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Category: Long Beach

Coin Show Myth: The Long Beach Curse

By Pinnacle Rarities

Gold Closes Up, But the Myth Lives On

Before last week’s convention, I had a discussion about the myth referred to as the “Long Beach Curse.” The prevailing sentiment is that the spot price of gold always goes down during the week of the convention. This phenomenon is often bantered amongst gold dealers deciding whether to load up or unload inventories around these major conventions. During last week’s show, gold touched an all time high, and settled on Friday about nine dollars up for the week seemingly debunking the myth. A quick review of spot prices for the last decade’s thirty shows reveals the trend has some statistical backbone. However, the true curse has been the lack of quality material available for purchase. And this isn’t limited to the Long Beach Convention.

Collectors have continued to cull their collections as economic uncertainty has caused many to tighten their belts. However, they sell off the lesser quality material first. Spending habits have become more selective with the prevailing market focused on value and rarity. When major collections and true rarities enter this market the best quality material is quickly absorbed. The dregs are then recycled through dealer inventories and the myriad of auction houses that also clamor for fresh material. But rest assured, if you’ve been selective in your purchases and your collection was purchased for the coins it contains and not the plastic that contains it, you’re in good shape. The rare coin industry is alive and well – with an emphasis on “rare.” Looking at auction records over the last couple years, it’s easy to see quality and rarity still rule in this hobby of kings.

Now, back to that myth. During the last decade the spot price of gold has gone from a $256 in 2001 to $1297 (the Friday close after the latest Long Beach). It’s hard to imagine during this meteoric rise that the price of gold in any given week faltered. But overall, there were 19 of 30 weeks that showed declines in spot gold during the Long Beach convention. During the first five years of the decade, the rate of down cycles was an astounding three of four shows.

The number of down weeks is a bit padded as several of the weeks with advances only showed modest gains of $2 or less. So if you left the show early, the spot price would have been theoretically down for that show also. Regardless, with over three quarters of the conventions showing weak or down trends, it is no wonder the rumors started. The last five years have shown an improvement on the trend, but gold was still down at more than half the shows (eight of fifteen had declines).

So there is some statistical indications as to how the Long Beach Curse gained acceptance. But again, the real curse is one we recognize with all numismatic venues. There is an extremely diminished amount of quality material. True rarities and top pop condition rarities are commanding strong premiums, while the more common and lesser quality stuff has fallen stagnate. This increasing shift in the supply and demand equation coupled with an ever stronger precious metal price makes the outlook for rare coins seem bright – if only we could find the more coins.

A quick note to thank all our customers who have recently sold us coins or collections. Many of these items were exceptionally rare and of high quality. Thanks to you we have avoided the curse.

Rare Coin Market Report: The June 2010 Long Beach Show

By Laura Sperber – Legend Numismatics

Long Beach can be a mystery show. You may think you will do well and you won’t, or you may think you’ll do poor and do great. This show we did what we set out to accomplish-we bought some deals. However, had we not had these deals prescheduled, it would have been a complete bust. Even the now lone auction before the show (Goldberg) had very little Legend quality coins in it. For the first time in 10+ years, we stayed home and enjoyed the Memorial Day weekend.

Prior to”set up” day, we do whats called “lobby leaching”. That’s where we hang out at the hotels and do business (some scheduled, some not). We sensed right away this was not going to be an easy show. Many of the usual suspects had delayed their trips as well and few dealers were around to do business. We bought two coins totaling $4,000.00 Tuesday, a record low. So we gave up after two hours and went to dinner with a customer. Later we were told we missed nothing.

Typically the crowd to get in set up is large and anxious. This time, it was thin and quiet-something very unusual. Two things clearly had a major impact on dealers attendance: East Coast dealers pretty much stayed away because the Baltimore show is less than a week away. Second, it was sadly evident that a number of major dealers gave up their tables. There was no “buzz” on set up day. It was also the first time Legend made NO purchases what so ever on dealer day. There were NO Legend calibre coins to be found on the floor.


Thursday was a complete surprise: a huge crowd showed up! There definitely was activity, however it was hard to tell if many rare coins were bought (we know generics and bullion were in demand). Also, the reduced amount of table may have given an illusion the show was busier than it was.

We had come to the show expecting to buy three deals and did. Deal #1: the Famous Bear Collection. This coin contains some fabulous handpicked mid range type coins. Deal #2: a partial GEM Type set all coins CAC. The coins are both rare and amazing! All are CAC. Deal #3: what we really traveled for, a stunning group of Early Copper coins. Between these three deals, we spent in excess of $1,250,000.00-something we had not done in over 2 years at Long Beach. We did not hear many complaints on Thursday except for the ever severe lack of coins.


