I am in Colorado Springs attending meetings at the American Numismatic Association Headquarters about updating the technology that is being used to support the education mission of the ANA. I will talk about my time in Colorado Springs over the weekend, but let me talk about being at the ANA Headquarters.
After walking into the reception area, to the right of the reception desk is the museum store that leads to the Rochette Money Museum. Even with the current exhibition about the history of the Civil War in numismatics, the first floor also has the first steam press used by the U.S. Mint, the McDermott/Bebee specimen 1913 Liberty Head nickel, and an 1804 silver dollar. There is also a balance from the Denver Mint.
On the other side of the main level is the Harry W. Bass, Jr. collection of gold coins and rare patterns. Bass put together the finest and most complete set of gold coins ever assembled. After Bass died, his foundation donated a portion of the collection to the ANA. I posted some of the pictures to Twitter and Pintrest and will post more when I return home, but pictures do this collection justice. You have to come here to see it for yourself.
If you are an ANA member, you should make a trip to Colorado Springs to see the Money Museum. Aside from being a benefit of your membership, the ANA has an impressive collection that is nicely displayed and worth spending the time seeing. Numismatically, there is not a display like this in the United States, especially since the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection was taken off of exhibit. The ANA Money Museum is the only place you can see a real half-union pattern, typesets of every gold coin ever struck by the U.S. Mint, and even the oldest known surviving currency note.
Do you like Hobo Nickels? It’s here. Assortment of Confederate currency? They’re here, too. Examples of world currency? That’s in the lower level gallery. It is near examples of colonial currency including two Maryland notes I have in my collection.
But wait, there’s more. Do you want to learn more about what you’re looking at? On the other side of the lobby is the Dwight Manley Library. In the Manley Library you can find nearly every book ever printed on numismatics including government reports, price guides, specialty books, and books on nearly every topic of numismatics.
The library also has the oldest known illustrated coin book, dating back to the 16th century. It uses images of ancient coins to talk about the various rulers of the time. This book and the oldest book about numismatics, which does not have images, written in Latin.
Before you leave the library, stop at the old card catalog case and see the printing press that ANA founder, Dr. George F. Heath, used to print the first six editions of The Numismatist.
Yes, you can check out books from the library and have them mailed to you. Yes, you can see the traveling exhibits at various shows around the nations. But to get the full impact of what the ANA has to offer, you have to come to Colorado Springs and see for yourself.
Aside from figuring out when I can schedule a return trip, I want to know why I received three, new 2013 White Mountain quarters struck in Philadelphia when I am 70 miles away from the Denver mint.