Tiny $1.5 Million Coin With Big History On Display In Long Beach

(Long Beach, California) – One of the first coins made in the earliest days of the United States Mint in 1792, produced from silver personally provided by President George Washington and valued today at $1.5 million, will be displayed for the first time ever in California at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in the Long Beach Convention Center, June 3 – 5.  eBay will conduct two public seminars at the show about buying and selling collectibles online.

"President Washington gave the Mint $100 worth of silver to produce these coins, and it is believed that bullion came from Martha Washington's silverware," explained Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

"The coin on display in Long Beach is known as the 1792 Half Disme, an early spelling of the word, 'dime,' and it's a prototype for today's five-cent denomination coins."

"It is a tiny coin with a big history.  It was sharply struck 212 years ago and remains in pristine condition.  The surface of the little silver coin has beautiful, rainbow-colored tones from two centuries of natural oxidation," said the coin's owner, Bob Higgins of the Rare Coin Alliance of Wilmington, Delaware.

Slightly smaller than a modern dime, the 1792 Half Disme on display in California for the first time is the finest known of less than 250 surviving specimens.  Originally, 1,500 of the coins were made in July 1792 in Philadelphia and presented to then-Secretary of State, Thomas Jefferson, prior to their release into circulation.

"This historic early American coin depicts Miss Liberty on the front and the words, HALF DISME, under an eagle on the tail's side.  It was worth five-cents two centuries ago, but today it's valued at $1.5 million," said Higgins.

eBay, a sponsor of the Long Beach Expo, will present two free educational seminars for collectors and dealers, "Buying & Selling on eBay," conducted by Troy Thoreson at Noon on both Friday, June 4, and Saturday, June 5.

Additional educational seminars and exhibits will be presented by the Long Beach Coin Club and Long Beach Stamp Club.

Heritage Numismatic Auctions of Dallas, Texas will conduct a multi-million dollar public auction of historic rare coins and paper money during the show.  There will be a children's treasure hunt on Saturday, June 5, and a gold coin door prize will be awarded each day of the three-day show.

Show hours are Thursday - Saturday, June 3 - 5, from 10:00 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.  Admission is $6 (good for all three days); $3 for seniors 65 and older and children, ages 8 to 16.  (Free admission for children aged seven and younger.)