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2022 World's Fair of Money® Collector Exhibit Descriptions

Remembering the Gentleman in the Blue Blazer

This exhibit honors the late Ray Dillard.

The Heh Amulet

This exhibit shows a selection of Jewish amulets whose inscriptions include, often in their entirety, the Hebrew letter heh as a substitute for God's name. Most of these inscriptions are engraved on a coin or blank. 

The Roaring Lion of Megiddo

Few animals have so captured the human imagination as the lion, and the Jews were no exception to this rule. Lions have symbolized the tribe of Judah and the Jewish people since ancient times, but they only appeared on money and medals under the modern State of Israel. This exhibit focuses on the only lion design to appear on a circulation coin, the roaring lion on Megiddo, based on an ancient seal uncovered in 1904. It also includes private issues portraying either the seal or the lion figure.

Israel's Two-Decade Long Road to Standardized Gold Coinage

From 1960 to 1980, Israel sporadically issued 17 different gold coins in 7 denominations and 12 sizes. This exhibit contains one example by type and finish of each Israel gold coin minted before the denominations and weights were standardized in 1981, accompanied by an original English-language brochure. It concludes with a denomination, purity, weight, and diameter type set of the standardized coins first issued in 1981 for comparison and contrast.

Feline Paper Money Type Set

This exhibit shows all the species and some major types within species of felines, both great and small cats, portrayed on paper money of countries around the world. 

I Was a Teenage Emperor: Decoding Denarii from Elagabalus's Eastern Mints

This exhibit studies the imagery on silver denarii produced c. A.D. 218-219 in Syria and Asia Minor under the Syrian sun-priest Elagabalus, a youth of only fourteen years old when he became emperor of Rome. Some coins portray his grandmother, who engineered the coup that brought him power. Others show imagery promoting his right to legitimate rule. Several design types depict traditional Roman gods, while others bear exotic representations of Elagabalus's Eastern sun god. Coins related to the journey of Elagabalus and his retinue from Syria to Rome are also shown. Finally, die-linked coins are examined; these provide direct evidence of mint operations.

Special Selections from a Numismatic Library 

To display rare and interesting numismatic literature from a lifetime of collecting, including close to 10 unique or likely unique items. 

A Selection of Ingle Merchant Tokens, Plus Two Ingle Token Dispensers

To display selected rare and common merchant tokens. Plus a tall custom case to display two extremely rare merchant token dispensers.

A Selected American Paper Type Set of Our Original 13 Colonies Before July 4, 1776 and Continental Currency

To show a type set of the original 13 colonies and the first United States paper, plus contemporary items from famous patriots. 

Athlete and Artist: Nero in Competition - Coins of Roman Egypt Commemorating the Panhellenic Festivals

In late AD 66, Roman Emperor Nero set sail on a voyage to Greece. Part of his incentive was to compete in the athletic contests and the musical and dramatic competitions that were part of the sacred Panhellenic festivals. The Roman mint at Alexandria, Egypt, produced coins for Nero that memorialize these games and the gods to which each was dedicated. This exhibit presents a complete set of these coins and uses them as a jumping off point to examine the history and nature of each festival, the honored deities, and what is known of Nero's extraordinary participation in the events.

Frankenstein, Germany, Hyperinflationary Issues of 1923

Yes, there really is a Frankenstein, Germany. This exhibit has two series of hyperinflationary notes of 1923. All of these notes have been translated from German to English. There is some fascinating information on the history of the town of Frankenstein, Germany. You will also see a postcard and some pictures of the town square from the 1920's and also a map of Frankenstein, Germany. Enjoy this exhibit, as I have enjoyed putting it together. 

