Coins, Currency, and Medals - Overview
The Museum possesses one of the largest numismatic collections in the world. The collections include over 1 million objects, comprising coins, medals, decorations, and pieces of paper money. Among the many great rarities here are some of the world’s oldest coins, created 2,700 years ago. But the collection also includes the latest innovations in electronic monetary exchange, as well as beads, wampum, and other commodities once used as money. A special strength lies in artifacts that illustrate the development of money and medals in the United States. The American section includes many rare and significant coins, such as two of three known examples of the world's most valuable coin, the 1933 double eagle $20 gold piece.
"Coins, Currency, and Medals - Overview" showing 1 items.
- United States Mint, New Orleans. Obverse: Capped bust of Liberty facing left, stars surrounding, date and mint mark (O, for New Orleans) below. Reverse: Eagle, denomination (HALF DOL.). In 1835, Congress amended American coining laws. These laws made numismatic history. Three branches of the United States Mint were established. Two were in the southern Piedmont region, at Charlotte, North Carolina, and Dahlonega, Georgia. These facilities were intended for the coinage of gold.
- The third branch was set up at New Orleans, Louisiana, hundreds of miles from any mining activity, but the major port of entry for gold and silver coinage shipped in from Mexico and points south. It is estimated that twenty 1838-dated half dollars were struck in proof, perhaps at the beginning of the following year. Numismatist and U.S. coin encyclopedist Walter Breen believed they were minted to test the coining capabilities of a new large press. But they also could have been intended as presentation pieces. We know of eleven survivors. We don't know what happened to the other nine.
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- date made
- 1838 O
- U.S. Mint, New Orleans
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- catalog number
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- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center