Numismatic Community Contributes to Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection

Posted on 7/6/2005

- Funds Exhibition of Numismatic Legends -

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History announced today that members of the numismatic community are providing financial support for the National Numismatic Collection housed at the museum. The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America and the Numismatic Conservation Services, LLC will be presenting sponsors of a temporary display featuring treasures from the NNC, including a 1913 Liberty Head nickel, the unique 1849 Double Eagle and several rarities never exhibited before. The exhibition is currently slated to open in November at the Smithsonian Castle, along with a companion Web site. The donors and a group of numismatists led by Jeff Garrett, president of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, Inc., will also provide extensive in-kind assistance with the preservation and digitization of the NNC.

“I am pleased to accept this donation and would like to thank these members of the numismatic community for responding to our request for support of the NNC and for taking an active role,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “These funds will allow us to continue to realize the mission of the museum, to collect and preserve this important part of American history and to share it with scholars, collectors and the general public.”

Mark Salzberg, chairman of NGC and NCS, shares a similar sentiment: “It is an honor for us to participate in the long-term preservation of the museum’s collection,” he said. “We see this as an unprecedented opportunity to unlock the educational value, expand the hobby and create awareness of these important historical treasures.”

The museum is home to one of the largest numismatic collections in the world and the largest in North America. The NNC holds more than 1 million objects, including coins, medals and paper currency, documenting the role of money in economic history. In order to prepare for major building renovations, the museum had to close the “Money and Medals” exhibition. Mostly unchanged for 40 years, the exhibition closed in August 2004.

During a special meeting on behalf of the NNC at the 2004 American Numismatic Association’s annual convention in Pittsburgh, Glass asked the numismatic community to support the national collections. Ultimately, he envisions an endowment, with a funding goal of no less than $10 million, which would support a named curator position, traveling exhibitions, conservation and publications and educational outreach among other projects.

“The gift today is a result of our partnership with members of the numismatic community who take an active role in the care of the NNC. Our special appreciation goes to Jeff Garrett, who, throughout the years, has provided valuable assistance with the NNC and has brought this opportunity to the museum.”

“It has been a pleasure to work with the dedicated staff of the National Museum of American History to make part of this important collection once again available for public viewing,” said Garrett.

Background:

NGC certifies, authenticates and grades rare coins, tokens and medals. NCS is the only professional service devoted solely to the conservation of numismatic properties. Both are independent members of the Certified Collectibles Group, headquartered in Sarasota, Fl.

The National Museum of American History traces American heritage through exhibitions of social, cultural, scientific and technological history. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W. and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information on the NNC, visit http://americanhistory.si.edu/collections/numismatics/ or call (202) 633-1000 or (202) 357-1729 (TTY).

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