"Lost" $3 Million 1913 Liberty Head Nickel Exhibit
"Lost" $3 Million 1913 Liberty Head Nickel Returns to Baltimore
Baltimore, Maryland -- Seldom-seen early American coins from the Smithsonian's collections, the triumphant return to Baltimore of a previously missing $3 million nickel and a $1 billion U.S. Treasury Department display will be among the many historic, valuable exhibits at the World's Fair of Money in the Baltimore Convention Center, July 30 - August 3, 2008.
But it won't cost a cent to see a billion bucks. The five-day collectors' show and educational family event is free and open to the public, sponsored by the non-profit, 32,500 member American Numismatic Association (ANA).
United States Mint Director Ed Moy will personally unveil a new, pure gold coin at the show, the much-anticipated 2009-dated Ultra High Relief Double Eagle ($20 denomination) Gold Coin with a raised design so high you can feel it. The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will display "Historic Rarities: Early United States Proof Coins," a special traveling exhibit showcasing extraordinary objects from the National Numismatic Collection. It includes two unique coins, a pattern 1860 Double Eagle and a new variety of proof 1818 silver half dollar.
Another highlight will be the eye-opening, Treasury Department's Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) "billion dollar display" of high denomination money, such as $100,000 bills. There will also be demonstrations of a 150-year-old, hand-turned money printing press.
Over 100 other fascinating exhibits from private collections include the famous 1913 Liberty Head nickel that was missing for 41 years until it was authenticated in Baltimore in 2003 following a nationwide search. It is returning to Baltimore for the first time since its surprising re-discovery five years ago.
The historic nickel was recovered from a 1962 North Carolina car crash that killed the coin's owner, George O. Walton. But then it vanished from the hobby radar when his heirs kept it in a Virginia closet for four decades because they'd been mistakenly told it was a fake. One of only five known specimens and valued today at $3 million, the "previously-missing" coin generated worldwide headlines when it was authenticated by experts at the ANA's last convention in Baltimore in 2003.
"Many of the 1,100 professional coin and currency dealers attending the show will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors who bring in their old coins and paper money. In addition to the United States Mint, more than a dozen mints from the around the world will have displays," explained Larry Shepherd, ANA Executive Director.
"Money is history you can hold in your hands," said ANA President Barry Stuppler. "We'll have thousands of collectors and dealers from around the country buying and selling items ranging in value from a few cents each to $1 million. There will be educational seminars, exhibits and a children's treasure hunt trivia game with free prizes. You can see everything from a half-cent to a $100,000 bill, and it's free."
Heritage Auction Galleries of Dallas, Texas will conduct a major auction of coins and currency in conjunction with the show. The show is hosted by the Maryland State Numismatic Association, Montgomery County Coin Club and Catonsville Coin Club.
The World's Fair of Money will be held at the Baltimore Convention Center, Hall A (Charles Street Lobby) One West Pratt St., Baltimore, Maryland. Public hours are Wednesday through Saturday, July 30 - August 2, 2008, from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Sunday, August 3, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
World's Fair of Money (www.money.org)