The American Numismatic Association’s 2008 World’s Fair of Money® will give visitors a chance to see millions of dollars in rare coins, learn from the world’s top numismatists, and explore the history of Baltimore.
The event, held July 30 to August 3 at the Baltimore Convention Center, will feature over 1,100 dealers and numismatic vendors, world-class exhibits, 15 mints from five continents and a variety of educational presentations for every age and level of interest.
"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. You can see everything from a half cent to a $100,000 bill, and it’s free."
United States Mint Director Edmund Moy will unveil a new, pure gold coin – the much anticipated 2009-dated Ultra High Relief Double Eagle – immediately after opening ceremonies on July 30. It’s a modern, 24-karat version of what many call the most beautiful American coin ever created, the famous Augustus Saint-Gaudens double eagle.
Exhibits promise to be a main attraction. The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History will display "Historic Rarities: Early United States Proof Coins," a special exhibit showcasing extraordinary objects from the National Numismatic Collection. It includes two unique coins – a pattern 1860 Paquet reverse double eagle and a new variety of proof 1818 silver half dollar.
Other marquee exhibit highlights include the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s "Billion Dollar Display" of high-denomination money; a spectacular proof 1804 eagle, one of four known and perhaps the most sought-after gold proof coin in existence; and the famous Walton specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel that was missing for 41 years until it was authenticated at the 2003 World’s Fair of Money, also held in Baltimore.
The Collector Gallery, another highlight of every ANA show, gives members the chance to share their collections and expertise with fellow hobbyists. More than 100 competitive and non-competitive exhibits will be displayed this year, including "Uncommon Women on Common Currency," "Coins of the Ancient Mariners: On Tour with National Geographic" and "Made in Maryland."
The Mint Promenade will feature 15 mints from around the globe. Visitors can purchase an exclusive World Mints Passport from the ANA booth to explore the area and collect world coins. Visitors can learn more by attending "World Mint Theatre" presentations from July 30 to Aug. 1 on the Hall A Stage near the main show entrance. During these 30-45 minute presentations, mints will talk about new issues and current trends in numismatic production.
A new World’s Fair of Money attraction, Artists & Authors Alley, gives artists and writers a chance to demonstrate their craft and informally discuss their work with visitors. Located within Artists & Authors Alley, Collector’s Corner will feature book and artwork signing opportunities, demonstrations and informal discussions with many leaders in the field, including designer Joel Iskowitz and authors Daniel Frank Sedwick and David Lange.
Dozens of other educational opportunities await attendees. The Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Company Lecture Series, held July 31, features original academic, numismatic research; this year’s topic is "Money as a Means of Propaganda." Numismatic Theatre, conducted throughout the show, lets members showcase their research and creativity in a lecture format. Many talks focus on the convention’s host region; scheduled presentations include "Baltimore Stock Certificates & Bonds," "Exhibit Planning at the Smithsonian" and "The Unknown Life of Edgar Allan Poe."
Also offered are a variety of pre-convention seminars (registration required) and free workshops (registration requested). ANA Numismatic Educator Rod Gillis will present "Coin Collecting 101," an informal, 30-minute presentation for numismatic newcomers, at various times on the Hall A Stage. Tours exploring the history and beauty of Baltimore are available, including Fort McHenry, the USS Constellation Museum, the annual Friendship Luncheon and the famous Inner Harbor.
The ANA will offer Boy Scout Coin Collecting Merit Badge and Girl Scout "Fun With Money" Patch workshops on Aug. 2; registration is required for Scout workshops. "Treasure Trivia" is available throughout the show, and is a fun way for children to explore the show, learn interesting facts and win great prizes. Many other events meetings and events will take place, including the annual awards banquet at 7 p.m. at the Renaissance Harborplace Hotel.
Heritage Auction Galleries is the official auction company for the Baltimore World’s Fair of Money and will conduct a live multi-session auction as well as Internet and Mail Bid Auctions. Lot viewings are scheduled July 28 to Aug. 2; for more information, visit www.ha.com.
"Many professional coin and currency dealers attending the show will provide free, informal appraisals for visitors who bring in their old coins and paper money," said Larry Shepherd, ANA Executive Director.
The 2008 World’s Fair of Money is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday. To register or for more information, call 719-482-9857, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.money.org.
Ed Craig is the event’s General Chairman, Millard Hajek is the Honorary Chairman, Mark Lighterman is Chief Exhibit Judge and Simcha Kuritzky is the Numismatic Theatre Chairman. The Maryland State Numismatic Association, Catonsville Coin Club and Montgomery County Coin Club are the event’s host clubs. The Baltimore Coin Club and Maryland Token and Medal Society are honorary host clubs.
About American Numismatic Association
The American Numismatic Association is a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 32,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.