The Allure of Money

“Wealth is not his that has it, but his that enjoys it.”

— Benjamin Franklin, American statesman and inventor


Coin collecting is one of the oldest and most popular hobbies in the world. Collectors value coins, notes, and other objects for beauty, rarity, and connections to people and places. Building a collection is not only about accumulation; it is a means by which individuals learn about history and draw connections between the past and present. The Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection contains some of the rarest and most valuable numismatic objects in the world. It includes U.S. Mint and Department of the Treasury collections, as well as collections amassed by individuals that reflect collector interests and approaches to collecting.