Checkout the results of the Heritage Auction and you will immediately see how strong the market is. They did not have any blockbuster collections and prices still managed to reach spectacular levels. The prices realized more than proved how strong demand is. There was a small group of GEM MS/DMPL Morgans all Ex PCGS Tour that brought crazy money. These coins had been off the market for many years. A collection of old holdered PR Seated and Barber Dimes brought insane prices (example $8,000.00 for a 1899 PCGS PR66 10C). Better gold coins also sold for very strong money as did pretty much anything nice and fresh. Someone at Heritage had told us that before the auction began, they had an 80% sell through. (more…)

World Coin Highlights from Goldbergs Upcoming Pre Long Beach sale

Ira and Larry Goldberg will be holding three exceptional sales prior Long Beach. They include the sale of THE DAN HOLMES COLLECTION Part II, Middle Date U.S. Large Cents on Sunday May 30th, 2010, United States Coins and Currency on Monday May 31st, 2010 and then Ancient and World Coins & Currency on Tuesday & Wednesday June 1& 2, 2010.

Here we would like to highlight 4 of the World Coin Highlights, coincidentally all from the previous Goldberg’s Millennia Sale. They are as follows:

Lot 3411 Russia. Peter I, 1682-1725. Novodel Ruble struck in Gold, 1705 (Moscow).

Fr-76 (62); Sev-12; Bitkin-532; Diakov-page 87, part 1. 44.22 grams. Laureate, cuirassed youthful bust right. Reverse: Crowned, double-headed eagle with scepter and orb. Plain edge. Sharply struck with all details bold, Peter’s hair curls in higher than normal relief. The surfaces are fully prooflike on both sides, with the devices softly lustrous to frosty matte and the fields reflective with an almost watery texture. Undoubtedly a high gift of state, the coin has been carefully preserved, with minimal marks or hairlines. The reverse die shows faint radiating cracks. This is one of the most important of all Russian coins!

Struck in gold to the weight of 13 Ducats, 44.22 grams, and created from the dies of the novodel ruble of 1705 (Sev-185), this is the plate coin shown in Bitkin and Diakov which appeared in both the 1977 Soderman and the 1991 Goodman auctions and is the only specimen appearing at public auction in over 25 years. Severin mentions this particular specimen (his number 12) as well as another weighing 40.4 grams, making this one of only two known examples. He also mentions a gold 1707 rouble (no. 18) and a 1723 in 12-ducat weight, each presumably unique. NGC graded MS-63.

Among Peter’s numerous reforms, he caused his country’s coinage system to change from being the most old-fashioned in Europe to being the most up to date. His was the first coinage to employ the decimal system (dividing the Ruble into one hundred smaller units, of copper Kopecks). Part of his reform involved devaluation, which made, for the first time, the Russian Ruble equivalent in its buying power to the Polish, Saxony and Silesian thalers which had seen such free circulation within the country before. It is said that, when the first Ruble coins bearing Western-style Arabic dates were struck in 1707, it was Peter himself operating the coin press!
Estimated Value $275,000 – 325,000.

Ex Dr. Robert D. Hesselgesser Collection (5/30 – 6/1/05), lot 1751; Goodman Collection (Superior, Feb. 1991), lot 4; and Soderman Collection (Swiss Bank, Feb. 1977); Illustrated in Money of The World, coin 115. Ex Millennia, Lot 802 where it Realized $340,000 (more…)

Exceptional Early Copper Coin Collection Exhibit To Highlight Long Beach Expo

The Cardinal Type Collection of Early Copper, a multi-million dollar display of over two dozen high-grade early American copper pieces including items from an all-time finest PCGS Set Registry collection, will be exhibited at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, June 3 – 5, 2010. The show will be held in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

1793 S-2 cent, PCGS MS65BN, Cardinal Collection:  This 1793 Chain "AMERICA" (Sheldon-2 variety) large cent, graded PCGS MS65BN, is one of the highlights of the Cardinal Collection of Early Copper that will be displayed at the Long Beach Expo, June 3 - 5, 2010. “This special exhibit is a superb collection of historic and rare private coinage from 1787 to 1792 and early items from the Philadelphia Mint from 1793 up to 1852. The collection was assembled by Martin Logies and will be exhibited courtesy of Bowers & Merena Auctions,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

Highlights of the exhibit include the following coins that were part of the 2009 PCGS Best of Registry winner for Large Cents Basic Set:

1793 Chain AMERICA S-2 variety formerly in the Beckwith, Collins and Naftzger Collections and graded PCGS MS65BN;

1793 Wreath, Vine and Bars Edge formerly in the Naftzger Collection, PCGS MS69BN;

1794 Head of 1793 formerly in the Garrett Collection, PCGS MS64 BN;

and 1803 No Stems S-243, PCGS MS66RB, formerly in the Helfenstein and Naftzger Collections.

