legendary Coins and Currency
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Smithsonian Castle
Smithsonian Castle
This Web site, Legendary Coins and Currency, was created in conjunction with a gallery exhibition no longer on display at the Smithsonian Castle. This exhibition, which opened on December 8, 2005 and closed February 11, 2008, explored rare and historically significant artifacts from the National Numismatic Collection (NNC)—more than half of which had never been on view, or not for many years. Coins, bills, medals, and captivating oddities—such as pattern designs, fake coins, and homemade clam shell money from the Great Depression—were on display.

Visitors to Legendary Coins and Currency were able to examine some of the NNC's rarest and most prized pieces to learn why history has elevated these artifacts to legendary status. Of particular interest was the 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the most celebrated 20th-century coin; the 1877 U.S. $50 (“Half Union”) patterns, the largest coins ever struck; and the 1849 Double Eagle ($20), a significant reminder of the American gold rush. Other objects included a 1652 Massachusetts Pine Tree Shilling; the 1906 Barber pattern Double Eagle; and the 1907 Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, often considered America’s most beautiful coin.

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This exhibition was produced by the National Museum of American History, Behring Center. It is sponsored by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America, the New York Mint and Numismatic Conservation Services, LLC.
 
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