Today, the Washington Senators are most remembered for their ability to finish in last place. Despite their successful early history marked...
José Feliciano will remain forever celebrated for his perennial Christmas classic "Feliz Navidad," one of his many hit recordings that have...
Advertising agencies have relied on images to engage consumers since the late 19th century. Images convey both information and emotion in a...

Blog Posts in "Numismatics"

If you were to buy a donut and cup of coffee at the Donut Bar in the Royal Grand Hotel in Monrovia, Liberia, you would more than likely pay...
Silver coin with Queen Cristina of Sweden
With Pride Month celebrations recognizing LGBTQ history and culture throughout the country this June, what better way to highlight the...
Coin with image of braying elephant
Beloved children’s author Dr. Seuss celebrated the importance of small things in the book Horton Hears a Who! with his famous declaration...
A round coin with a square removed from the center. One side is marked with the color orange.
The 2018 Winter Olympics are taking place in PyeongChang, South Korea. I cannot wait to watch the competitions and see some of the...
Gold coin marked 1838 decorated with stars and the profile of Liberty's head. Liberty wears a head-band that reads "Liberty."
This year marks the 170th anniversary of the California Gold rush! On January 24, 1848, James W. Marshall discovered gold at Sutter’s Mill...
Detail of a bill featuring a portrait of Hamilton in profile
In 1789, when Alexander Hamilton began his role as the first United States Secretary of the Treasury, he may still have been “young,...
Three small, colorful tokens--appear to be glass. Oval one is turquoise. Yellow one is lemon-shaped. Blue one is a rounded square. All have characters on them.
I'm going all in on red!. . .Actually, I'm not. But if I were a gambler, maybe that's something I'd say. Gambling has been a popular...
Image of two coins. One is huge, one is small. Huge one includes portrait of a man in profile with long curly hair and rich attire. Small one includes image of tree.
Money plays a giant role in everyone's lives, but that doesn't always mean it is physically large. At various points in history, coinage...
Photograph of green taxidermy bird on wooden perch with a round base. Alert eye. Yellow beak. Long green tail.
When people ask what I do for a living, I say, "I work at the National Numismatic Collection. It's the Smithsonian's collection of monetary...
One piece of paper money with a portrait of President Wilson and one coin with an image of an owl
Whenever we tell friends and family where we work, their first response is typically, "What is Numismatics?" Of course, they pronounce it...
Photograph of two pieces of money. On left, a rectangular-shaped metal with handle-like protrusion and notch. On right, a coin-shaped metal object with hole in center.
Money in many people's minds will make them think of two things: dollars and cents, or bills and coins. When people seek to buy something,...
Gold coin featuring a fierce image of a dragon. Its eyes make eye contact with the viewer. Its body is snake-like. It looks angry. Text: "Szechuen Province."
Imagine a 1,000-square-foot room holding thousands of tiny records of the past. You would probably assume such a room was part of a museum...
A rust-colored coin with two lines of text, a frond around the edge and a depiction of a nose, whiskers and beard
 [[{"fid":"23821","view_mode":"large","fields":{"format":"large","alignment":"","field_file_image_alt_text[und][0][value]":"A rust-...
A portion of a piece of currency. It depicts a bird upside wen surrounded by stamp-like decorations in green, red and black. There are many scratch marks on the right side of the frame.
Honest Abe, Old Hickory, His Accidency, Old Rough and Ready, Cool Cal, and Handsome Frank are but a few fond (or not so fond) nicknames...
A portion of a piece of paper currency. A pair of tigers frolic in a stream. There is text above and below them within an ornate order. The paper is cream-colored with blue and orange stripes
Coins are a powerful tool used to communicate strong messages through varied symbolism. In addition to portraits of influential people and...
A gold coin. It is very bright and has a long, snakelike dragon coiled in the middle with cloud-like designs around it.
Spoiler alert: If you aren't caught up on your Game of Thrones viewing, there may be a few surprises inside.Even though it's...
A small, cabinet-like square cart with 4 wheels, a blue front, and items on top sits in front of a giant vault door set against the wall with a sign for the value of money exhibit.
Want to partake in the "Hobby of Kings?" Then consider becoming a numismatist—a person who collects and studies coins or paper money.Coin...
One side of a bronze coin, showing a man with a helmet and a bounty of hair and an altar-like structure with text and votives on the reverse
We're celebrating National Coin Week with a series of posts by our National Numismatic Collection team. See our previous posts about...
A silver coin with a pegasus in flight on it
This is another post in our National Coin Week series. See previous posts about goddesses on currency and money and the military.For...
A goldenrod-colored paper with perforated edges that says it is 50 cents for a POW canteen
This week the National Numismatic Collection is celebrating National Coin Week with a series of blog posts and an Objects out of...
A coin made of grayish metal that is not polished. On it, a head in profile wears a classical war helmet. On it, there is a sprig of some sort of plant
Hillery York is the Collections Manager for the National Numismatic Collection. The objects discussed below are featured in the Women...
