The Value of Money
Monetary objects are powerful sources for exploring the past. The Value of Money connects American history to global histories of exchange, cultural interaction and expression, political change, and innovation through objects from the Smithsonian Institution’s National Numismatic Collection.
This exhibition, which opened at the National Museum of American History in 2015, examines the origins of money, new monetary technologies, the political and cultural messages money conveys, numismatic art and design, and the practice of collecting money. The Value of Money features hundreds of objects from our national money collection representing every inhabited continent and spanning more than 3,000 years.
This exhibition was made possible through leadership support from Bill Gale, Lilly Endowment Inc., Lee and Saundra Minshull, an anonymous donor and contributions from many others in the numismatic community.
Gold Coin Necklace, United States, 20th Century
20 Dollar Ultra High Relief “Double Eagle” Coin, United States, 1907
5 Cent “Liberty Head Nickel” Coin, United States, 1913
Copper Cross, Central and Southern Africa, 19th Century
Coin Tree Mold, China, 1862–74
1 Sovereign Coin, England, 1558–1603
100,000 Dollar Note, United States, 1934
1,000 “Grand Watermelon” Note, United States, 1890