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Exhibitors Honored at Denver World’s Fair of Money

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) presented 49 competitive exhibit awards at the 2017 World’s Fair of Money in Denver, Colo. Winners were announced at the exhibit awards presentation and reception on Aug. 4, and at the awards banquet that evening.

Thirty-nine exhibitors of all experience levels, showing 51 exhibits, competed in this year’s program. There were also three non-competitive exhibitors showing three additional exhibits.

Robert Rhue received the Howland Wood Memorial Award for Best-in-Show for his exhibit “The Colored Seal Notes of Colonial Georgia.” The Radford Stearns Memorial Award for Excellence in Exhibiting, presented to the first and second runners-up, was awarded, respectively, to Carlos Paiz for “Rarities from the Guatemala Colonial G and NG Mints 1733- 1821,” and to Michael Shutterly for “Remember the Ladies: The Empresses of Rome’s Severan Dynasty, 193-235.”

The Thos. H. Law Award for the best exhibit by a first-time exhibitor also went to Carlos Paiz for “Rarities from the Guatemala Colonial G and NG Mints 1733-1821.”

The Rodger E. Hershey Memorial People’s Choice Award, selected by convention attendees, was won by Jeff Rosinia for “Rush to the Rockies: The Golden Growth of the Denver Mint.”

Michael Shutterly also received the Women in Numismatics award for his exhibit “Remember the Ladies: The Empresses of Rome’s Severan Dynasty, 193-235.”

Michael Shutterly further received the Derek Pobjoy Award for Best Exhibit of Modern Circulating Commemorative Coins for his exhibit “Coins and Conflict.”

Carlos Paiz received the Ira & Larry Goldberg Award for the best exhibit of “Coins that Made History” for “Rarities from the Guatemala Colonial G and NG Mints 1733-1821.”

Steven J. D’Ippolito received the Joseph E. Boling Award for Judging Excellence.

2017 Class Exhibit Awards:

Class 1: United States Coins, Lelan G. Rogers Memorial. All United States coins and patterns and all coinage or trade tokens used in pre-Federal America, except gold.


  • First place: Carl Waltz, Jr., for “Matte Proof Lincoln Cents 1909 to 1916.”


  • Second place: Philip Vitale, for “Old Silver—The US’ First Silver Dollar Designs.”

  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 2: United States Fiscal Paper, Sidney W. Smith/William Donlon Memorial. All paper money and bonds issued by the United States government, including military currency; pre-U.S. colonial, Continental, and Confederate paper money and bonds; state and private banknotes and bonds; scrip; college currency; and stock certificates. Essays, proofs, and souvenir cards of such items may also be shown.


  • First place: Michael McNeil, for “The Women Who Signed Confederate Treasury Notes.”

  • Second place: Nancy Wilson, for “Battleship Note.”


  • Third place: Max Hensley, for “Numismatics, Meet Scripophily.”

Class 3: Medals, Orders, Decorations and Badges; Burton Saxton/George Bauer Memorial. Medallic items not used as a medium of exchange, or not having trade value. Orders and decorations, convention badges, and badges issued by fraternal orders or other organizations. Excluded are Masonic pennies and tokens included in classes 5-8.

  • First place: Thomas J. Uram, for “The Society of Medallists.”


  • Second place: Robert Rhue, for “The Official 1959 Hawaii Statehood Medal Set In Gold, Silver and Copper, with Five Piece Progression / Process Set.”


  • Third place: Peter Smith, for “Worthy Coin Anniversary Medal.”

Class 4: Modern U.S. Coins and Modern Medals, John R. Eshbach Memorial. Coins and medallic (non-denominated) material issued 1960 and later, including philatelic numismatic covers.


  • First place: Simcha Laib Kuritzky, for “A Type Set of Gold Dutch-Israeli Fantasy Coins.”

  • Second place: John Wilson, for “ANA 125th Anniversary Medal.”

  • Third place: Eric Holcomb, for “Great American Eclipse: August 21, 2017.”

Class 5: Tokens, B.P. Wright Memorial. Items, including encased postage, issued as a medium of exchange for goods and services or for advertising purposes, but excluding American colonial items included in class 1. Includes Masonic pennies and substances used in lieu of metal.