The 1893 Puerto Rico Exposition Medal

The exhibit presents a complete set of gold, silver, and bronze, 1893 Puerto Rico Exposition medals, assembled by the author over a number of years. The medals on display here have excellent eye appeal and are considered rare. The 1893 Puerto Rico Exposition medal is disc shaped, and measures 50mm in diameter, is 4mm thick, with a weight of 53 gm, and smooth edge. The obverse vignette features Admiral Christopher Columbus (c. 1451-1506) prominently, in three quarters profile. Other allegorical images that grace the face of the medal include, a globe of the world, (symbolic of the art and science if cartography), with an image of the Western Hemisphere-which Columbus and his crew are credited with discovering-an anchor, representing the seafaring nature of the explorers, and the Nao Santa Maria, the admirals flagship. The reverse of the medal displays the legend, "EXPOSICION DE PUERTO-RICO" two stars, "1893", in small letters at left, "SOLA Y CAMATS," and at right, "CASTELLS." The center area displays in eight lines (an arrow) "CON MOTIVO DEL 40 CENTENARIO DEL DESCUBRIMIENTO DE LA ISLA" (olive branch) "PREMIO AL MERITO." 

The medal was designed by calligrapher Arturo Igaravidez Freite, and created by Spanish medalist and engravers from Barcelona, Sola y Camats, and metal engravers and medal editors, Bernardo Castells e Hijos. The total number of medals awarded during the exposition were: 123 gold, 124 silver, and 131 bronze. While the number of medals awarded may seem substantial, today, these medals are difficult to obtain. 

U.S. Postal Notes of 1883 to 1894, The Little-Known Offspring of Fractional Currency

Many collectors of currency are aware of the Postage and Fractional Currency but are not aware of its successor, the United States Postal Note. This exhibit is intended to provide an overview of the development and operation of the U.S. Postal Note system. Included will be examples of the major types and how to identify each, as well as examples of tools and supplies used when issuing them. Included too, is data showing the number issued in each state or territory, along with number of known surviving notes.

Select German States Wildman Thalers

This collection was inspired by an article suggesting collectors should think outside of the box in order to keep the hobby interesting. This worked for me and can work for anyone looking for something "different" to collect. Despite the common theme of the collection there are many interesting and unusual varieties. No variety is common although Wildman coins in general are not scarce. Unless stated otherwise there is no duplication of variety in the display. Wildman Thalers are a "fun" area to collect and can lead to a broader collection of German States and other European coins. These were minted in denominations as small as Pfennings and as large as multiple Thalers, silver coins that can have a diameter of 50mm or larger. This display is going to focus on just the Thalers. 

Commemorative Medals: The Unveiling of the Washington Memorial in Philadelphia

A grouping of medals and medallions to commemorate the unveiling of the Washington Memorial commissioned by The Society of the Cincinnati in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 15, 1897

They Squish, They Stretch, They Smash: They are the Rollers

To introduce convention visitors to the individuals who are the creative force behind elongated coins. They are dreamers who can turn their ideas into reality with themes such as holidays, tourist destinations, politics, and various greetings. 

Coinage of Napoleonic Europe

This display contains a collection of coins that were issued by Napoleon, or his deputies, including various siege pieces. The purpose of this display is to show how Napoleon's political and military career had a major, long lasting impact on European coinage. 

Charles Stephen Millington - Officer of Four National Banks

The Hon. Charles Stephen Millington of Herkimer County in Central New York's Mohawk Valley region was engaged in the field of banking during his entire adult life. During his unique career, which included serving as a United States Congressman, he managed to hold the position of either Cashier or President of four different National Banks. As a result, his signature can be found on four different National Banks in New York State. This exhibit, which details the multi-faceted life of Mr. Millington, features notes from those four banks bearing his signature and, fortuitously, includes notes from three of the banks bearing Serial Number 1.

The Episcopal Church Service Cross: Faith and Identity

In 1917 the Episcopal Church War Commission, created to support Episcopal military chaplains, decided that a personal gift should be given to men in military service that would remind them of their faith and identity as Episcopalian. Episcopal Church service crosses are still in use today. This exhibit traces the evolution of the cross (amulet) in the 104 years since its initial design and use.

A Tale of Two Mules: The U.S. Philippines 1918-S Five Centavos with Twenty Centavos Reverse and 1928-M Twenty Centavos with Five Centavos Reverse

In numismatics a MULE is defined as a coin struck from two dies that were not originally intended to be used together. All Mules are rare and highly sought after by collectors. In the nearly half century that the Philippines were under U.S. sovereignty there have been only two known instances when U.S. Philippine Mule coins were produced. The first and rarest U.S. Philippine Mule is the 1918-S Five Centavos with Twenty Centavos Reverse. This Mule was produced at the San Francisco Mint by the accidental pairing of a regular Five Centavos obverse die and a 1918-S Twenty Centavos reverse die. 

