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 www.worldsfairofmoney.com. 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 www.money.org.