If promoting the hobby to noncollectors is the goal, Ron Gillio, chairman of the Long Beach Coin, Stamp and Collectibles Expo, scored a touchdown May 30.
When dealers were setting up at the convention center, Gillio led a group of investors through the bourse. They were attending the True Wealth Gold and Collectibles Conference and had paid nearly $1,000 each for the privilege.
One of the stops occurred at the table of Rare Coin Wholesalers. There Steve Contursi passed out a couple of his multi-million dollar rarities. Some of the investors were impressed. Some looked like they were afraid to touch such valuable items.
Gillio said that while not all of the 90 investors in attendance would ever buy coins, some will.
As for the rest of the event, Gillio said, ?The show went really well.? He added, ?The attendance was on par with our usual June show, or a little bit more.
?John Hamrick told me he had one of his best shows.?
Total attendance of collectors and dealers was 5,760 for the May 31-June 2 event.
Gillio also said that he thought the number of foreign attendees was up.
In two separate incidents, security officers at the show apprehended two suspected coin thieves on June 2.
?Undercover security team members observed separate incidents of suspected theft, and they apprehended two suspects and quickly recovered stolen coins. One of the suspects tried to run away,? Gillio said.
?One of the dealers has refused to press charges against the suspect who was caught stealing from him. I simply can?t understand that. Because the dealer would not file charges this thief had to be released, although we took a photo of the suspect and he will not be admitted to any future shows.?
Actors Andy Richter and Paul F. Tompkins spent six hours May 31 recording video segments that will appear on eBay.
Richter is well known for his seven-year role as sidekick to late-night TV host, Conan O?Brien. Tompkins also has appeared in many TV programs and movies, including the 2004 comedy film, ?Anchorman.?
The actors also helped award one of the daily gold coin prizes.
Heritage conducted the official auction, which realized about $11.7 million. See separate story for details.
The next Long Beach Coin, Stamp and Collectibles Expo is set for Sept. 27-29, 2007.
For additional information call (805) 962-9939 or visit online www.LongBeachShow.com.