During the bullion doldrum years it used to be a joke that bullion prices dropped when a Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo opened. Not at the show that was held Sept. 18-20 in the California city’s convention center.
“Gold jumped about $40 an ounce on opening day, and we saw many ‘new faces’ among the thousands of attendees.” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo general chairman.
Added to the bullion excitement was almost $35 million in auction results and visits by Jerry Brown, California attorney general and coin collector, and Bob Foster, Long Beach mayor.
Brown walked the bourse floor for about an hour Sept. 19, accompanied by American Numismatic Association President Barry Stuppler and ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd. He then met with collectors and dealers in an informal question and answer session organized by Stuppler in his role as President of the California Coin and Bullion Merchants Association.
Foster is a fan of the S.S. Central America sunken treasure history. He posed for a photo with Gillio Sept. 20 as they jointly held a 149.35-ounce Harris, Marchand & Co. gold ingot recovered from the 1857 shipwreck. It was sold to an unidentified buyer for $375,000 and displayed at the show by Monaco Rare Coins.
The multiple auction sessions of U.S. and world coins, paper money and tokens and medals conducted by Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas, official auctioneer of the Long Beach Expo, generated nearly $35 million in prices realized.
A Saturday “treasure hunt” was held for several hundred children. Participants were given more than 100 modern proof and mint sets donated by collector Dennis Riley of Maryland, according to Walter A. Ostromecki Jr., coordinator of the show’s youth activities.
The next Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo will be held Feb. 5-7, 2009. For additional information, contact Expos Unlimited at (805) 962-9939. Web address is www.LongBeachExpo.com.