  • First place: Gawain O’Connor, for “Tim, Redbacks, and the Third Degree Knicker Pie Eater’s Club.”

  • Second place: Mark Wieclaw, for “The Russian ‘Beard’ Tax Tokens of 1705.”

  • Third place: Phil Iversen, for “Bingle Tokens.”

Class 6: Casino Chips and Gaming Tokens, Archie A. Black Award. Items of all types and materials used as gaming pieces, including traditional and non-traditional tokens and other money substitutes, and including tokens used in military clubs.


  • First place: Tony Kreusch, for “Rodeo Chips.”

  • Second place: no exhibit

  • Third place: no exhibit.

Class 7: Engraved Coins, Love Token Society Award. Numismatic items that have been converted into jewelry, amulets, or decorative objects. Examples are love tokens, hobo nickels, and “pop-out” coins.


  • First place: Simcha Laib Kuritzky, for “Engraved Coins of the ‘Three Abrahamic Faiths.’”

  • Second place: Judy Schwan, for “The Baghdad Shilling.”


  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 8: Elongated Coins, Dottie Dow Memorial. Souvenirs created using an elongating machine, whether the underlying piece is a coin, token, medal, or blank planchet.


  • First place: Terri Ventresca, for “TV Shows Memories: An Elongated Coin Series by Don Adams.”

  • Second place: Cindy Z. Calhoun, for “Square and Compass.”

  • Third place: Tyler Tyson, for “True Elongated Half Dollars.”

Class 9: Coins Issued Prior to 1500 A.D., Dr. Charles W. Crowe Memorial. Coins, including gold, issued by any government before 1500 A.D.


  • First place: Michael Shutterly, for “Remember the Ladies: The Empresses of Rome’s Severan Dynasty, 193-235.”

  • Second place: no exhibit

  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 10: Regional U.S. Numismatics, William C. Henderson/Fred Cihon Memorial. Numismatic material of any type specific to a particular region of the United States, such as the locale where the exhibit is being presented.


  • First place: Robert Rhue, for “The Colored Seal Notes of Colonial Georgia.”


  • Second place: Terry L. Carver, for “The Badge Presented by General William Jackson Palmer to Veterans of the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry at their 35th Annual Reunion.”


  • Third place: Christopher Marchase, for “A Collection of Items from the Cripple Creek District, Colorado, c.1890-1915.”

Class 11: Numismatics of the Americas, Henry Christensen/John Jay Pittman Sr. Memorial. Numismatic material of any type issued or used in the Western Hemisphere outside the United States.


  • First place: Carlos Paiz, for “Rarities from the Guatemala Colonial G and NG Mints 1733-1821.”

  • Second place: no exhibit

  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 12: Numismatics of Europe, John S. Davenport Memorial. Numismatic material of any type issued or used in Europe, including Russia east to the Urals.


  • First place: Michael Shutterly, for “Boris Godunov: One Opera, Many Stories.”


  • Second place: Mark Wieclaw, for “Irish ‘Gun’ Money 1689-1690 (A Complete Type Set).”

  • Third place: Roderick T. Frechette, for “Sing a Song of Six Pence.”

Class 13: Numismatics of Africa and the Middle East, Menachem Chaim and Simcha Tova Mizel Memorial. Numismatic material of any type issued or used on the continent of Africa and in the Middle East (from Turkey east through Iran and south to Aden).


  • First place: Simcha Laib Kuritzky, “Boy for Sale? Middle Eastern Ingots for the Redemption of the Firstborn Son.”


  • Second place: no exhibit


  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 14: Numismatics of Asia and the Pacific, William B. Warden Jr. Memorial. All numismatic material issued or used in Asia east of the Urals and Iran, and in the southeast Asian, Australasian, and Pacific islands (excluding Hawaii under the U.S.).


  • First place: Sunil Richardson, for “‘Octopus-Men’ Coins—The incredible durability of these designs on coins for over 5 centuries.”


  • Second place: Gerald Grzenda, for “The Coinage of Hong Kong.”


