Holidays reflected in money at ANA Money Museum

December 18, 1999 By ekr

Holidays reflected in money at ANA Money Museum
A special holiday exhibit at the American Numismatic Association Money Museum that showcases the many forms of money that surround Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

“The holidays provide an excellent opportunity to exhibit a selection of unique specimens within a familiar context,” says Museum Registrar Kelly Swett.

The exhibit- “Celebrating the Holidays”- will be on display through the new year at the Money Museum, 818 N. Cascade Ave., Colorado Springs, Co. Operated by the American Numismatic Association (ANA)- the world’s largest organization for collectors of coins, paper money, tokens and medals- the Money Museum is free and open to the public 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday.

During the holidays, the museum will be closed on Friday, December 24 and 31; Saturday, December 25 and January 1; and Monday, December 27. The museum will be open Tuesday through Thursday, December 28 to 30.

Hanukkah, meaning “rededication,” celebrates the Jewish victory over the Syrian Greeks and the rededication of the Jerusalem Temple in 165 B.C.  Jewish coins dating to 103 B.C. are the oldest pieces in the exhibit. The shekel, the first Jewish silver coin, connects with the theme of Hanukkah since it was minted after the Jewish people briefly reclaimed their independence, this time from the Romans in 66 A.D.

As the Money Museum exhibit shows, a variety of Christmas-related numismatic items were produced throughout the centuries. The image of Christ was first illustrated on coins under the rule of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian II in 692, while the image of well-known 4th-century bishop St. Nicholas, who was known for his generosity, is illustrated on a 19th-century bank note issued by a New York City bank named after him. 

In the spirit of Kwanzaa, an African-American holiday designed in 1966 to to promote cultural and spiritual understanding, the Money Museum exhibit includes a cultural and historical survey of African numismatics. Included in the display are a 6-inch Katanga cross from the Congo; a manilla- curved pieces of metal ranging in size from 2 1/2 to 12 inches- used as money in West Africa from the 16th century until 1948; and woven cloths that include symbols associated today with Kwanzaa, which were forms of currency in East Africa. 

The ANA Money Museum features nine galleries that include coins, paper money, tokens and medals from ancient to modern times- pieces from the United States and throughout the world valued from a few cents to more than a million dollars each.

Originally Release Date: Dec. 18, 1999
ANAContacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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