The 1918-S Mule has a fascinating and complex backstory, which requires an understanding of how government decisions involving the specifications and designs chosen for U.S. Philippine coinage, the official exchange rate between the U.S. Philippine Peso and the U.S. Dollar, the disappearance of U.S. Philippine silver coins from circulation in the late 1905 when their bullion value exceeded their face value, and the 1907 reduction in the size & weight of the four silver denominations set the stage for an accidental pairing of a Five Centavos obverse and a Twenty Centavos Reverse. 

These factors are reviewed in this exhibit and illustrated by GEM proof examples of the seven original denominations and the four reduced size and weight silver denominations. The star of this exhibit is a conditionally rare choice uncirculated 1918-S Five Centavo Mule. A regular 1918-S Five Centavo is included for comparison. The other U.S. Philippine Mule coin is the 1928-M Twenty Centavos with Five Centavos Reverse. All 1928-M Twenty Centavos are Muled intentionally produced by the Manila Mint opened in 1920 it took over production of all U.S. Philippine coins. The Manila Mint only produced coins on an as needed basis and all denominations were not produced annually. Since the Manila Mint did not have the capacity to produce their own dies, they needed to order them from the Philadelphia Mint. In an age before commercial air service between the continental United States and the Philippines it was essential to anticipate need well in advance to allow sufficient time for dies to be the Philippines it was essential to anticipate need well in advance to allow sufficient time for dies to be produced by the Philadelphia Mint and shipped halfway around the world to the Philippines. 

Although the Twenty Centavos would be needed in 1928. In mid-1928 the Manila Mint was blindsided by an urgent order from the banking community for 100,000 Twenty Centavos. Since the banking community could not wait for the 1928 Twenty Centavos dies to be manufactured in Philadelphia and shipped to the Philippines officials at the Manila Mint intentionally paired a leftover 1920 or 1921 Twenty Centavos obverse die with an on hand 1928-M Five Centavos reverse die. This was possible because both the Twenty Centavos and Five Centavos shared a common basic reverse die design and there was less than a millimeter difference in size between the Five Centavos and the reduced size Twenty Centavos. The exhibit features a scarce near choice uncirculated 1928-M Mule. A regular 1929-M Twenty Centavos is included for comparison.

Chicago Small Size National Bank Notes

To display one note from all 28 issuing charters and titles during the small size era in Chicago proper. With current census figures only 3 of these sets can be completed. 

The Greatest Battle You (Probably) Never Heard Of

On July 15, 1410, the allied armies of Lithuania and Poland crushed the Teutonic Knights at the Battle of Grunwalk (also known as the Battle of Zalgiris, or the First Battle of Tennenberg.) It was one of the largest battles of the European Middle Ages and it completely reshaped the power structure of Eastern Europe. But apart from professional historians and the descendants of the participants in the battle, the story of the battle itself is largely unknown. This exhibit tells the story of three principal commanders in the battle, and examples of every modern coin that has been struck to commemorate the battle itself.

Vive le Franc!

France traces its origin as a nation to the coronation of Clovis I as King of the Franks in 509. The new kingdom of Francia (France) began striking coins almost immediately, but France's signature coin - the franc - did not appear until 1360. The franc began as a gold coin, evolved into a silver coin, and eventually appeared in aluminum, copper-aluminum, aluminum-bronze, and nickel... eventually finishing its run with a return to gold and silver. This exhibit presents examples of franc-denominated coins from each French king, emperor, or republican government that issued such coins. Together, these coins tell the history of the franc - which is, in large part, the story of France itself since 1360.

Great Art in the Palm of Your Hand

For nearly 27 centuries sculptors, gem carvers, and other artists have designed and engraved the dies used to strike or cast coins and medals. These numismatic items can be great works of art in and of themselves, but they can also serve to showcase, in miniature great works in other artistic fields. This exhibit presents a gallery of artistic coins and medals, each one an example of great art you can hold in the palm of your hand. 