1794 Head of 1793 cent, PCGS MS64 BN, Cardinal Collection:  Formerly in the famous Garrett Collection, this 1794 "Head of 1793" variety large cent graded PCGS MS64BN is one of the highlights of the Cardinal Collection of Early Copper that will be displayed at the Long Beach Expo, June 3 - 5, 2010.During the three-day Long Beach Expo more than 1,000 dealers will be buying and selling rare coins, paper money, stamps, postcards, historic documents, antiques, estate jewelry and other collectibles. Some dealers will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors.

A free gold coin door prize will be awarded each day to a lucky, registered visitor, and a children’s treasure hunt will be held on Saturday, June 5. A half dozen educational programs and collectors’ clubs meetings will be conducted during the show and will be open to the public.

Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas (, the world’s largest collectibles auction house and the official auctioneer of the Long Beach Expo, will hold a public auction of U.S. coins in conjunction with the show.


Adam Crum and the Ship of Gold Exhibit from the Long Beach Coin Expo – Video News

A decade after its first appearance, the precedent-setting “Ship of Gold” display showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America was again docked in Long Beach, California.

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The $10 million exhibit was publicly displayed during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in February, marking its 10th anniversary.

“The ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit is out of dry dock” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman. “The eye-opening display on the convention center floor is housed in a specially-constructed 40-foot long representation of the famous ship’s hull. This will be the first public appearance of the ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit anywhere in the country in six years.”

The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach and involved months of work to coordinate the display with collectors who privately own and now have generously loaned many of the items for the exhibit, according to Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President.

PCGS Offering TrueView Photo Service, Special Discounts and Dale Friend Half Dollar Display at Long Beach Expo

Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS at will display a spectacular collection of early U.S. half dollars, offer special discounts for coins submitted for authentication and grading, and give collectors and dealers an opportunity to have their coins digitally imaged with the PCGS TrueViewTM photo service during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo (, February 4 – 6, 2010.

1796_50c_16stars_Dale_Friend Visitors will also see a $10 million “Ship of Gold” exhibit of sunken treasure recovered from the fabled SS Central America that sank in a hurricane in 1857 while carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins and ingots. The acclaimed “Ship of Gold” display is housed in a 40-foot long representation of the ship’s hull,” and is coming out of “dry dock” for this special exhibit at the February Long Beach Expo.

The show will be held in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

PCGS will display more than 100 high-grade coins from the award-winning Dale Friend collection of circulation strike early half dollars, 1794 – 1839, and his set of major varieties of early U.S. halves. Both sets have earned the honor of being the number one-time finest in their category in the PCGS Set RegistrySM.

“Collectors and dealers who saw these sets displayed by PCGS at the recent FUN show in Orlando were simply awe-struck by the gorgeous, original toning and luster of these coins,” said Donald E. Willis Jr., President of PCGS. PCGS and the Long Beach Expo (Expos Unlimited) are divisions of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

“Twenty of the coins are either the finest known or tied for the finest ever graded by PCGS. This is an opportunity for West Coast collectors to see them in person through the courtesy of Dale Friend,” said BJ Searls, PCGS Set Register Manager. (more…)

Historic SS Central America “Ship of Gold” Exhibit Returns to Long Beach Expo Coin Show

ship_of_gold_exhibitA decade after its first appearance, the precedent-setting “Ship of Gold” display showcasing California Gold Rush-era sunken treasure recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America again will dock in Long Beach, California.

The $10 million exhibit will be publicly displayed during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in the Long Beach Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave., February 4 – 6, 2010.

The three-day show also will feature an exhibit of the all-time finest set of early U.S. half dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM.

“The ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit is coming out of dry dock and returning to its first port of call, the Long Beach Expo,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman. “The eye-opening display on the convention center floor is housed in a specially-constructed 40-foot long representation of the famous ship’s hull. This will be the first public appearance of the ‘Ship of Gold’ exhibit anywhere in the country in six years.”


