The American Numismatic Society, in conjunction with the Federal
Reserve Bank of New York, has mounted a new exhibit, “Signs of
Inflation,” that will make its debut March 30, by appointment only, at
the bank, located at 33 Liberty St., in New York City.
The exhibition will investigate the historical perspectives and
concepts of inflation as revealed through coins and other objects.
The new display at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York joins the
ANS’s long-running exhibit, “Drachmas, Doubloons & Dollars: The
History of Money.” That exhibit features more than 800 items from the
ANS collection and other sources, including a 1787 Brasher doubloon,
an 1804 Draped Bust dollar, an 1861 Confederate half dollar, and the
purported King Farouk example of 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double
eagle, the only example legal to own.
The new “Signs of Inflation” exhibit explores the world of
inflation through the material, cultural, political, financial and
artistic aspects of the nearly 200 objects on display, ranging from
the seventh century B.C. to contemporary moneys, with pieces in the
form of shell money, spades, ingots; wood, plastic and metal coins;
and bank notes, IOUs and related objects.
Other items included in the exhibit will range from Roman silver
coins in decreasing sizes, weights and metal quality, during the
fourth century A.D., to 20th century items representing numerous
inflationary periods, including the Weimar Republic and the Republic
of Yugoslavia’s last years of existence.
Highlights of the new exhibit include the highest denomination
note ever issued — a 1946 Hungarian bank note with 21 zeros, as well
as the highest number of zeros effectively visible on a bank note, the
$100,000,000,000,000 bill issued in Zimbabwe in 2008.
Visitors will be able to view the very rare Series 1934 gold
certificates whose denominations reached as high as $100,000 while
there was no inflation at all.
The exhibition also explores some other forms of inflation, like
the cowrie moneys and Kissi pennies that flooded 19th and 20th century
Exhibition hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through
Friday, except bank holidays.
Due to security measures enacted in consideration of Occupy Wall
Street, all visitors are required to make an appointment to visit both
ANS exhibitions at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Contact
Joanne Isaac, ANS Museum Administrator, by phone at 212-571-4470, Ext.
112, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, to
arrange a reservation. ■