Selected 20th Century United States Assay Commission Medals

The United States Assay Commission was established concurrent with the establishment of the U.S. Mint and our first national coinage in 1792. The Commission was charged with the important task of conducting an annual assay of a sample of each year's coinage to insure that the weight and fineness of the coins conformed to legal standards. Starting in 1860 the mint began the practice of striking an annual assay medal as a token of appreciation to the Assay Commissioners who served without pay. Struck in very limited numbers, with distribution limited to members of the Assay Commission and high level Mint and Department of the Treasury officials, these carefully hand crafted medals are among the rarest, most beautiful, and historically important medals produced by the U.S. Mint. This exhibit presents a selection of eleven Twentieth Century United States Assay Commission medals. 

The selection includes medals struck in silver, bronze, and pewter and range in rarity from R4 to R7 on the Sheldon Scale of Rarity. Several of the medals are the single finest certified examples of their date. Six of the specimens in this exhibit are "named medals" with pedigrees attributed to a specific Assay Commission member. Highlights of this exhibit are the very rare (R7) Superb Gem 1967, 1974, and 1976 Assay Commission medals. The 1967 medal is pedigreed to legendary numismatic scholar and author Eric P. Newman, who was Chairman of the 1967 Assay Commission. The exhibit also includes Newman's Presidential Appointment Certificate to the 1967 Assay Commission, auto-pen signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, the original case of issue for Newman's medal, and Newman's correspondence with Mint Director Eva Adams regarding the findings & recommendations of the 1967 Assay Commission. The 1976 Medal is pedigreed to Betty Higby, Superintendent of the Denver Mint. This medal is UNIQUE in that it has the hand engraved signature of Frank Gasparro, Chief Engraver of the United States Mint. Ephemera related to Higby's medal include the original case of issue, Higby's business card bearing the autograph of Gasparro, her Assay Commission name card, another card signed by Gasparro, relating to the reverse design of Washington Crossing the Delaware, and a wood shadow box containing pieces from the Tiffany Mosaic at the Mint. 

Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade Award & Commemorative Medals

The Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade played an important role in the early history of the Wisconsin Territory and the Milwaukee area. The first Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade was held on March 17, 1843, making it is one of the earliest in the United States and the first St. Patrick's Day Parade held outside the original 13 colonies. In 1843 the Wisconsin Territory was very much on the frontier. The 1840 United States Census listed the population of the Wisconsin Territory as slightly less than 31,000 and the population of the area that would later incorporate as the City of Milwaukee as only 1712. The first Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade was organized by frontier priest Fr. Martin Kundig, the spiritual leader of the Roman Catholic community in southeastern Wisconsin. 

Although the stated purpose of the parade was to equally important ulterior purpose was to promote the Wisconsin Territory and Milwaukee to church leaders who were considering establishing an new diocese on the western frontier. The 1843 parade had 32 units and more than 3,000 participants from across the Wisconsin Territory. The parade was headline news in the Milwaukee Sentinel, the area's leading newspaper, which devoted two full pages to parade coverage. Not coincidentally, the Sentinel was published by Solomon Juneau, one of Milwaukee's founding fathers and the Grand Marshall for the 1943 parade. Copies of the paper were sent to the eastern bishops to publicize Wisconsin and Milwaukee. On November 28, 1843, the effectiveness of Kundig and Juneau's strategy was confirmed when the Catholic Church created the Diocese of Wisconsin with Milwaukee as its headquarters. In 2005 the Milwaukee St. Patrick's Day Parade committee authorized two award medals and a commemorative medal that could be awarded annually in conjunction with the parade. Twenty of each medal were struck in high relief bronze by the Medalcraft Mint of Green Bay, Wisconsin. This exhibit presents mint state examples of the three medals as well as a unique lead trial strike of the common reverse die used for the two award medals. The exhibit also features some of the original artist line drawings and full color artist proofs used to refine the design elements and configuration. 

The Commonwealth of the Philippines (November 15, 1935-July 3, 1946)

The formal treaty that ended the Spanish American War of 1898 granted independence to Cuba and ceded sovereignty over Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Philippines to the United States. When the terms of the treaty became known in the Philippines, Philippine patriots who had been in armed rebellion against a harsh, repressive, and largely ineffective Spanish Colonial government since 1896 and had already proclaimed their independence from Spain considered themselves betrayed by the United States whom they regarded as an ally. In February 1899, the Philippine Republic declared war on the United States and attacked the American garrison in Manila. When the Philippine army was defeated in formal battle, the Philippine American War (Philippine Insurrection) morphed into a protracted guerilla war. 

