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Numismatic items in Smithsonian display

Rare and historically significant artifacts from the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection highlighted by a 1913 Liberty Head nickel will be put on display Dec. 8 for all to see in a Smithsonian National Museum of American History exhibition entitled, “Legendary Coins & Currency.”

“The coins and other items in this exhibition contain stunning examples from our collection as well as an amazing amount of information about American history,” said Brent D. Glass, museum director. “I am delighted to present these rarities to the American public, some for the very first time.”

A total of 56 items, including coins, bills, medals, pattern designs, fantasy coins and homemade clam shell money from the Great Depression, will be in the exhibit, which opens Dec. 8 at the Smithsonian Castle and runs for a year.

A companion Web site will debut simultaneously at http://americanhistory.si.edu/coins.

Sponsoring the exhibit are Numismatic Guaranty Corp. of America and Numismatic Conservation Services, LLC.

“It is an honor for us to assist in making this display possible,” said Mark Salzberg, chairman of NGC and NCS.

The museum’s interpretive approach will organize the display under five themes: Legendary Firsts, Legendary Beauties, Unexpected Legends, Golden Legends and Legends of the Human Spirit.

Other highlights include the 1877 U.S. $50 Half Union patterns and the unique 1849 double eagle.

In addition to providing financial support, NGC and NCS, together with Jeff Garrett, president of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Inc., are offering pro bono assistance aimed at the preservation and digitization of the collections.  

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