Amidst all the activity and excitement of the coin business, life often interjects itself. Last week a close personal friend of mine passed away at the very young age of 68. Charles (Charlie) O. Browne was a long-time friend and associate and many cliché's are often bandied about when someone passes, but Charlie was truly a gentleman and a scholar. He had one of the best eyes in the coin business. He and I, along with two other world-class graders, taught the Advanced Grading and Problem Coins class at the ANA Summer Seminar for the last many years. Going back more than a decade, we both handled a prominent rare coin trading fund and had the privilege of handling many of the world-class rarities in the U.S. coin arena. A renaissance man, Charlie could carry on a discussion in a multitude of subjects with authority. Over the decades we interspersed many of those discussions over great dinners and not a few adult beverages! The shock of the loss is still with me and it's difficult to imagine a coin show without Charlie where we often shared bourse tables and hotel rooms. He will be missed by many, especially those he tutored and the hundreds of people he helped maximize their bottom line with that incredible eye of his. He overcame incredible personal challenges with an incessant optimism and crisp smile that was truly inspiring. I will miss him greatly and it will take a long time for the hole to heal. Rest in peace, my friend....
The Central States Show in Schaumburg wrapped up almost a month ago and was successful by most accounts, albeit somewhat sparsely attended. It is always a great wholesale show with major dealers and marketers able to pick up inventory for their clients. Last week I flew to New York to view the lots for the upcoming sale at Sotheby's on May 21. For the Morgan Dollar collector who is looking for coins that are seen perhaps every other generation, this sale will fit the bill. Many fabulous rarities, not the least of which is what I call a "fantasy piece:" 1884-S MS-67 PCGS/CAC. This coin is truly unbelievable and no other coin of this date comes close! I had the privilege of viewing the lots for a prominent Registry set collector who plans to spend quite a bit in the sale. As I write, I have an early morning flight to a major U.S. city where I will be viewing a 7-figure collection which will be for sale and/or possible public auction. Spring is usually the busiest part of the year and 2018 is no exception. Next show on the schedule is the legendary Long Beach Expo June 13-16. Drop by table 934; I hope to see you there!!