During the Spanish colonial period Spain had dealt very harshly with insurrectionists, including the use of summary executions, imprisonment, or exile. The American policy was very different and offered full pardons to any Filipino who would swear loyalty to the United States and welcomed them to serve in positions of authority in the U.S. colonial government. After the Philippine American War U.S. public opinion was sharply divided between the proponents of America's Manifest Destiney who wanted to permanently keep the Philippines as an American territory and those who believed that it was contrary to American values to be a colonial power and that the Philippines should be granted immediate independence. The situation was further complicated by the lack of institutions needed for Philippine self-governance and the likelihood that another Pacific power, such as Germany or Japan, would annex the Philippines if it was not protected by American sovereignty. 

After careful study the McKinley administration rejected both the idea of permanently keeping the Philippines as an American Territory and granting immediate independence and enacted a policy of "Nation Building" to prepare the Philippines for eventual independence. By 1934 "Nation Building" had progressed to the point that the Philippines were ready to transition from a U.S. territory to a semi self-governing Commonwealth under U.S. sovereignty. In March 1934 the U.S. Congress passed an act which laid the groundwork for the creation a Commonwealth of the Philippines as a transition to full independence by 1946. The act was ratified by the Philippine legislature on May 1, 1934. The Commonwealth constitution called for the election of a Philippine president who would serve as the chief executive of the Commonwealth government. The office of U.S. Governor-General was abolished and replaced by a U.S. High Commissioner who would serve as an advisor to the Commonwealth Government. The Commonwealth of the Philippines was officially inaugurated on November 15, 1935. 

On December 8th 1941 the Philippines were attacked by navel & air forces of the Empire of Japan. The Japanese invaded the Philippines in early 1942 and occupied the Philippines for two and a half years. During the Japanese occupation the commonwealth government was forced into exile but maintained a presence in the Philippines through the Philippine Resistance and U.S. Philippine guerilla units. During the Japanese occupation coins in circulation and in private and public numismatic collections were seized, melted down, and shipped back to Japan for use in their war effort. The coins that were not seized were hidden away until after the war. With no coins available for circulation, coinage was replaced by either Japanese invasion notes or Gorilla & Emergency currency issued by military or civilian currency boards authorized to print money by the president of the Commonwealth. In 1944 and 1945 U.S. Mints in the continual United States struck millions of war time U.S. Philippine coinage which would accompany the forces of liberation when they returned to the Philippines. 

On July 4, 1946 the Commonwealth period ended with the promised independence of Philippines. This exhibit features the very rare 1935 Silver and Bronze Commonwealth of the Philippines Inauguration medals, an unique named Philippines Inauguration Badge worn by the wife of the incoming Commonwealth Vice President (later president) S. Osmena, and an assortment of privately struck Commonwealth Inauguration medals. This exhibit also features a complete set of US Philippine coins issued during the commonwealth period including the two conditionally rare 1936M Commonwealth of the Philippines Commemorative Pesos, the single finest known 1936M 50 Centavos Commonwealth Commemorative, and mint state examples of all of the pre-world War II commonwealth coinage, and 1944-1945 war time coinage. 

Multiple Varieties of Elongated Die Carriers

Not all elongated machines are the same, nothing is off the shelf. The wide variety and style of carriers the elongated dies are engraved upon show this without question. Even though the carriers vary, the results are the same. The end product is an elongated coin.

Identifying Hobo Nickels Carved by Frank Brazzell

Only a small percentage of Frank Brazzell Hobo carvings were actually signed on the reverse. Other carvers have been known to carve in a similar style. To the untrained eye, they may appear to be by the same carver, by once you know what to look for, you can spot the 'neo-brazzells' quickly. As the value of Brazzells original carvings increase, it's important to correctly identify his works.

Frankenstein Monster Exonumia

This exhibit displays the many types of exonumia items that feature Frankenstein Monster. From elongated cents to lottery tickets and many other items. This exhibit will include a brief history of the author Mary Shelly.

