Feedback from attendees of the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh has been positive. The five-day event welcomed thousands of people to an exciting bourse–with more than 1,300 dealers and mints from around the world–at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Spectacular rarities – many of which have never before been seen by the public – amazing displays and educational programming, auction lot viewing and two live auctions, abundant opportunities for social activities and events, a beautiful convention hall and a welcoming city all made for a good week.
The 460-table bourse was active.
“The atmosphere was a buzz,” said newly-elected ANA President Tom Uram. “Dealers and the world mints were especially pleased and couldn’t say enough positive things. Everyone loved the light, airy convention center, and the ability to access outdoor space next to the river.”
The bourse floor also showcased amazing exhibits. GreatCollections, the ANA’s Official Auctioneer, displayed the Elite Collection of Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, a $20 million collection of 61 never-before-seen coins from 1907 to 1932 – the finest of the series ever assembled. The Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit featured a complete type set of British coins with tens of millions of dollars in improvements and additions to the collection since its last showing in 2018. The showstopper was the 1937 King Edward VIII pattern Proof set, the only complete set of its kind in private hands.
The famous Victory statue designed by Augustus Saint-Gaudens was displayed courtesy of Kevin Lipton Rare Coins. The Collector Exhibits area featured 58 competitive displays covering every conceivable numismatic interest.
United States Mint Director Ventris C. Gibson participated in the official ribbon-cutting ceremony, and was visible and accessible throughout the show at events and the U.S. Mint booth, where she conducted a daily drawing and shared information about the Mint’s products and programs. Nearly a dozen world mints were in attendance.
ANA Event Auctioneer Partners Stack’s Bowers Galleries and Heritage Auctions held lot viewings and sales throughout the week. And George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, and Ben Franklin reenactors posed with attendees for hundreds of photos.
The ANA offered 15 “Money Talks” presentations, during which attendees learned about colonial coins, exciting new ANA programs, money from Russian America, and much more.
The Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Company Lecture Series focused on “Numismatics of Nation Building; Money, Medals, Tokens and National Identity,” gathering a crowd of nearly 100. Activities drawing families were popular, with 165 kids taking part in the ANA’s Treasure Trivia game, in which children could learn about numismatics and earn prizes as they explored the bourse floor in search of answers. The Young Collectors Corner offered information about coin collecting with a special guest appearance by Mint Director Gibson.
The abundance of events and social activities set this year’s World’s Fair of Money apart from previous shows, kicking off on Monday, August 7 with an event at The Rooftop at PNC Park with a Pittsburgh Pirates vs. Atlanta Braves baseball game and mixer. The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN), the show’s host organization, hosted a “Welcome to Pittsburgh” dinner buffet on Tuesday evening at the elegant LeMont Restaurant, overlooking the dynamic Pittsburgh skyline.
World Coin News presented its Coin of the Year (COTY) awards ceremony at the World’s Fair of Money, on Wednesday, August 9. Sponsored by the ANA and The Journal of East Asian Numismatics, this annual competition, now in its 40th year, recognizes outstanding coin designs from around the world. Later that day, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) held an open forum on the topic “Coins and Medals of the United States: Role of the CCAC, Congress, and the United States Mint.”
Also on Wednesday, 44 members of the Dr. George F. Heath Society attended an exclusive breakfast at the convention center, during which Larry Goldberg and Vera (Kan) Liu gave a brief presentation on The Tyrant Collection display. ANA member awards and exhibit recognition events were held on Thursday and Friday, where 35 members and 10 member clubs accepted longevity membership pins.
The 132nd ANA Anniversary Convention Banquet was held on Friday evening, and included the induction of the newly-elected Board of Governors by special guest U.S. Mint Director Gibson. ANA President Thomas J. Uram ran unopposed. Voting members of the Association chose a new vice president, Mark Lighterman; and Governors John S. Brush, Mary Lynn Garrett, David G. Heinrich, Lori H. Kraft, Henry Mitchell, Phyllis A. Ross, and Kenny Sammut for the 2023-25 term.
Many deserving members received service awards and notable accolades during the banquet, including Michael Fuljenz (Chester L. Krause Memorial Distinguished Service Award), Wendell Wolka (Lifetime Achievement Award), and Barbara Gregory (Elvira Clain-Stefanelli Memorial Award for Achievement in Numismatics). Top exhibit prizes—the Charles H. Wolfe Sr. Memorial Award for YN Best-of-Show Exhibit; the Radford Stearns Memorial Award for Achievement in Exhibiting; and the Howland Wood Memorial Award for Best-of-Show Exhibit—also were presented at the event. Joseph E. Boling, who served as the ANA’s vice president for the 2021-23 term, was inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame. Five legendary benefactors—Michael Fuljenz, David W. Lange, David Rickard, and John and Nancy Wilson—were recognized with the ANA’s Philanthropy Award honoring their decades of financial and educational support.
Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC) sold special sample slabs to raise funds for the ANA’s Young Numismatist (YN) Scholarship Fund, and NGC and Whatnot presented a check to the ANA for $8,740. During the show, NGC also held a grade-off challenge with some of Whatnot’s influencers that was livestreamed during the convention. This raised an additional $16,000 for YN scholarships.
For the third year in a row, the ANA offered livestreams on its Facebook page so viewers at home could get a taste of the show. Events included the opening ceremonies; tours of the Tyrants of the Thames 2.0 exhibit with numismatist Ira Goldberg and the Saint-Gaudens double eagle display with Great Collections president Ian Russell; Kevin Lipton Rare Coins’ donation to the ANA of four artworks by artists Emily Damstra, Miley Frost, Michael Gaudioso, and John Mercanti inspired by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ famous Victory statue; and the Coin of the Year ceremony. Visit here to view the videos and photos from the show.
The next ANA convention is the 2024 National Money Show, to be held March 14-16 at The Broadmoor resort in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Visit NationalMoneyShow.com for up-to-date information about this convention.
Thank You to Sponsors
Organizations contributing to the success of the 2023 ANA World’s Fair of Money include Corporate Sponsors: GreatCollections Coin Auctions, Numismatic Conservation Services (NCS), Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), and Paper Money Guaranty (PMG); ANA Event Auctioneer Partners: Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries; Title Sponsors: Legend Rare Coin Auctions, Anthony Terranova, Universal Coin & Bullion, and Whitman Publishing; and Sponsors: Angel Dee’s Coins & Collectibles, Coin of the Year (COTY), Coleman Foster, eBay, Germania Mint, Greysheet, Kedzie Koins, KEvin Lipton Rare Coins, Minshull Trading, Paradime Coins, Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG), The Perth Mint, U.S. Coins, and Whatnot.
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The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs, to include its museum, library, publications, conventions and webinars. For more information, call (719) 632-2646 or visit money.org.