A selection of rare U.S. coins from the National Numismatic Collection will be featured in the new “Stories on Money” exhibit at the Smithsonian’s Kenneth E. Behring Center in Washington, D.C.
The exhibit will demonstrate the relationship among people, money and history, from the earliest times to the present day, said longtime dealer Jeff Garrett, who spearheaded the exhibit’s funding campaign and assisted in the selection of coins for viewing.
Among the coins now on display are the unique 1849 double eagle gold coin and a 1933 gold $20. Several years ago a similar example of the 1933 $20 sold for more than $7 million.
In addition to the rare gold coins, an 1804 silver dollar and a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, as well as other coins that the Smithsonian says have rarely been seen by the public, will comprise the collection.
“This showing of rare American coins illuminates history in fresh and unexpected ways and will allow our visitors to think of how money tells stories about different historical periods,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum.
The National Numismatic Collection, whose core came to the Smithsonian in 1923 from the U.S. Mint, consists of more than 450,000 coins, medals and decorations and 1.1 million pieces of paper money.
With Garrett’s help, the American Numismatic Association and the Smithsonian have worked together to bring the exhibit on the road. Important selections from the collection were displayed at ANA’s Los Angeles convention.
Among the coins selected to appear in a Fort Worth, Texas, exhibit in March will be the 1849 double eagle, which will be seen for the first time on the West Coast.
For more information about the “Stories On Money” exhibit or the traveling exhibit, call Garrett at Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries Inc. at (859) 276-1551 or visit the Smithsonian Web site at www.americanhistory.si.edu/coins.