Long Beach Expo Takes Action Against Four Early-Exit Dealers

(Long Beach, California) – A $6 million exhibit of Saint-Gaudens double eagles, author David Tripp and artist Garrett Burke, designer of the 2005 California state quarter-dollar, were highlights of the recent Long Beach, California Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 9 – 11.

Tripp, author of "ILLEGAL TENDER: Gold, Greed & the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle" (Simon & Schuster, 2004), talked about the dramatic circumstances behind the world's most valuable coin.  Burke told the audience at an educational seminar hosted by the Long Beach Coin Club about his work creating the design eventually chosen for California's state quarter to be issued next year.

Attendance at the three-day show was 8,781, including dealers and the general public.

Long Beach Expo officials will formally notify four dealers they have lost their table positions for the February 2005 show because they violated their contracts by leaving early from the September 2004 show.

"We had complaints about nearly vacant bourse floors on Sundays, so we eliminated Sundays and shortened the Long Beach Expo from four to three days, Thursdays through Saturdays, beginning this past June.  There were still about 80 dealers who left early in June, and we gave them fair warning that it would not be tolerated at the September show.  We repeatedly told the dealers they are expected to remain at their booths, ready to do business with the public, until at least 5 o'clock on Saturday afternoon," said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

"The September show was our second three-day event, and dealers were notified about the 5 p.m. policy in their contracts, by flyers given directly to each dealer and reminded with public address announcements during the show.  We emphasized that the dealers were expected to serve the public on Saturday afternoon."

Names of the four dealers who will lose their table positions were not disclosed.  Gillio said there is a waiting list of other dealers who now will be offered the booths forfeited by the early-exit dealers.

A coin stolen at the American Numismatic Association convention in Pittsburgh in August from dealer John B. Hamrick of Roswell, Georgia was recovered at the September Long Beach Expo.  An unnamed dealer claimed he purchased the 1889-CC Morgan dollar, certified NGC MS-61, in Pittsburgh, and returned it to Hamrick when told it was stolen property.

In addition to educational programs by Tripp and Burke, two public seminars were conducted by eBay about buying and selling collectibles online.  Additional educational seminars and exhibits were presented by the Long Beach Coin and Stamp Clubs and a half dozen specialty organizations.

Fifteen competitive exhibits were hosted by the Long Beach Coin Club. Winners were:

First place: "Contemporary Gold Commemoratives, 1984 – 1995" by Andrew Woodruff.

Second Place: "A Type Set of Mexican Silver 4 Reales, 1732 – 1870," by Mike Ontko.

Third Place: "The Union National Bank of San Diego, Charter 10435 Type Set" by Andrew Woodruff.

People's Choice: "Collectibles From the 1892 – 1893 Columbian Exposition" by Howard Feltham.

Young Numismatists: "Some Non-Round Coins," by Jennifer Watson.

In conjunction with the first West Coast appearance of Tripp's new book, a $6 million non-competitive exhibit of rare Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles was provided by Ronald Gillio, Steve Contursi, and Ira and Larry Goldberg.

Exhibit highlights included a 1907 High Relief, Wire Edge variety (graded PCGS MS65); one of the two known Extremely High Relief with inverted lettered edge (PR68); a 1908 No Motto $20 gold piece from the Wells Fargo/Nevada Gold Hoard (PCGS MS69 and one of only ten Saint-Gaudens coins of any year to be certified MS69 by either PCGS or NGC); and a 1927-D (PCGS MS66).

Heritage Galleries of Dallas, Texas conducted a precedent-setting series of four separate auctions: an $8.3 million dollar sale of rare coins; a standing room only $5.3 million paper money auction; $1.3 million world coins sale; and also nearly $2 million auction of sports memorabilia.

An estimated 200 youngsters participated in a children's treasure hunt on Saturday, September 11, organized by Darrell Crane and the Jefferson Full Step Nickel Club.  A gold coin door prize was awarded each day of the three-day show.

Collector Charlie Greisen of Hemet, California brought to the show one of the 2004 United States Mint silver proof sets he received in the mail a week earlier.  The set was a packaging error.  It contained two Kennedy half dollars instead of one.

In addition to eBay and Heritage, other 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 CoinFacts.com.

The next Long Beach Expo will be held February 24 – 26 in the Long Beach, California Convention Center.

For additional information about the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, contact Expos Unlimited, 1103 State St., Santa Barbara, CA 93101.  Phone: (805) 962-9939. Web: www.LongBeachShow.com.