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ANA | ANS Partner for Early U.S. Mint Exhibit at World’s Fair of Money

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Cooperative effort includes museum display, two Money Talks programs

The American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, Colo., and the American Numismatic Society in New York City, are joining together to present a stunning exhibit of the U.S. Mint’s first issues as part of the Museum Showcase during the World’s Fair of MoneySM, Aug. 7-11 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia.

The ANS is loaning a complete collection of the first issues of each coinage denomination minted by the Philadelphia Mint from 1792-1796. This one-time exhibit highlights Philadelphia’s storied numismatic history.

Mike Gasvoda, an ANS Board of Trustees member and longtime ANA member, was instrumental in bringing this exhibit to the Philadelphia show. “While the ANA and ANS may serve different parts of the numismatic community, the overlap of what we offer is much larger than the places we differ. This type of joint effort between the ANA and ANS should be a natural part of both our efforts to reach the collecting community,” he said.

The pedigrees of the ANS coins have links back to some of the most famous collections ever formed. A few stand-out pieces include:

  • Select 1793 large cents donated by George H. Clapp;
  • The Louis Eliasberg specimen of the 1794 dollar, exhibited courtesy of an ANS Board of Trustees member;
  • A 2 ½ dollar gold quarter eagle and 10 dollar gold eagle, from the collection of J. Pierpont Morgan.

The exhibit will also include  a 1793 half cent, a gift to the ANS from Robert Schonwalter; a 1794 half disme, graded MS-63; a 1796 disme, 1796 quarter, 1794 half dollar and 1795 half eagle, all donations to the ANS from Arthur J. Fecht collection. A 1792 half disme, donated to the ANA by Steve L. Contursi, will complement this exhibit in the Museum Showcase.

“I’m really pleased that the ANS is partnering with the ANA for this wonderful exhibit of the first Philadelphia Mint issues. This is a wonderful opportunity for attendees at the World’s Fair of Money to see such historically significant U.S. coins,” said ANA Executive Director Jeff Shevlin. “We appreciate the ANS partnering with us and we look forward to more opportunities in the future.”

The challenges of the early U.S. Mint are easily recognized when looking at these historic pieces.  The designers, engravers and die operators struggled to learn their new trade. Coin production came in fits and starts as efforts to secure funding and precious metals were anything but steady. It took four years for the fledgling mint to coin each of the congressionally mandated denominations, so foreign coinage continued to circulate alongside American coins as legal tender for many years. The exhibited coins give a rare glimpse into the operations of the first Philadelphia mint.

“Working with Mike Gasvoda, Robert Wilson Hoge and Elena Stolyarik to create this exhibit has been a wonderful experience. It is rarely possible to display such great pieces,” said ANA Museum Curator Douglas Mudd.

This exhibit will be complemented by three related Money Talks presentations, which are expected to be heavily attended.

  • Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger, both ANA and ANS members, deliver the talk, “The First Philadelphia Mint,” at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 7 in Room 104B.
  • Robert Wilson Hoge, former ANA curator and current curator of North American Coins and Currency at the ANS, will give the presentation, “First Order of Business: The U.S. Mint’s Original Coinage Denominations, 1793-1796,” at noon Thursday, Aug. 9 in Room 104B.
  • Jamie Franki, creator of the 121st Anniversary Convention Medal, presents “David Rittenhouse and the 1792 Half Disme,” at 1 p.m. Saturday in Room 104B.

“If you appreciate this exhibit and the related presentations, I hope you will let both organizations know so we can better understand how we can serve our numismatic family in the future,” Gasvoda said.

The World’s Fair of Money is the nation’s premier money show. The event features a major auction by Stack’s Bowers Galleries; more than 1,000 numismatic dealers with the best inventory anywhere; the ANA Museum Showcase exhibiting some of the world’s most valuable and beautiful coins and paper money; a Mint Promenade with mints from around the world; the Collector Exhibits area; educational presentations and seminars; and special events including the ANA’s annual awards banquet.

Show hours are 10 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Aug. 7-10 and 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Aug. 11. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under. Save $2 on admission by downloading a coupon at For more information, call 719-482-9849.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 27,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or go to

Coin Crimes | Information is Power

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Unfortunately there is a new wave of sites that are emerging, good in nature but born from evil.  Precious metal, jewelry, and rare coin theft is on the rise and the people are fighting back.  Thanks to the web and social media it’s going to be harder than ever for these thieves to unload these stolen goods.  I was recently befriended by Coin Crimes on my facebook page, feel free to stop by and “like” it.  I am a supporter of any site, company, or person who is there to help victims and can put a stop to these violating individuals!  On the Coin Crimes site you can Report A Crime,  keep up to date on Precious Metal News, and find a link to Every Police Department in the United States in their Resource Center.  The bottom line is “Because gold, silver, and other precious metals are near all time highs, coin and jewelry crimes are on the rise. This site was created so coin dealers and collectors can have a place to come together and stay informed with numismatic crimes.”

