ANA Museum Showcase readied for anniversary convention in Denver

August World’s Fair of Money to include exhibit of numismatic rarities
By , Coin World
Published : 06/23/17
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The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money Aug. 1 to 5 in Denver is an opportunity for a close-up look at some of the numismatic hobby’s greatest rarities.

To celebrate the ANA’s 50th anniversary headquartered in Colorado Springs, the ANA Museum Showcase at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver will feature Colorado Gold Rush era rarities and Lesher Referendum dollars along with other historic and famous numismatic treasures from the association’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum.

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“The ANA opened its Colorado Springs headquarters building in 1967, and as part of this year’s golden anniversary we want collectors and the public to see examples of Colorado’s colorful numismatic history as well as some of the other most popular items in the ANA museum collection,” explains ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick.

“We’ve been planning for many months to create Denver convention exhibits that will be must-see for collectors and will be an educational and appealing introduction to the fascinating hobby for the general public,” said ANA Museum Curator Douglas Mudd.

The ANA Museum Showcase area (booth #1103) will be open during public hours of the convention in Hall F of the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street.

The Denver World’s Fair of Money will be open to the public Tuesday to Saturday, Aug. 1 to 5. Public hours will be Tuesday, Aug. 1, from 1 to 5:30 p.m. MT; Aug. 2 to 4, from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; and Aug. 5, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. 

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Admission is free for all ANA members. Admission for non-ANA members costs $8 for adults, with children 12 and under admitted free. Admission is free for everyone on Aug. 5.

Included among the exhibit highlights are:

➤ The McDermott/Bebee Collection 1913 Liberty Head 5-cent coin; the Idler/Bebee Class III 1804 Draped Bust dollar; and error notes from the Bebee Collection with upside down serial numbers and other printing mistakes. 

➤ 1907 Saint-Gaudens, Roman Numerals, High Relief and 1907 Ultra High Relief gold $20 double Eagles from the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection.

➤ A set of 1860s Clark, Gruber & Co. Colorado pioneer gold pieces. Clark, Gruber & Co. were private forerunners of the Denver Mint.

➤ A nearly complete set of Lesher Referendum silver dollars from the early 1900s. 

➤ A 1933 Indian Head gold $10 eagle, one of the greatest gold coin rarities of the 20th century with fewer than 40 known surviving examples from the last year that U.S. gold coins were struck for circulation.

➤ The David Rittenhouse 1792 silver half disme along with the George Washington-signed document as president appointing Rittenhouse as the first director of the United States Mint.

➤ The Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s $1 Billion Exhibit, featuring $100,000 gold certificates.

“The 1913 Liberty Head nickel donated to the ANA by Aubrey and Adelle Bebee is always a favorite at the conventions,” Mudd said. “One of its previous owners, J.V. McDermott of Milwaukee, used to carry it in his pocket to show to strangers. Today it’s insured for $3 million and is one of only five known 1913 Liberty nickels.”

The Colorado Gold Rush era coins in the Museum Showcase will include an 1860 Clark, Gruber $20 gold piece with a design that has the word DENVER below a fanciful depiction of Pikes Peak, which actually is located in the Colorado Springs area, about 70 miles south.

Lesher Referendum dollars are an intriguing part of Colorado’s mining history.

“To promote greater use of silver, Joseph Lesher of Victor, Colorado created eight-sided ‘dollars’ in 1900 and 1901 from silver mined in the Cripple Creek area. Lesher quickly gave up his plans for the coins, but today these octagonal, so-called dollars are an example of Old West history you can hold in your hands,” Mudd explains.

The Rittenhouse 1792 half disme is an example of the first coins authorized by President Washington during the early days of the U.S. Mint. It is being displayed by the ANA, courtesy of Brian Hendelson, president of Classic Coin Company, Bridgewater, N.J., in celebration of the Mint’s 225th anniversary this year. 

For additional information about the Denver World’s Fair of Money, visit or call 719-632-2646. 

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