National Numismatic Collection - Introduction
The National Numismatic Collection (NNC) of the Smithsonian Institution is one of the largest numismatic collections in the world and the largest in North America. With over 1.6 millioin objects, the NNC contains many great rarities in coins and currency, from the earliest coins created 2,700 years ago up to the latest innovations in electronic monetary exchange, as well as fascinating objects such as beads, wampum, dentalia, and other commodities once used as money.
The collection emphasizes the development of money and medals in the United States. The core of the U.S. collection, consisting of more than 18,000 items, including coins of great rarity, came to the Smithsonian in 1923 from the United States Mint. Exceptional rarities include the Brasher half doubloon, the 1849 double eagle (first of the gold 20 dollar pieces), and two 1877 fifty dollar patterns. Other rarities are include the 1913 Liberty head nickel as well as all three types of the 1804 dollar, and two of three known examples of the world's most valuable coin, the 1933 double eagle, the third of which recently sold for 7.6 million dollars. Learn more about the collection.
Below you will find a selection of over 350 objects from the collection. We are working to expand and improve online access to additional objects in the near future, so stay tuned.
"National Numismatic Collection - Introduction" showing 1 items.
- United States Mint, Philadelphia. Less than two dozen of these coins were struck. This kind of relief was never intended for a circulating coin, because it took nearly a dozen passes through the press to achieve. We should instead see these marvelous coins as testimony to the human spirit and to human curiosity: just how much relief could you obtain, and how long would it take to create it?
- This ultra high relief twenty has pedigree as well as beauty in its favor. Presdient Theodore Roosevelt gave it to his daughter as a Christmas present in 1907. Augustus Saint-Gaudens had presented it to the president, and it may have been the first piece struck. Roosevelt's daughter donated this coin to the Smithsonian in 1961.
- [reference no. Judd 1778]
- Currently not on view
- Date made
- Saint-Gaudens, Augustus
- U.S. Mint, Philadelphia
- ID Number
- catalog number
- accession number
- catalog number
- Data Source
- National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center