American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

Join the American Numismatic Society at the 2012 World's Fair of Money

August 7th through 11th, 2012

Pennsylvania Convention Center
1101 Arch Street
Philadelphia PA, 19107

Visit us at the ANS booth to join, renew your membership, shop our publications, or just to chat with ANS Staff.

ANS Curator of North American Coins & Currency Robert Wilson Hoge presents "First Order of Business: The U.S. Mint's Original Coinage Denominations, 1793-1796" in the Numismatic Theater.

ANA Convention Exhibits sponsored by the ANS:

First Order of Business: The U.S. Mint's Original Coinage Denominations, 1793-1796

On loan from the American Numismatic Society will be examples of each of the original denominations of the United States coins, struck in their first year of issue, exhibited at the American Numismatic Association’s 2012 Convention, in Philadelphia, August 7 to 12.

Coinage was considered vital as a declaration of sovereignty in international diplomacy, so a major goal of President George Washington’s first administration was the establishment of an official coin-minting facility for the new United States of America. The suite of denominations that were developed came about in a piece-meal fashion, as officials and workmen learned and adjusted to the capabilities and limitations they encountered.

The Mint’s first issue was the cent, in 1793. Included are representatives of the four principal versions of from that year, part of the magnificent George Hubbard Clapp collection, the foremost variety set of early cents ever assembled. Other “firsts” are a 1793 half cent donated by Robert Schonwalter, a 1794 five-cent half disme purchased by the Society in 1923, and a 1794 half dollar given by the great oil man Arthur J. Fecht.

The famous Louis B. Eliasberg specimen of the 1794 dollar is included in the exhibit courtesy of an ANS Trustee. Dating from 1795 are the first issues of the gold five dollar and ten dollar coins, the half-eagle and the eagle, both donated by Arthur Fecht, as were the first issues of the ten-cent disme and the 25-cent quarter dollar, from 1796, which are shown. The first issue of the two-and-a-half dollar gold quarter-eagle, also from 1796, was part of a splendid gift from the great American financier J. P. Morgan, Sr.

ANS Curator Robert Wilson Hoge has recorded an audio tour of the exhibition "First Order of Business: The U.S. Mint's Original Coinage Denominations, 1793-1796" at the World's Fair of Money in August. You can listen online at or by calling 719-325-7608 and pressing 6#.

Early American Medals

Among the impressive non-competitive special exhibits planned for display at the upcoming ANA Convention in Philadelphia will be a showcase of six of the earliest, rarest and finest of the medals struck in the first years of the United States, provided courtesy of an anonymous ANS Life Fellow and ANA member. The medals include original examples in both silver and copper of the beautiful, famous and influential Libertas Americana medal, engraved by Augustin Dupré and designed and commissioned by Benjamin Franklin as American envoy in Paris, in 1781-3. Another is the original version of the United States Diplomatic medal, also executed by Dupré but commissioned in 1792 by Thomas Jefferson for presentation to out-going foreign ambassadors. (While the Libertas Americana medal is rare, only three of the Diplomatic medal are known to be extant.)

The other medals included in this awesome display are examples of the series produced in the first decade of the 19th century by Joseph Sansom, engraved by John Reich: the Revolutionary War silver commemorative medal honoring Washington and Franklin, with an eagle over terrestrial globe reverse, among the finest of the six known; the silver medal, ca. 1805, celebrating Washington as commander-in-chief in the Revolution, perhaps the finest of the seven known; and the very rare silver medal honoring Washington’s celebrated return to civilian life upon resigning the highest offices. The exhibit represents a unique opportunity to view this select group of the foundation medals of the American Republic.