CoinWeek IQ: Numismatic America: Behind the Scenes at the National Numismatic Collection - 4K

by: coinweek

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you know one thing is I remember when they when this opened you know and that was I think this is the 1804 tre yeah yeah and seeing these dollars without like any context of price or value so it's like that's almost like they're not real

you you know it's a great stories that make these points great not just the coins themselves [Music]

so you have this display centers around the lure of money and there's some major prominent collections here on display but there's also it seems like an assortment of objects that that draw you into why numismatics is such an interesting field all right you know the lure of money is the idea on these things is we've got different important to get the American rarities this is an important collection of Russian coins than the the lily collection these are some objects here from that came from that which is a whole great story in itself then and then here we have about collecting money and which is this is an important part that I was really happy to have in the collection a lot of times the museum's have like great objects but they don't really talk about collecting as much and what coin collecting you know it's really there wouldn't be all these things less someone had collected them at some point so if this this is a you know this is an example of the very first red book it's a prototype of the red book this is one of the earliest option catalogs in America and then down here is the like a current thing for collecting what Whitman a Whitman album which is a blue Whitman album is like that is exactly what I started collecting when I was a kid probably 40 some about 45 years ago [Music]


it's Smithsonian collection it's not just about the early coinage and all the great rarities it's it really tells the whole story of American quaint but the collection that actually is still being collected today I mean so when the US Mint makes something they try to make an effort to get those objects to to be part of the collection and there's you know as we know there's a lot of different things would be it there though you what US Mint still makes and interspersed with that there's actually some great rarities that do occur occasionally and some things that we were the Smithsonian is very lucky to have in 2009 when they were going to develop the 2009 ultra high relief double eagle they did die Pat died trials in patterns and these so these would now be considered part of the patterns series of the United States coinage and when that someday that probably added look in the jet book and when you see we're like one of this objects here this is a 2009 a feasibility study they say and these were made in perfect mental earlier well so that's really kind of interesting because they had more advanced emitting technologies so they were still the US Mint was in it is funny because mm and in 1907 they had the technology or make an ultra-high relief w right but that technology must have either gotten lost or the US Mint really had to work on trying to retool to build and do that so these pieces are really fantasy pieces that are really that are not they have like a like almost looks like a lamp or something autumn so there's some just some weird designs but and then they they go they put in here really when they were made it's a June 6 this one was made that one was made in January this is June 12th and they've got some you know you can see this one doesn't have quite the proof like finish on it so this is like just as like a dish working on the on the ultra high relief concept without the design and then going through the thing so these really you know probably a hundred years now these are people look at things like those are like unbelievable rarities because they're all unique and you know worth millions and millions and millions of dollars so they were made just seven years ago yeah just made a few years ago and these are so these are pop these are future mega rarities so to probably be on exhibit sometime in the next hundred years

so Jeff when we were in the vaults you were telling me about a recent rediscovery you made it and this was an item that was donated in Smithsonian by the stack family in the 1960s and it was a sketchbook which belonged to famous coin designer George T Morgan but what was it about the sketchbook that was so fascinating to you well when I saw the sketchbook like I mentioned earlier I was here doing research for my encyclopedia of United States gold coins and I was going through drawers and I was looking at different artwork from from other further coin designers and and I would have flipping through the pages I was looking at the different ones it was like a lot of like you'll see here like this is angel's wings I mean he was you know sketching and doing different things and you know you really appreciate the art but then I came across this page in this page when I look at it it's like that's a really neat coin design and it has to do with a trade motive but what makes it really really brings it to life as cool it's in his handwriting here it says designed for $100 gold coin and it says George Morgan 1876 and that's really fascinating because they didn't make a hundred other gold coin the the biggest denomination that the US Mint made was a fifty dollar gold coin and that was patterns were made the following year and we saw that downstairs right now stairs are considered like you know phenomenal you know some of the greatest coins ever ever minted by the US Mint so you know when you fantasize about what it would have been a scenic Oien as big as those are to see a coin that would been even twice the size of that and that was a that would have been a five ounce gold coin and those are downstairs are called half unions and these these this denomination the hundred dollars is a union so that would be like the double eagles you have for a 2000 gold coin these have a name been called the Union so this would have been a would have been a denomination that still hasn't been made by the US government they made other 1915 they made 50 our gold coins but they have never made $100 gold coin and it's really a gorget would have been a gorgeous coin to fantasize about