The exhibit is courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach and involved months of work to coordinate the display with collectors who privately own and now have generously loaned many of the items for the exhibit, according to Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President.

“The ‘cargo’ on display will be examples of historic assayers’ ingots as well as San Francisco Mint and California territorial gold coins with a combined value today of over $10 million. One of the highlights is a huge, 662.28 ounce Kellogg & Humbert ingot. Weighing just over 55 troy pounds, it is the fourth largest gold bar recovered from nearly 8,000 feet blow the surface of the Atlantic Ocean where the Central America sank in a hurricane in September 1857 while carrying California gold from Panama to New York City,” said Crum.

There also will be one of the 13 recovered octagonal $50 gold pieces produced by the United States Assay Office of San Francisco, and the remains of a wooden cargo box that still contains approximately 110 Double Eagles as they were found on the ocean floor. Many appear to be 1857-S $20 gold pieces, apparently freshly struck at the San Francisco Mint when they were placed in the container for shipping. (more…)

A World of Money: Thoughts on Assorted Japanese Imports

By John Dale Beety This article originally appeared in the Heritage Blog.

japan_gold_holderRecently, I was shopping in a bookstore when I came across a most unusual display. Then again, considering this was a national chain, perhaps it’s not so unusual. Close to the shelves of manga (Japanese comics, generally sold in the U.S. as translations bound in trade-paperback format) were a variety of other products possibly of interest to the manga purchaser. I came face to face with temptation, in the form of light breadsticks dipped in chocolate.

I was not stronger than the Pocky. I bought a box to take home with me. It didn’t last the night.

Like many others in my generation, I have a taste for imported Japanese popular culture. Video games and manga are two of my particular vices. I’ve previously referenced my fondness for the video game series Final Fantasy in the blog, but I also pick up the odd manga title, such as Detective Conan, a mystery series featuring a teenaged investigator trapped in a first-grader’s body. (It’s marketed in the United States as Case Closed to avoid entanglements with a certain loincloth-wearing barbarian, but Detective Conan sounds cooler.)

Between my interest in things Japanese and my obsession with coins, perhaps it was inevitable that at some point, I would become intrigued by Japanese coinage. Unfortunately, my level of sophistication is not high; I know just enough to realize how little I actually know! That doesn’t stop me from appreciating Japanese coins in my own peculiar way, though.

I was paging through the upcoming Monthly Internet World Coin Auction and came across the auction’s small but intriguing Japanese section. There are several coins from the Ministry of Finance gold auctions; the best American comparison would be the GSA sales of silver dollars, in that a long-term government holding of its coins was offered to the public, though numerous details (method of sale, etc.) were necessarily different.

One of the visual hallmarks of the Ministry of Finance gold coins was a large-format plastic holder, with a deep red insert framing the coin and a tag with serial number and other information also enclosed. Certain dates and denominations were much more heavily represented than others; the Meiji 4 (1871 in the Western calendar) one yen gold was one of the more common dates, and there are three of them in the auction. Among 10 yen gold pieces, Meiji 42 (1909) was also a year with a large stock sold; there’s one in the auction.

A number of Ministry of Finance pieces can also be found in the Japan section of Heritage’s September 2009 Long Beach World Coin Auction. Why not take a look and see if there’s a Japanese import that interests you?

Grading Specials Highlight PCGS’ Offerings at September Long Beach Expo

David Hall will personally examine your coins in Long Beach Sept. 10 & 11 from 1 - 3 p.m. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.  All rights reserved.)Professional Coin Grading Service ( will have special discounts for certification services during the Long Beach, California Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 10 – 12, 2009.  You’ll also have the opportunity to have your coins informally, personally examined by PCGS Co-Founder, David Hall, during Meet the Expert sessions, and hear about the exciting expansion of the PCGS CoinFacts ( web site, the Internet’s most comprehensive, one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information.

Ron Guth will discuss the all-new PCGS CoinFacts in Long Beach, Sept. 10 & 11 at 1 p.m. (Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.  All rights reserved.)The following Show Grading Specials for on-site authentication and grading at Long Beach will be available to all PCGS Authorized Dealers and members of the PCGS Collectors Club.

$100 for one-day “walkthrough” turnaround on any coin with a maximum value of $100,000; $65 for U.S. and world coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of five coins; and $45 for any gold coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of ten coins.