A coin with two bearded men on it along with text and a small cross
I have never seen my father's chin. The man has worn a beard since well before I was born, and my brother quickly followed in his tradition...
Three gold coins on a black surface. The are bright and shiny. Two are heads up showing a woman wearing a crown with stars ringing the border of the coin and "1959." One is the same with "1960" as the year listed. The third coin is tails-up and says "Nation of Celestial Space 1 Gold Celestron" with some laurel leaves
Have you ever looked up at the night sky and wondered, "Who owns all of that?" Well, that's exactly what James Thomas Mangan did. He even...
I'm a native New Englander. Sometimes I feel like I've been to Boston more times than Samuel Adams. When one grows up in New England, it is...
A silver coin with a woman's likeness on the front. Reads "Liberty" at the top and "1979"
Recently there has been a significant debate about how and where to feature a woman on United States currency. In April 2016, Secretary of...
Detail of: "One Hundred Trillion Dollars" bank note from "Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe." It is blue, turquoise, and tan in color. The central image appears to be a mountain or rock outcropping made of three large stones. Palm trees and other vegetation appears tiny at its base. Geometric patterns are included in the bill, mostly triangles.
When my friend Trish got her first paycheck from her part-time job in high school, it was for $50,000. "It was enough to buy a pair of...
Detail of: Bill with dark gray and blue and portrait of man set in oval
When we joined the museum's National Numismatic Collection team this summer to rehouse a collection of international banknotes, we expected...
A sculpture made from one dollar bill(s). It is complex with interwoven triangles that give it a spiked sort of appearance.
Money is often defined as a medium of exchange, but to some artists money is simply a medium—or set of materials—that they can use to...
A small, black, rectangular plastic device that looks like it could rest in the palm of a hand. In light grey text, it says "iBill" and "RBIT" on the top.
As the curator of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), I collect objects that reflect innovation in money today in order to preserve...
Image of coin with figure wearing crown
Rule by women was less common, but not unheard of in the Byzantine Empire—or in the ancient world for that matter! As such, ancient coins...
Close up image of part of a bill. Image of woman weaving.
"How often, when man abandons the helm in despair, woman seizes it, and carries the home-ship through the storm! Man often flies from home...
Photo of gold coin on black background. Woman's face in profile, facing left. On her head, a crown. High collar around her neck. Prominent forehead.
In June 2015 Secretary of the Treasury Jacob Lew announced that the 10 dollar note will be redesigned to feature a historic woman, marking...
Gold coin with eye in center
In May 1848, a boisterous man named Sam Brannan charged down a San Francisco street, hollering, "Gold! Gold! Gold on the American River!"...
Coin with "1939" and "New York World's Fair" on it
As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Scott St. Louis has been working on a cataloging project for a collection of coins and...
Photo of coin with swirly-bodied dragon thing in center
Ever wonder what it feels like to discover an object not seen for over 1,000 years? Ever been curious about the ancient world? Beginning...
Happy money, front and back
When considering the origins of objects in a museum’s collection, one might initially think of donations from private collectors, national...
Installation of the vault door
Ellen Feingold is the curator of the National Numismatic Collection and The Value of Money. She explains why visitors will enter...
Campaign badge with a photo of Grant and gold-colored frame
As an intern in the National Numismatic Collection, Chelsea Hansen has been working with General Ulysses S. Grant's collection of...
Six different Square readers, white
As new monetary technologies emerge, how are they changing the way individuals and small businesses make transactions? Collections Manager...
A pine tree shilling coin from the Massachusetts Bay colony
Educator Victoria Altman introduces a new book-based summer activity to share with youngsters, especially budding entrepreneurs.Most...
A woman in a yellow sweater prepares a document for digitization
Have you ever seen a box full of money—well, not exactly, money, but certified plate proofs? What about stacks of boxes? Stacks on stacks?...
A brooch made of dimes
Don't forget to pick up a token of your affection for your valentine this year. Robyn Einhorn, a specialist in the museum's National...
Soon after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas, the president was memorialized in many ways, including through...
This Veterans Day weekend marks the 20th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Women's Memorial. Curator Karen Lee spoke...
We recently lost numismatics curator Richard Doty. His colleague curator Karen Lee shares why he will not be forgotten. My mentor...
Curator’s Note: Jennica Rzepka added three hundred images of Double Eagles (20 dollar gold coins) into the National Numismatic...
Obverse and reverse of1913 V-Nickel What makes numismatists (coin collectors) fascinating are the historic tidbits that each collector...
Editor’s note: This is the last of a nine-part series that follows the European tour of one of the Smithsonian’s most treasured coins, the...

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