this tray of coins you have here if we're at a coin show this would be like basically the whole show you could go home after you stopped and looked at these yeah there was there's some there's some really wonderful objects and you know this is just a little like a tip of the iceberg type thing there's a case in the background that has you know rows and rows of coins like this I chose these particular objects because they each tell a different kind of story so I think that would be interesting if you want to talk about the different ones that what they're all about sure let's look at it let's start with oh sorry this 20 70 and then well the 27 the 1927 T 20 what is fascinating about this coin this this kind of tells the story in 1923 I believe it was the US Mint collection was transferred to the to the Smithsonian but when the US Mint transferred the collection they didn't just forget about it like here it is and they're out of the coin collecting business they continued to send coins over to the Smithsonian they would send at least one or two examples of the coinage as a as they were made and the 20s nineteen twenty seventy twenty here is a good example the coin is nearly flawless and they have two or three of them that were they were to sent over at the time sometimes it also would send over pieces that went through the assay process so they get one from the collection and from the assay so they was the Smithsonian collection has of sang-gon 20s like 1927 d 1921 19 you know the 30s I have all these coins they have unbelievably sort of superb examples of those and also the tin Indians and and the other coins like oh nine oh five so they would once the coins that came over it just sort of sort of an example of how they you know even 1933 20s there's two of those that were sent over so the US Mint didn't give the collection to the into the US and forget me to the Smithsonian and forget about it they continued the process so the the collection also has a very deep reservoir of pattern cuase I pulled out two pattern coins this is one of the classics of the of the of all United States patterns it's not the rarest one but it's one of the it's one of the classes called a schoolgirl dollar it's one of my personal favorite designs this is one of the consider one of the more beautiful of the pattern designs it's it's kind of the girl flowing here or Liberty on the front and it's a nickname of schoolgirl dollar but it's just it's one of them I think it's also a silver dollar pattern so those are particularly popular as well the other pattern that I selected out that I it's why it's important this is 1891 barber half dollar so everybody knows the series started in 1892 but the Smithsonian collection has about four or five of the half dollars and with different designs on them and each one of them is unique so they're and they also have a dime in the quarters in addition to the half dollars and it's really neat it's it's really fun to be able to see a coin with four or five different examples in each one of them is unique so if you want to see one of them this is the only place you would actually see this design except looking in a book so they're they're all unique with a design so this is from a quality perspective this is actually one of my favorite coins in the entire collection this is in 1828 half eagle and it is in proof condition and if you can see the coin the coin is it looks like something that was made you know last week the coin is unbelievable as far as a mirror finish strike and the US Mint collection is the reference collection on proof coinage of the United States most most experts recognize that proof coins start in 1818 the but they didn't make gold coins and you know they don't there's no proof gold coins from 1880 no was like that I think it was a penny and a quarter and a half dollar and those are in the collection but then later on and then those weren't quite as mirrored so the process got a little bit better but by 1828 they were making coins of quality amazingly they're making coins that are quality the same they're making today so tell me about this high relief which are high relief saying well well the alternate relief st. is the reason that this I pulled this point out is hands-down probably most people consider the most beautiful coin ever made I mean it's you know you go on talking going back 2500 years of history if you look it up and you lay them all out and you look from an artistic standpoint the coin stands alone as far as beauty when I wrote my book hundred greatest US coins one of the statements I said in the book it's a shame it's such a rare coin because it's a coin that every collector should own if you if money was no object it's the one coin you should you should have because it's you know it's it's just absolutely gorgeous as people most people probably know Teddy Roosevelt s Augustus saint-gaudens around 1905 1906 to redesign our coinage he was the premiere artist at the time sculptor II did sculptures and the one is the Sherman statue in Central Park he was you know famous for that but he was you know he was it was really kind of a rock star celebrity at the time as far as his art and he labored on these designs for quite a while and put this put this together and this was his vision of what you know the coinage could be this this object here is one of my personal favorites not because of well it is rare it's unique but it's when I was doing research for my book the encyclopedia the United States gold coins this is a coin that I discovered in the collection so it was it was you know to me was very very exciting to actually find a coin that no one knew existed and it's a 19-15 pan-pacific two and a half and the coin is a Roman finished proof I've had it verified by other experts here who you know I think I was pretty sure what it was but I want to have other people look at it to make sure that they all agreed on that it but it's it's a mid 1915 and it's in a Roman finish style and the coins of proof condition then the last point I have here is this is a this is like the King of Liberty coinage it's 1854 s half eagle and there's only three or four known the one of these is in the Polk collection this Smithsonian collection has this example from the lily collection it's a beautiful condition and it's also a good as story coin because one of the coins that was known of this example was in the DuPont collection that coin was stolen and never recovered so that's one of the great coins that might show up again someday but anybody who likes Liberty gold coinage would be attracted because it's it's a if anybody you know that was a really long series went from 1838 to 1907 and a lot of people collect them in a different in the different denominations you know that Charlotte coins is long ago coins you know they made them at seven different mints on the Liberty fives but this is hands-down the kid the king of that of that series [Music]

check your Coinstar machine I'm gonna do

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This video was made possible thanks to a sponsorship by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (

and with the generous support of the Smithsonian Institution. In this 4K CoinWeek video, editor Charles Morgan joins ANA President Jeff Garrett for a rare behind the scenes tour of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution. Jeff and Charles discuss the 1804 dollar, George T. Morgan's sketchbook, a rare never-before-filmed 2008 Ultra High Relief gold pattern struck at the Perth Mint for the U.S. Mint, plus six important U.S. coins from deep inside the vault. You won't want to miss this CoinWeek video! CoinWeek IQ Video: #024 *** CoinWeek is the #1 website online for news and information about numismatics. CoinWeek has also won the NLG Award for best numismatic website 4 years running! Take your hobby the next level! Be sure to share this video with your friends and be sure to check out all CoinWeek has to offer. Copyright © CoinWeek December 2016 COINWeek is the most advanced independent on-line media source for print and video Rare Coin and Currency news; with analysis and information contributed by leading experts across the numismatic spectrum. More news and videos about coin collecting at!

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