“Submitters can mix and match.  To reach the minimum number of items you can submit any combination of coins for grading, re-grading and/or crossover services,” explained Don Willis, PCGS President.  “These show specials give collectors and dealers an excellent opportunity to put the power of PCGS behind their coins, and save time and money.”

PCGS Customer Service Representatives will be available at the booth (#807) to answer questions about these and other products and services, and to accept submissions for all levels of service. PCGS will accept submissions for on-site grading in Long Beach until 5 p.m., Friday, September 11.

Giant Gold Rush Ingots at Long Beach Expo

Two huge California Gold Rush era assayers’ ingots, recovered from the fabled SS Central America and with a combined weight of over 100 pounds of gold, will be exhibited at the next Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 10 – 12, 2009, in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

Adam Crum of Monaco Rare Coins holds the 598-ounce Justh & Hunter ingot, one of two huge California Gold Rush-era assayers' bars recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America

Adam Crum of Monaco Rare Coins holds the 598-ounce Justh & Hunter ingot, one of two huge California Gold Rush-era assayers’ bars recovered from the 1857 shipwreck of the SS Central America

“The display will feature a Kellogg & Humbert gold bar that weighs 662.28 ounces and a Justh & Hunter ingot that is 598.08 Troy ounces. Both were recovered in the late 1980’s from the Central America, the legendary ‘Ship of Gold’ that was carrying tons of California Gold Rush coins and ingots to New York City when it sank during a hurricane in 1857,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

The Kellogg & Humbert gold bar is stamped as number 804 and with a value in 1857 of $12,225.62. It is the fourth largest gold bar among the 532 ingots recovered from the Central America. The Justh & Hunter ingot is #4255 and marked at the time as $11,089.95

The historic ingots will be displayed by Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, California.

“The exhibit also will include some of the finest known Augustus Humbert $50 denomination octagonal ‘slugs’ produced in San Francisco during the height of the Gold Rush,” said Adam Crum, Monaco Vice President. “These colossal gold bars and big $50 coins, literally, are treasures of Wild West history.”

During the three-day Long Beach Expo more than 1,000 dealers will be buying and selling rare coins, paper money, stamps, postcards, historic documents, antiques, estate jewelry and other collectibles. Some will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors.

Gold Seminar, Superb Morgan Dollars at May 2009 Long Beach Expo

Award-winning numismatic author Scott Travers and veteran financial journalist Jim Kingsland will present a detailed, three-hour public educational forum about buying and selling gold on Saturday, May 30, 2009, during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave., May 28 to 30.

Gold River Morgan Dollar SetVisitors to the three-day show will see both the “Gold River Morgan Dollars Set,” ranked number two on the PCGS Set Registry for date set circulation strikes, and see the “Wild West Collection,” a complete set of superb-grade Carson City dollars. A free gold coin door prize will be awarded to a lucky, registered visitor each day.

The seminar, “Gold: Hoping For The Best, Preparing For The Worst,” will be presented from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., Saturday, May 30, in room 102-C of the Long Beach Convention Center.

“The gold seminar will be jointly conducted by Travers, an acclaimed consumer advocate who is the author of a dozen award-winning numismatic books, and by Kingsland, a respected Fox Business Network editor and long-time Wall Street journalist,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

“With the renewed interest in gold because of the U.S. and world economic situation, this certainly is one of the most important and timely educational seminars we’ve had in the history of the Long Beach Expo.”

“This educational program will provide pertinent and potentially valuable information about the precious metals markets from mining stocks to bullion coins – such as the American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf – to gold estate jewelry and ‘scrap’ gold,” explained Travers. (more…)

Feb 2009 Long Beach Show Report By Doug Winter

By Doug Winter

Editors Note: Usually we do not post two Market Reports together, however we wanted to give our readers a contrast of two perspectives on the recent Long Beach Show from two dealers whose opinions we highly respect .

Even in the best of markets, I go to Long Beach with limited expectations. I love the convenience factor (it’s one of my few sub-two hour flights) but this show has, in my experience, really lost its luster. Keep on reading for my thoughts on the Decline of Long Beach and a recap of the show.

1847-O $10 MS64 PCGSI think there are two significant reasons why Long Beach has gone from a great coin show to a so-so one. The first is the high price of the tables. Back when tables were more competitively priced, there were tons of small coin shops, Mom-n-Pop dealers and vest pocket dealers who had their own tables or shared them. This was a great source for fresh coins and it meant that there was a lot of coin trading as items went up the numismatic food chain. Now, these dealers no longer attend and this means that there is very little fresh material.

