HomeShows & ConventionsANA Money ShowsHistoric Rarities Highlight ANA Museum Showcase in Pittsburgh

Historic Rarities Highlight ANA Museum Showcase in Pittsburgh

The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) Museum Showcase, featuring rare and historic numismatic treasures, will be on display at the 2011 ANA Pittsburgh National Money Show, October 13-15. The showcase includes objects from the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum and private collections.

The showcase, located in Hall C of the David L. Lawrence Convention Center, will feature informative, museum-quality exhibits. Many exhibits will be accompanied by Money Talks audio tours. Visitors can look for labels on these exhibits with the ANA’s cell-phone audio tour number (719-325-7608) and tour stop number to hear talks from several numismatic writers, researchers and scholars.

The Museum Showcase is presented by the ANA at all of its conventions. Exhibits making their showcase debut in Pittsburgh include a fascinating display of Swedish “plate money” and a collection of rare artifacts from the French and Indian War.

Following is a list of Museum Showcase exhibits to be displayed in Pittsburgh:

The Midas Touch: Creating the First Coins

Coins were invented during the 7th century BCE in the Kingdom of Lydia – part of modern-day Turkey. They were made of electrum (an alloy of gold and silver) with lines impressed on one side and incuse depressions on the other. These were soon replaced by more elaborate designs including animals and geometric designs. This display will feature Lydian coins that are more than 2,600 years old. Exhibit Courtesy of Kenneth Bressett.

The French & Indian War and the Foundation of Pittsburgh

In the late 1740s William Trent established a successful trading post at the confluence of the Allegheny, Monongahela and Ohio rivers. It was an ideal place for conducting trade with nearby Indian villages, and both the French and British wanted the area. Thus the future site of Pittsburgh became a point of contention during the French and Indian War. Medals, coins and documents relating to the war and the founding of Pittsburgh will be displayed. Exhibit courtesy of John Kraljevich.

Swedish Plate Money

The Kingdom of Sweden minted “plate money” from the mid-17th to late 18th centuries. These incredible copper coins were produced due to a lack of silver and a wealth of copper in Sweden. The massive coins were issued in denominations of 1/2 daler to 10 dalers (the 10-daler coins weighed 44 lbs each!). An assortment of plate money will be on display from the ANA Money Museum.

The Walton Specimen 1913 Liberty Head “V” Nickel

Five Liberty Head nickels were made in 1913 under mysterious circumstances. The existence of the nickels was unknown until 1919, when an advertisement in The Numismatist offered to purchase any example for $500. The ad was placed by Samuel W. Brown, a former Mint employee. In 1920 Brown exhibited all five nickels at the ANA convention in Chicago. The Walton specimen is displayed on loan at the ANA Money Museum courtesy of the Walton family.

The Idler/Bebee Class III Specimen 1804 Dollar

Known as “The King of U.S. Coins,” the 1804 dollar is exceedingly rare, with only 15 known examples. No U.S. dollars dated 1804 actually were struck in that year; Class I specimens were struck in 1834-5 as diplomatic gifts (8 known), while Class II (unique) and III specimens (6 known) were struck during the 1850s for collectors. The Idler/Bebee specimen was donated to the ANA by Aubrey and Adeline Bebee in 1991.

Illustrium Imagines: The World’s First Illustrated, Printed Numismatic Book

A rare, 490-year old original copy of the first illustrated, printed numismatic book, Illustrium Imagines (“Images of the Illustrious”). The book was authored by Andrea Fulvio and printed in 1517 in Rome. It contains 204 woodcut illustrations from ancient Roman coins and medallions, and is one of the greatest landmarks in the history of numismatic literature. The book was donated to the ANA by Dwight Manley in 2007.

The ANA Bebee Collection of United States Paper Money

The Bebee Collection is among the finest collections of U.S. paper money and includes high-grade notes from virtually every state and territory. A wide range of rare National Bank notes will be on display in Pittsburgh. The collection was donated to the ANA by Aubrey and Adeline Bebee in 1987.

The Pittsburgh National Money Show is the ANA’s inaugural fall National Money Show. Show hours are 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Oct. 13-15. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under. All visitors with a valid student ID will be admitted free of charge on Saturday, Oct. 15. For more information, visit

The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit

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