to keep pace annually with your business trends, travel schedule, or hobby pursuits. Plan to review and update your business’s security plan in January!

2nd; NEVER, LEAVE VALABLES UNATTENDED in your vehicle. This rule is so basic; yet, for over twenty years after emphasizing this simple, basic security measure, it is still ignored. Every other week, I get a report of a dealer or collector has had their collection and inventory stolen when it was left in an unoccupied vehicle. Occasionally, most of us have had to leave a vehicle unattended, while transporting valuables, consider yourself lucky…simply lucky! It only takes 15 seconds for a thief to gain entry into your locked vehicle. As predicted, several dealers or collectors were virtually wiped-out from theft and terminated their businesses, while some collectors relinquished the hobby altogether.

Why are these two simple security measures so difficult to grasp and yet seem so seldom followed? Ask the many victims of theft. Most will usually respond with “I can’t believe this happened to me”.

Don’t make a mistake which lessens your safety, security and life,” stated Ellsworth.

The American Numismatic Association has been proactive for a number of years by offering security courses during their Colorado Springs, Summer Seminar Sessions. They have also co-sponsored seminars with the great job Doug Davis of Numismatic Crime Information Center is doing with Federal, State, County and Local law enforcement officers on how better to investigate numismatic crimes. This year’s Summer Seminar will offer our first 2-evening security course “Safety First: Security for Dealers and Collectors” in addition to “The Business of Being a Coin Dealer”. If you are planning to attend please sign up early as space is limited. If you have not made plans to attend, do so. These two courses are well worth your time and consideration regardless the size of your business. For more information on these courses contact: Amber Bradish, ANA Education Project Manager 719.482-9865, Email: .

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