The other reason that Long Beach has suffered has to do with the draconian California tax laws. I’m not going to address these at length but let’s just say that Baltimore has become a great show in large part because Maryland’s tax laws are not quite as “zealous” as our friends in California.

As I said, I went to Long Beach with low expectations. I actually think the show was a bit better than I would have expected. The crowds were decent and my sales were not bad. I was happy with the limited number of coins that I bought and virtually everyone who I spoke with had a good—if not great—show. I think a lot of a dealer’s success right now has to do with what he deals in and his or her desire to sell older inventory at new levels. Simply put, if you have nice quality collector-oriented coins in your inventory, they sell. If you have a bunch of expensive, esoteric coins or boring widgets in stock, you aren’t selling much. If you have coins in stock that have been sitting around since June and you haven’t adjusted the prices downwards, you aren’t selling anything. (more…)

February Long Beach Expo Marks Gillio’s 50th Anniversary

This colorful 1882-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS MS-67 and the entire exquisitely-toned Sunnywood's (Long Beach, California) – The next Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, February 5 – 7, 2009, marks the 50th anniversary in numismatics for internationally-known Expo General Chairman, Ronald J. Gillio. The three-day show will be held at the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

“It was early 1959 when I saw my first Lincoln Memorial cent, the first year they were made, and I was curious about it. Ever since then numismatics has been a vital and enjoyable part of my life,” said Gillio.

“My first collections – like everyone else – were mostly pennies and nickels. Living in Southern California when I’d go to my neighborhood banks in Southern California to get rolls of coins, I’d frequently find San Francisco mintmarks; coins that were scarce in other parts of the country.”

Gillio said his Mother and Father, Sandy and Angie Gillio, were very supportive of his hobby, and were with him to celebrate the opening day of his first store on State Street in Santa Barbara, California in 1974.

“It all started with just one new penny in my hands 50 years ago in February 1959. What will the future mean to other collectors with this year’s four new penny designs?”

One of the highlights of the February Long Beach Expo will be the first West Coast appearance of the Sunnywood’s “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” set of exquisitely toned Morgan silver dollars. The colorful, 97-coin set will be displayed at the booth of the Professional Coin Grading Service. (more…)

Rarest Half Cent Brings $345,000: The Rouse 1796 ‘No Pole’!

By Greg Reynolds for CoinLink

1796 No Pole Half Cent F-15On Sunday, Sept. 14, the firm of Ira & Larry Goldberg auctioned a nearly-complete collection of U.S. half cents, dating from 1793 to 1857, which was assembled by Ray Rouse. The star of the collection was a 1796 ‘No Pole’ half cent. The price of $345,000 is the all-time, second highest auction price for a half cent.

The Rouse 1796 ‘No Pole’ half cent went to a dealer who was bidding by telephone. He was probably representing a collector. The underbidder was a New York dealer. I had expected the Rouse 1796 ‘No Pole’ to bring around $250,000. This coin is the fifth or sixth finest 1796 ‘No Pole’ half cent. Fewer than twenty are known to exist.

The sale of the Ray Rouse half cent collection was the opening event in the Goldbergs’ three-day auction extravaganza that included selections from the Ted Naftzger collection of large cents, a stellar run of ‘centuries-old’ British gold coins, and the second part of the extensive Ohringer collection of U.S. gold coins. All auction sessions were conducted at the Beverly Hills Crowne Plaza hotel. Many participants stayed in Southern California to attend the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectible Expo, which was held from Sept. 18 to the 20th. Prominent half cent collectors traveled from various parts of the United States to bid in this auction.

While $345,000 was the highest price for a half cent in the Rouse collection, the lowest price was $46 for a counter-stamped “WWL” 1851 half cent. Such counterstamps usually served as advertising by private firms. Additionally, two 1804 half cents, each with technical problems, brought less than $200 each. In the Rouse collection, there were more than twenty-five half cents that realized less than $500 each.

The grand total for all of Rouse’s half cents and related items was more than $1.28 million. Rouse started collecting half cents in 1978. He decided to sell his half cent collection because he “took it as far as it could go.” As hard as he tried, Rouse was not able to obtain the very small number of half cent varieties that are missing. Rouse continues to collect colonial coins. He acquired his 1796 ‘No Pole’ half cent “privately in 2003 or 2003.” (more…)

VIP Visitors at Busy September 2008 Long Beach Expo

California Attorney General Jerry Brown attending this past weekend's Long Beach Expo are distributed on behalf of Expos Unlimited/Collectors UniverseA virtually non-stop flow of bourse floor traffic, nearly $35 million of coin and bank note auctions and visits by California’s Attorney General and former Governor, Jerry Brown, and Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster, highlighted the busy September 18 -20, 2008 Long Beach Coin, Stamps & Collectibles Expo.