Image/Quote: Coin Crimes

Written by Robert L. Wilson

November 3, 2011 at 10:21 am

Old San Francisco Mint

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This Library of Congress photo of the San Francisco Mint was taken shortly after the 1906 earthquake, which happened 105 years ago today.  The “Old Mint” as it had become known, turned $4 million in gold bullion into coins its first year.  It was opened in 1874 and produced coins until 1937.  This is the building where the 1893 S Silver Dollar, the 1894 S Dime, and the 1909 S VDB Cent were minted.  In 2003 the federal government sold this building to the City of San Francisco for one dollar, an 1879 silver dollar struck at the mint.  The structure is now home to the Museum of the City of San Francisco.  Check out other Coinologist archive photo posts here.

Photo:  The Detroit Publishing Company

Written by Robert L. Wilson

April 18, 2011 at 5:12 am

Citizens Coin Advisory Committee

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Established in 2003, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) is the “informed, experienced and impartial resource” of our United States numismatic future.   While Congress must authorize every coin and most medals that the United States Mint manufactures, it is the CCAC that advises the Secretary of the Treasury on what our country’s future coinage will look and feel like.  The CCAC submits a letter to the Secretary of the Treasury after each public meeting, next meeting being March 1, 2011.  Their site has a great resource to view past legislation about the historical events and personal achievements Congress honors through the authorization of coins and medals.

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Written by Robert L. Wilson

February 28, 2011 at 8:08 am

1914 U.S. Treasurer Cash Reserve

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I first viewed this photo on Shorpy, a great photo blog. Then I came across it again while researching the Department of the Treasury.  I decided to post it because of its “Awe Factor.”.  You are looking at photo that contains, from my accounting, $76,640,000.00 in U.S. Gold and Silver Certificates.  Keep in mind this photo was taken in 1914 and these are the old “Horse Blanket” notes, which where the Large-size notes first printed between 1863 and 1929 by the B.E.P.  Make sure to take note of the handwriting and the wax seals used on the packages.  This is an incredible peek into the past and the way thing used to be done.  Check out other Coinologist archive photo posts here.

Photo:  National Photo Company Collection glass negative.

Written by Robert L. Wilson

February 8, 2011 at 8:08 am

United States Department of the Treasury | Washington D.C.

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Located at 1500 Pennsylvania Avenue Washington D.C., a neighbor to the White House, is the Department of the Treasury.  This institution was established by an Act of Congress in 1789.  Their main function is to manage the revenue of our government.  The Treasury prints and mints all paper currency and coins in circulation through the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the United States Mint. The Department also collects all federal taxes through the Internal Revenue Service, and manages U.S. government debt instruments.  The Treasury Building itself was started in 1836 as a work in progress, the last wing was added in 1869.  As a the governing body, which in a way, holds the puppet strings to the future of  U.S. numismatic creations, I thought it a worthy mention.

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Written by Robert L. Wilson

February 7, 2011 at 8:08 am

Historic United States Mint Facilities | Carson City, NV

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The Carson City Mint happens to be my favorite of all mints.  I have visited Carson City, the state’s capital, multiple times and I always leave with a great sense of what  was really happening in this town in the 1850’s, 60’s, and 70’s.  Northern Nevada was experiencing a full-blown gold and silver rush.  Virginia City, just about 15 miles away, was the epicenter of the Comstock Load, gold and silver ore that was being mined, blasted, and physically pulled from the ground.  The Carson City Mint struck coins that bear the “CC” mint mark.  The building is now the home of the Nevada State Museum.

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Written by Robert L. Wilson

January 31, 2011 at 8:08 am

Historic United States Mint Facilities | New Orleans, LA

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New Orleans, LA has been a major port for the United States since the American Revolution.  It only made sense that the New Orleans Mint be open, as a branch mint of the United States Mint.  It was operated from 1838 to 1861 and from 1879 to 1909. These coins were struck with an “O” mint mark.  The American Civil War saw a change of hands at the mint, which made this facility the only mint to produce both U.S. and Confederate coins, which are highly collectible to this day.  The Confederacy ran out of  bullion in in  April 1861, and the building was used for quartering soldiers.  It wasn’t until after the Reconstruction Era that it reopened for business. During its years of operation, it produced over 427 million gold and silver coins of nearly every American denomination, with a total face value of over $307 million.  Since 1981 it has served as a branch of the Louisiana State Museum. Damaged by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, after over two years of closure for repair and renovation, the museum reopened in October 2007.  The New Orleans Mint has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is currently the oldest surviving structure to have served as a U.S. Mint.

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Written by Robert L. Wilson

January 24, 2011 at 8:08 am

Historic United States Mint Facilities-Dahlonega, GA

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Dahlonega, GA was the site of the first major gold rush in the United States, it was 1828 when gold fever struck.  The Georgia Gold Rush and a boom town were born. This was Indian territory at the time, though we know that never stopped any gold miners.  The Dahlonega Mint struck coins that bear the “D” mint mark, all coins from the this mint are gold and bear the dates 1838-1861.  The Civil War was bad for the Dahlonega Mint, just as it was with the Charlotte Mint.  When war broke out the mint was seized by the Confederates.  After the war the U.S. Government decided against reopening the mint.  The building was eventually used by the North Georgia College, and ultimately succumbed to a fire in 1878.  The city does have a dedicated museum, and I hope to be able to visit one day soon.

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Written by Robert L. Wilson

January 17, 2011 at 8:08 am

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