Three-Day Long Beach Expo Has Near-Record Opening Day Crowd

(Long Beach, California) – The first three-day Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, shortened from its traditional four-day schedule, attracted a total of 8,781 dealers, collectors and general public visitors, Thursday through Saturday, June 3 – 5, 2004.

"We had strong attendance.  The Thursday crowd of more than 3,000 public visitors was second in opening-day attendance only to the February 2000 show when the S.S. Central America "Ship of Gold" exhibit made its first appearance," said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.  "In fact, our opening day this time was even stronger than in June 2002 when the 1933 Double Eagle was exhibited by the United States Mint."

A "kid's treasure hunt" on Saturday, June 5, attracted more than 300 young numismatists, according to Gillio.

Also adding to the attendance was the first California appearance of the finest known 1792 Half Disme (Judd-7, Breen-1360) owned and exhibited by the Rare Coin Alliance, LTD; two eBay seminars; and Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc. conducted auction sessions involving both United States and world coins.

News stories about the 1792 Half Disme, graded NCG-68, appeared on Fox Network television station, KTTV, in Los Angeles, as well the Long Beach Press-Telegram newspaper.

For several decades, the Long Beach Expo was conducted from Thursday through Sunday, but now it is a Thursday to Saturday show.  "We stopped the Sunday hours for a good reason: many dealers were packing up and leaving on Saturday night, so that only about a third of the tables were manned on Sundays.  When you advertise you're open, the public expects all the exhibitors to be present and ready for business," explained Gillio.  "Because we now are closed on Sundays, we require dealers to be at their tables until at least 5 o'clock Saturday afternoon.  This gives the public a full show and still allows East coast dealers enough time to catch late flights home Saturday night.  The bourse floor remained secured by armed guards through 11 o'clock Sunday morning for the convenience of dealers who wanted to leave later.  We had tremendous cooperation from dealers, and collectors were happy about the new schedule."

Gillio also said arrangements were made for an additional 600 parking spaces adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center for the convenience of both dealers and the public.

About a dozen collector clubs conducted educational seminars at the June show, and exhibits were displayed by the Long Beach Coin Club and Long Beach Stamp Club.

In addition to eBay and Heritage, Expo sponsors include Professional Coin Grading Service, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, British Royal Mint, Spanish Royal Mint, UBS Numismatics/Art Banking, World Money Fair of Basel, Switzerland and