The National Numismatic Collection is dedicated to inspiring and educating a new generation of coin and currency enthusiasts.
Numismatic Discovery Cart
During your visit to the museum we hope you will enjoy the Numismatic Discovery Cart outside The Value of Money exhibition. Access to the cart is subject to docent availability.
Currency or Counterfeit?
This hands-on cart will encourage visitors to think like collectors and hone their observation skills as they use sight, smell, touch, and hearing to distinguish counterfeit coins and banknotes from genuine currency, and learn about the ways in which artisans, experts, and even criminals have innovated new ways to make and fake currency from colonial America to the present day.
Visitors engaging with this cart will:
- use their sense of sight, smell, touch, and hearing to observe coins and notes like numismatists, including getting hands-on experience with tools of the trade
- identify different strategies to determine if notes and coins are counterfeit or genuine
- learn numismatic terminology including obverse, reverse, edge, die, and strike
Object of the month
Portrait Medal of James Smithson, 1817
James Smithson, the namesake and founding donor of the Smithsonian, died in June 1829. He commissioned this medal during his lifetime. Click here to see the full record and read more!
Links to other numismatic resources
o For kids
The British Museum, Department of Coins and Medals
o The Citi Money Gallery Education Programme
Money Makers activity for grades K-4
Designing Money activity for grades K-4
Escape from Barter Islands activity for grades K-4