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Treasures On The Island

Antique shop owner unearths gems

The Gold Mine, owned by Massapequa resident and antique collector extraordinaire Gil Celli, is truly a gold mine of treasures that cannot be found anywhere else.

Celli is a passionate owner who absolutely loves to show off his collection to his customers, and he is convinced that he has an item that can astonish every type of person there is. He has American Civil War documents, accessories from the flappers from the 1920s, memorabilia from the 1939 world fair, colorful and fascinating children’s toys from all eras, jewelry that people would have worn boarding the Titanic, Babe Ruth and Elvis Presley items, gold and silver coins, zeppelin figurines, and the list goes on and on.

“This shop has things you can’t get anywhere else. People come here amazed, and they think this store is a museum until I tell them otherwise,” said Celli. “People get all excited when they see these items. They get the case of ooo’s and ahh’s, and that brings me back to when I was a kid, and I was amazed by items like these. It is a definably a gold mine of memories.”

The store owner had a long journey in the antiquing business before he got to where he is now. He began his journey of antiquing and selling when graduated high school. In 1971 he opened a small coin and stamp store in the farmers market in Bethpage until he decided to expand. He then branched out into selling more antiques and collectables in larger store in Farmingdale until 1990. He then moved to 97 Hicksville Road for 15 years. After 15 years, he decided he needed a change of scenery, and he opened The Gold Mine in Massapequa. Now the enthusiastic owner has been in the location for 5 years, and he is happy with his shop.

“I chose to open this shop because it is a lot of fun,” he said. “The coolest part about my job is that everyday something new comes in, and it becomes a new treasure to be restored and showcased. Some items are so cool that they are hard to part with.”

Items in The Gold Mine are collected by Celli and sold by costumers. He has developed the knack of pricing items from his years of experience with antiques and fine jewelry. Some antiques have not been touched for centuries and one item that he was particularly proud to show off was a 1950s IQ tester that was unused since 1950.

“You put a penny in, and it comes out with a question, but to get the answer you put another penny in,” he said. “By the end of the whole process you end up spending all of your change. It is such a unique and quirky item that brings you back.”

Some items in his shop are bargains that you cannot get anywhere else. Items like particular Tiffany necklaces are sold for half the price then it would be at a Tiffany’s store.

“Some of these old items look brand new,” he said. “You can go to the Tiffany’s shop and end up spending $400, but here you can get a Tiffany necklace that is antique for about $200. Here shoppers can get a quality item with a story.”

The Gold Mine is truly a treasure to Massapequa. Currently Celli is preparing for the October 26 and 27 54th annual Manhasset Antiques Fair. The fair is located at the Congregational Church of Manhasset located at 1845 Northern Boulevard (Rt. 25A). He has been participating in the fair for 5 years, and each year he likes to bring an array of items to attract people. This year he intends on bringing antique jewelry, coins, stamps, sport fan memorabilia, and whatever catches his eye for the big event.