Calls to Gillio
By Numismatic News
three-day Long Beach Coin, Stamp and
Collectibles Expo opens Feb. 7, there will be at
least one hobbyist present who understands the
power of the Lincoln cent at attracting new
He is Ronald J. Gillio, expo general chairman,
who might not be where he is today were it not
for his encounter with the nation's lowest
In fact, during the convention Gillio marks 50
years in the hobby because of the Lincoln cent.
"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?" he asked.
"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, Calif., in 1974.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Perhaps a future expo chairman will get started
through the special exhibits planned for the
Sunnywood's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" set of
toned Morgan silver dollars will be on display.
The 97-coin set will be located at the
Professional Coin Grading Service booth.
Assembled by attorney Doug Kurz, the collection
includes an 1881-S Morgan dollar graded PCGS
MS-68; an 1882-S graded PCGS MS-67 from the
collection of former National Football League
linebacker Gregg "Ironman" Bingham; and the
Louis E. Eliasberg Sr. specimen 1893-S graded
Young Numismatists' activities, including a
children's treasure hunt, will be held on
Saturday, Feb. 7.
A free gold coin door prize will be awarded each
day to a lucky, registered visitor.
A half dozen educational seminars about
collectibles and hobby club meetings will be
conducted during the show, and Heritage Auction
Galleries of Dallas, Texas will hold a public
sale of U.S. and world coins and paper money.
The public hours are Thursday and Friday, Feb.
5-6, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Saturday,
Feb. 7, from 10 a.m. to 5 pm. (The show is
closed on Sunday.) A complete schedule is online
General admission is $6 (good for all three
days); $4 for members of any coin or stamp club
who displays a valid membership card; and $3 for
seniors 65 and older. Admission is free for
children ages seven and younger. Discount
admission coupons are available online at