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Smithsonian National Museum of American History to Auction Coins

In January 2012, Heritage Auctions will host a special auction at the Florida United Numismatist (FUN) Convention aimed at establishing a $1 million endowment for the renowned National Numismatic Collection, considered one of the finest collections of rare U.S. coins in existence. The collection is housed at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.

Heritage is seeking donors who are willing to consign coins to this special benefit auction and have the full proceeds from their sale transferred to the Smithsonian Institution as a charitable donation. Heritage will waive all Buyer’s and Seller’s Fees in this auction, with 100% of all money raised going to this important endowment.

The National Numismatic Collection is global in scope, with unparalleled holdings of United States coins and currency. In total, there are more than one million objects, including paper currency, coins, tokens, and medals. Exceptional rarities include a Brasher half doubloon, an 1849 double eagle, two 1877 fifty dollar patterns, a 1913 Liberty head nickel, three 1804 dollars, and two 1933 double eagles.

“The NNC is a treasure that the museum holds in trust for the country and these artifacts preserve stories of American history that connect us to the people and events that shaped the nation,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “This auction will help to build an endowment for the care, research, and accessibility of the NNC.”

“The National Numismatic Collection is often the first taste that elementary and high school students have of coin collecting,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “As collectors and dealers at the forefront of the numismatic world, we are charged with the responsibility to grow our hobby from one generation to the next, instilling our passion for rare coins in the next generation of collectors. With this charitable effort, we will raise funds to increase the accessibility of this important collection, which will allow the museum to expand the online catalogue of the entire collection and to fund traveling exhibits throughout the US, as well as other programs designed to inspire the next generation of coin enthusiasts.”

The project got underway with great excitement in early January of this year when Heritage received the donation of a stunning 1895 Morgan Dollar, PR66 Deep Cameo PCGS, which is expected to bring over $100,000 – considering the rarity and beauty of the coin – when it comes on the block as part of the January 2012 auction in Orlando, Florida.

Federal appropriations to the Smithsonian mostly cover infrastructure and salaries. The rest, about one third of the overall budget, comes from private and corporate donations, and with institutions under intense pressure to reduce spending on all fronts, private donations have become an increasingly important source of funding. There is currently no targeted endowment to fund this important coin collection and to strengthen it though preservation and outreach.

“On behalf of all of us at the Museum, I want to thank everyone in advance for consigning coins to this auction; it means so much for the future,” said Glass. “This endowment will exist in perpetuity and will ensure that the NNC stays vibrant and accessible for many years to come.”

To donate, please email [email protected] or visit the auction website

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