“Gold jumped about $40 an ounce on opening day, and we saw many ‘new faces’ among the thousands of attendees. Thursday is usually a busy day, and attendance this time was about 20 percent higher than recent, previous opening days,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

“I’ve had a table at every Long Beach show since 1995, and this was my best opening day Thursday,” said Peter Walters of Columbia Collectibles in Irvine, California who specializes in Civil War to World War I era items.

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 bidding.

Several hundred children took part in a Saturday “treasure hunt” at the show. Among the free numismatic gifts given to the participants were 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 Long Beach Stamp Club provided free stamps to help youngsters start collections.

A coin collector, Attorney General Brown walked the bourse floor for about an hour on Friday, September 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. (more…)

PCGS Exhibit, PNG Seminar Highlight September Long Beach Expo

Counterfeit Chinese coins and dies(Long Beach, California) – An exhibit by Professional Coin Grading Service of counterfeit coins and the latest in the Professional Numismatists Guild’s “Share the Knowledge” educational seminars are among the highlights of the next Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 18 – 20, 2008. The show will be held in the Long Beach, California Convention Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

“The PCGS display will showcase an assortment of fake Chinese coins and the dies used for making some of them that were sold on the Internet or offered at souvenir shops and street fairs in Hong Kong,” said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

“We’ll also have a half dozen various club meetings and educational programs that are open to the public. Whether you’re a consignor or a bidder, you’ll want to attend the PNG seminar about numismatic auctions.”

The program, “Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Rare Coin Auctions,” will be presented by PNG member-dealer Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas, at Noon on Thursday, September 18. A complimentary light lunch will be available for audience members as part of this latest in the series of PNG “Share the Knowledge” seminars being conducted at major coin shows across the country.

A half dozen other seminars and club meetings also will be conducted during the three-day Long Beach Expo. The programs include: “The History of Coin Grading,” presented by PCGS President Ron Guth at 2 p.m. on Thursday, September 18; the National Silver Dollar Roundtable at 2 p.m. on Friday, September 19, and the Long Beach Coin Club seminar, “The Red Book – A Guide Book of United States Coins and its Beginnings,” presented by Howard Feltham at 11 a.m. on Saturday, September 20.

PCGS Displays Unique “Hot Lips” Morgan Set at Long Beach

Hot Lips Morgan Dollar - 1888-O Vam-4The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) will display the only complete grading set of “Hot Lips” dollars, one of the most interesting of all the different varieties in the popular Morgan dollar series (1878 – 1921), at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, May 29 – 31, 2008.

“Some Morgan dollars were struck at the New Orleans Mint in 1888 with a doubled die obverse that produced significant doubling of Miss Liberty’s lips, nose and chin. A faint second eyelid is also visible,” explained Ron Guth, PCGS President.

The unusual variety is listed as 1888-O VAM-4 (for the “VAM” reference book created by Morgan dollar researchers, Leroy C. Van Allen and A. George Mallis), but many collectors refer to it simply as “Hot Lips.”

PCGS will display the Ashmore “Hot Lips” grading set during the show in the Long Beach, California Convention Center. The 21-coin set is owned by Ash Harrison, President of the Society of Silver Dollar Collectors and owner of Ashmore Rare Coins in Greensboro, North Carolina, who has assembled examples of this unusual variety in grades ranging from Poor-1 to Mint State-61, according to BJ Searls, Manager of the PCGS Set RegistrySM program.

Only two are certified PCGS MS-61, and none in higher grade by PCGS. The MS-60 coin in the set formerly was in Van Allen’s personal collection, and is the only Hot Lips variety example certified as Deep Mirror Prooflike (DMPL). With the recent acquisition of this unique coin, Harrison completed the years-long hunt to assemble the first-ever “Hot Lips” set for all reported grades. (more…)

Central States, Long Beach Shows Host Next PNG Educational Seminars

Andy LustigPattern coins and the precious metals markets are the topics of the next two, free Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) “Share the Knowledge” educational seminars. They will be conducted, respectively, by PNG member-dealers Andy Lustig and Richard Nachbar at the Central States Numismatic Society convention (CSNS) in April and at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo in May.