World's First Circulating Augmented Reality Banknotes

The purpose of this exhibit is to showcase the Augmented Reality Feature through interaction of the view via a smart device.

PCGS Regency Holder

PCGS Regency Holder

PCGS, the Early Days

Early PCGS holders and promotional and dealer materials from the first 10 or so years of PCGS

Feminism at the Fair - Women and the Columbian Exposition

The 1893 Isabella quarter issued at the Columbian Exposition was the first U.S. coin to feature the image of a woman on both sides of the coin. The Isabella quarters historic design approval and introduction at the fair demonstrate and commemorate the changing role of women in America.

One Hundred Plus - The Colorado Springs Centennial Medal

The 100th Anniversary of the founding of Colorado Springs was celebrated by the issuance of a centennial medal. This exhibit presents the geographic and cultural highlights of the area featured on the medal of Colorado Springs, home of the American Numismatic Association.

Making the Grade - The 1900 O Morgan Dollar Grading Set

The purpose of this exhibit is to assemble and present a collection of 1900-O Morgan Dollars from poor to mint state. The grading set can be used for numismatic reference as a tool to determine a coin's condition, the exhibit visually introduces the science and concept of numerical coin grading.

Wartime Change: Alterations In U.S. Coin Metal Content During World War II

During World War II industrial metals were needed for military use, forcing changes in coin compositions silver nickels and steel cents are examples of temporary changes in American coinage history.

Chicago Coin Club "Official" 100th Anniversary Medals 1919-2019

Traditionally the Chicago Coin Club has issued a medal(s) to celebrate a club milestone. For clubs 100th anniversary, it issued medals in copper, silver, gold, copper with highlights. Two iconic symbols of Chicago (the Water Tower and Buckingham Fountain) were selected to appear on the medal. These medals are unusual because they have a bidirectional display. Obverse (horizontal), reverse (vertical.)

TEC Birthday Elongateds

This exhibit displays the birthday coins issued by The Elongated Collectors (TEC). The birthday coin program started in 1993 as a special recognition for the clubs young members. It has continued every year since.

A Registry Set of Two Cent Pieces 1864-1872 With Major Varieties

The theme of this exhibit is to demonstrate the historic significance of the two cent piece. Numismatically, you can view a highly noted PCGS registry set. Many highlights include an 1864 small motto MS65 Red in an original PCGS Retro holder, very rare.

1896 Educational Series - Silver Certificates

This exhibit demonstrates the beauty of the 1896 Educational Notes. What was the purpose, what did they represent?

Where Numismatics and Art Collide

Art with a numismatic relation. Two renowned artists Andy Warhol and Peter Max, show artistic design in a numismatic fashion.

Dynastic Issues of Antoninus Pius With Marcus Aurelius

In addition to the regular coin issues of the Roman Empire, many emperors issued small batches of coins with one or more family member on them. These are referred to as Dynastic Issue. Antoninus Pius, having no male offspring, adopted Marcus Aurelius to succeed him. This exhibit will showcase the imperial issues and many scarce/rare provincial issues.

National Bank Notes: Charters 1-10

A first-hand collecting and exhibiting conundrum is presented and examined as my personal attempt at the seemingly easy task to present a national bank note from each of the first ten chartered banks as defined by the National Bank Acts of 1863-1864.

Gundalow! A Funny-Looking Boat With a Funny Sounding Name

Gundalows are unique to the estuaries of New Hampshire's seacoast. Four communities featured a Gundalow on their anniversary medals, which are shown with a brief history.

Obsolete Notes Depicting An Elephant

These are the only U.S. notes that depict an elephant. The exhibit explains the different ways U.S. obsolete notes can be collected. The information on obsolete notes is also useful to viewers.

Modern US Mint Errors & Varieties

Show selection of all mint error types and various varieties.

Meet Me at the Fair: A History of US World's Fairs

An explanation and history of world's fairs in the United States including related numismatic materials.

On the Road with Kennedy Half Dollars

This exhibit showcases information on the Kennedy Half Dollar, information on President Kennedy, and the top 10 highest selling muscle cars displayed on colorized coins. It has mint nine medals, along with newspaper advertisements for them. It also has classic half dollars and Kennedy medals.

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