Smithsonian Treasures in Texas: National Money Show Comes to Fort Worth

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Some of the world's most famous, historic rare coins and currency will be publicly exhibited in Texas for the first time by the Smithsonian Institution and other sources at the National Money Show, a three-day, educational family event sponsored by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association. Among the featured displays will be seldom-seen Smithsonian national treasures including America's first $20 gold coin from 1849. There will also be many other eye-opening exhibits such as a multi-million dollar nickel made famous by a Fort Worth coin dealer during the Great Depression, and a U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing "Billion Dollar Display" that features $100,000 bills.

National treasures from the Smithsonian Institution will be displayed for the first time in Texas at the American Numismatic Association's National Money Show in the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St., March 25 - 27, 2010. The three-day educational, family event showcasing some of the world's most famous rare coins and paper money will be open to the public.

Items from the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History include a unique, Gold Rush-era 1849 "Double Eagle" ($20 denomination gold coin) and historic coins given to President Teddy Roosevelt. Among the many other eye-opening exhibits will be the U.S. Treasury Department's "Billion Dollar Display" that includes $100,000 bills and other rare, antique currency. Visitors also will see one of the world-famous multi-million dollar 1913 Liberty Head nickels, a rare coin extensively publicized by legendary Fort Worth coin dealer, B. Max Mehl, as an instant-riches advertising gimmick during the Great Depression.

"It's a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for many people to see these historic, valuable treasures in person," said Larry Shepherd, Executive Director of the nonprofit, 32,000-member American Numismatic Association ( The Congressionally chartered association is dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect money and related items.

"Money is history you can hold in your hands," said American Numismatic Association President Clifford Mishler. "You can see everything from a half-cent to a $100,000 bill at this event. There will be educational seminars, exhibits and a children's treasure hunt trivia game with free prizes."

In addition to buying and selling items ranging from $1 to $1 million, many of the 500 professional coin and currency dealers attending the show will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors who bring in their old coins and paper money.

The Smithsonian's exhibit, "Good as Gold: America's Double Eagles," tells the story of the $20 denomination gold coin. It includes the unique, first such coin struck in 1849 and an example of the world's most valuable coin, a 1933-dated Double Eagle. It's the only time these historic coins from the National Numismatic Collection in Washington, D.C. have been scheduled for public display in Texas.

The colorful $1 billion U.S. Treasury Bureau of Engraving and Printing educational display will feature two dozen $100,000 currency notes, the highest denomination paper money ever made by the U.S. government. Visitors also can watch a Treasury Department engraver at work and see demonstrations of a Civil War-era, one-ton, hand-turned money printing press.

Heritage Auctions of Dallas ( will conduct a major public auction of rare coins and paper money in conjunction with the show.

The National Money Show will be held at the Fort Worth Convention Center, 1201 Houston St. Public hours are Thursday through Saturday, March 25 to 27, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. General admission is $6. Children 12 and under are admitted free.

For additional information, visit the American Numismatic Association web site,, or call (719) 482-9857.


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