A complimentary light lunch will be available for audience members at both PNG seminars.

Lustig of Nyack, New York is a co-founder of The Society of U.S. Pattern Collectors. He will present “Collecting Pattern Coinage” starting at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 18, 2008 in room 42 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Rd., Rosemont, Illinois, the site of the 69th Annual CSNS Convention.

“Patterns are some of the rarest coins struck by the United States Mint. The series has more than 2,000 different prototypes for American coinage including patterns, die trials and experimental pieces. This half hour seminar will provide an overview of the series, historical background, collecting strategies and a superb slide show of great rarities,” Lustig said.

The annual spring PNG Day will be held in conjunction with the CSNS show on Wednesday, April 16. Collectors may obtain free, printed PNG Day invitations from PNG member-dealers. An online membership directory is available at, or call PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman at (760) 728-1300. (more…)

Doug Winter Market Report – Long Beach Feb 2008

Doug Winter Market ReportAs I left for Long Beach last week, I wondered if this edition would be different from the last few Long Beach shows I have attended. The answer—and some random observations about the market—are included below.

Unlike some of my competitors, I have made the decision not to attend the various and sundry pre-Long Beach auctions. I figure that at this point in my life I do not need to be spending an extra three weeks each year at Long Beach sales that are full of mostly uninteresting (to me) coins. This year’s sales did have a few interesting individual consignments including a nice run of Proof Bust Dimes at Superior and some better gold at Goldberg but, again, I was gearing up for the actual show itself.

On the Winter Show Grading Scale (WSGS) I would give the recent Long Beach convention a “B” which is actually better than I thought it would be. I did not bring many coins to sell and was more interested in buying new inventory. It was a struggle to find coins (surprise, surprise…) but some neat material did surface and I was pleased with what I purchased. Some of the highlights are: (more…)

Market Report – The Long Beach Show

By Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics

This was a very interesting Long Beach excursion. We did ok and we even were able to buy a few wonderful pieces.

1845 Proof Liberty Seated DimeLike with most shows today, the main events are the auctions. For us, Long Beach started off with some heavy auction sales. For the past few months we had been eyeing the Superior Sale. They had a group of incredible early PR Bust and Seated Dimes that haven’t been on the market for ages. We were determined to buy some-and did. In fact, we were extremely happy with the prices we paid and the coins we bought (yes, we did buy the spectacular 1845 NGC PR67 10C). Over at the Goldberg Auction, buying was much harder. Gold especially brought huge money. We did not buy nearly as much there as we had hoped. Overall, the activity at the pre show auctions was very strong.

During the show, the Heritage Auction just blew everything else away. The amazing Husak Collection of Large Cents realized just over $10,000,000.00 to a standing room only crowd of over 150 people! Many high grade coins in the regular sessions brought amazing record prices (like the 1860 NGC MS67 50C or the 1863S PCGS MS65 10C). Our buying out of those sales was very minimal. Please see our HOT TOPICS article for more information about how we approached the Husak Sale. (more…)

Early Dollars, Rare Gold, Tokens & PNG Seminar at February 2008 Long Beach Expo

1861 $20 Paquet(Long Beach, California) – A complete set of Type I Double Eagles, rare Hard Times tokens and the number one collection of early U.S. silver dollars in the PCGS Set RegistrySM will be displayed at the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, February 14 – 16, 2008, in the Long Beach, California Convention & Entertainment Center, 100 S. Pine Ave.

Monaco Rare Coin of Newport Beach, California ( exhibit a condition census set of U.S. $20 denomination gold coins struck from 1850 to 1866, including examples of the 1854-O, 1856-O and one of the two known 1861-P Paquet reverse specimens. The collection is valued at more than $5 million, according to Adam Crum of Monaco.

“The PCGS exhibit will showcase 107 varieties of Flowing Hair and Bust dollars from 1794 to 1803 from the collection of California radiologist, Dr. Robert D. Hesselgesser. He has added a number of new or upgraded coins in the past year, and his collection is the finest of its kind in the Professional Coin Grading Service’s registry,”said Ronald J. Gillio, Expo General Chairman.

Stack’s of New York City and Wolfeboro, New Hampshire ( will display “The Old Time Dice-Hicks Cabinet” of rare, historic Hard Times and merchants’ tokens privately struck in the 1830’s and shortly afterward when circulating coins often were scarce. (more…)