Gold treasures dazzle

Looking inside the Smithsonian
Published : 12/26/12
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Who isn’t impressed by rare and gorgeous gold coins?

For collectors interested in seeing the best, a visit to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C., may be in order. Simply put, the NNC is home to more legendary rare American coins than anywhere else on Earth.

Where else can you see the only known 1849 Coronet gold $20 double eagle pattern, a 1787 Brasher, Punch on Wing doubloon and a 1933 Saint-Gaudens gold $20 double eagle, all sharing space in the same case?

If you like your coins big, the collection includes the only two known examples of the 1877 gold $50 half union patterns.

Do you love 1907 Saint-Gaudens, Ultra High Relief $20 coins but just find them too big? Don’t fret. The collection includes a unique double thick 1907 Ultra High Relief pattern that has the 27-millimeter diameter of a gold $10 eagle. The odd coin inspired the U.S. Mint’s popular 2009 Saint-Gaudens, Ultra High Relief gold coin.

To make sure these rarities reach an even broader audience, a fundraising effort is under way to raise $1.5 million to establish a Gallery of Numismatic History that will more than double the current exhibition space to showcase some of the world’s finest coins.

If your interests go beyond U.S. numismatics, this issue looks at the various ways that one can collect Shakespeare.

Jeff Starck writes, “In an era when money was hard, and life was harder, noted playwright William Shakespeare used an element that touched the lives of every Englishman, rich and poor, young and old, valiant or coward, and that was money.”

Multiple collecting options await collectors: one could collect money that circulated at the time of Shakespeare or more recent items that depict Shakespeare. Further, one could collect coins related to the subject of his plays. Jeff adds, “The coins of his time and his tales offer an abundance of collecting opportunities for those willing to chase them.”

Cheers to an abundant 2013. Enjoy the collecting chase!





 Steve Roach

COIN WORLD ... anywhere, anytime!

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