National Numismatic Collection
The National Numismatic Collection is comprised of approximately 1.6 million objects and is thought to be the largest money collection in the world. Its diverse holdings represent every inhabited continent and span more than three millennia.
The collection has grown from a few thousand objects in the mid-19th century to its present size through donations from public institutions and private collections.
The National Numismatic Collection is unrivaled in its holdings of American material. It is the U.S. monetary system's collection of record and includes the extraordinary collections of the U.S. Mint, Treasury, and Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
A small portion of the National Numismatic Collection is available here. The National Numismatic Collection is currently working to develop digitization initiatives in order to make the collection more accessible to the public.
"National Numismatic Collection - Introduction" showing 1 items.
- The sheer size of the California gold strike altered the nature of American numismatics. It was not only that mintage figures dramatically increased; the actual range of denominations increased as well.
- Prior to 1849, there had been three gold coins: the quarter eagle, half eagle, and eagle (or $2.50, $5.00, and $10.00 coins). By 1854, three more had been added, a dollar, a three-dollar piece, and a double eagle, or twenty-dollar coin.
- Artist James Barton Longacre designed all three of the new coins. The double eagle was the most popular. For its obverse, Longacre employed a simple head of Liberty, wearing a coronet. Stars surrounded the head of the goddess, and the date appeared below. The reverse depicted a somewhat ornate representation of an eagle, a "glory" of stars and rays above, the national motto to either side.
- In 1854, the United States created a new branch mint in San Francisco to deal with the fruits of the gold rush. It was intended to replace a whole galaxy of private California mints that had created a variety of local coins.
- This double eagle was the first coin the new federal mint struck. Below the eagle, each coin from the new branch Mint bore a distinctive small "S." This distinguished the coin from ones struck in Philadelphia, which had no such mark, and ones struck at New Orleans, which had an "O."
- date made
- U.S. Mint, San Francisco
- Longacre, James Barton
- ID Number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center