  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 15: Gold Coins, Gaston DiBello/Melvin and Leona Kohl Memorial. Gold coins of any provenance and era.


  • First place: Simcha Laib Kuritzky, for “Israel’s Two-Decade Long Road to Standardized Gold Coinage.”

  • Second place: Kevin Dailey, for “Gold Coins of the Mint’s Golden Girl.”

  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 16: Numismatic Errors and Error Varieties, Numismatic Error Collectors Award. Any numismatic material mis-struck or misprinted by the producer, including varieties caused by die or plate deterioration or damage. Items mutilated or altered after production are excluded.


  • No exhibits entered in this class.

Class 17: Numismatic Literature, Aaron Feldman Memorial. Printed and manuscript (published or unpublished) literature dealing with any numismatic subject.


  • First place: not awarded


  • Second place: Darryl Anthony Gomez, for “Debut of the President of the United States special Government medal Series.”

  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 18: General, Specialized, and Topical, Robert Hendershott Memorial. Numismatic material not covered in other classes or covered by more than one class. Includes wooden money, political buttons and insignia, and other exonumia, as well as media of exchange used in carrying out purchases and business transactions by primitive people and later by others as they progressed from barter to coins, or other items generally accepted as primitive or odd and curious currencies. Also includes exhibits showing material linked by design, such as elephants or bridges, or by theme, such as a world’s fair.

  • First place: David Feely, for “Around the World of WWII Short Snorters.”


  • Second place: Michael Shutterly, for “On the Wings of Myth: Pegasus and His Story.”

  • Third place: Marilyn Reback, for “Saint-Michel in Peril of the Sea.”

Class 19: Convention Theme, Clifford Mishler Award. Numismatic items of any type that, together with the exhibit text, illustrate the announced theme for the convention at which the exhibit is shown. The 2017 convention theme was “Rush to the Rockies.”


  • First place: Scott Safe, for “A Trio of Colorful Colorado Centennial Celebrations.”

  • Second place: Phil Iversen, for “Denver Mint Early Years.”


  • Third place: Terry L. Carver, for “A Collection of National Commemorative Medals Issued for The Pony Express Centennial.”

Class 20: U.S. Commemorative Coinage, Society for U.S. Commemorative Coins Award. Material of any type or period related to United States commemorative coinage and to the events being commemorated.


  • First place: V. Kurt Bellman, for “The California Pacific International Exposition of 1935 & 1936”


  • Second place: no exhibit


  • Third place: no exhibit

Class 21: Emeritus, Barry Stuppler Award. Exhibits by individuals not otherwise eligible to exhibit competitively, or exhibits that have won best-of-show or twice won in class competition at the World’s Fair of Money®. Any other exhibit may also be entered at the exhibitor’s option. The winner of this class does not advance to best-of-show judging.


  • No exhibits entered in this class.

2017 YN Exhibit Awards

No exhibits entered in this division.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational 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.

Denver World’s Fair of Money Embraced by Collectors

The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) 2017 World’s Fair of Money – the most important numismatic event of the year – welcomed 8,638 people at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Aug. 1-5.

The family-friendly event featured displays by government and private mints from around the world; expansive educational programs led by notable speakers sharing their numismatic expertise; exhibits of rare treasures from private collectors and from the American Numismatic Association’s Money Museum — including Colorado Gold Rush era rarities; hundreds of dealers buying and selling coins, currency and related items in all price ranges; and major auctions by Heritage Auctions and Stack’s Bowers Galleries.

The recent discovery by David McCarthy of the first silver piece minted by the United States government in 1783 – which was on display at the show – garnered huge publicity. (Collectors can access David McCarthy’s article in the August issue of The Numismatist at www.money.org/nova-constellatio.)  

According to newly-elected ANA President Gary Adkins, “The Denver World’s Fair of Money finished strong. Most dealers shared with me that they enjoyed the show and had good business overall. And collectors were pleased with the many outstanding exhibits and educational opportunities.”

“This was undoubtedly one of the best shows we’ve ever attended,” says Ken Hallenbeck of Hallenbeck Coin Gallery. “Our retail sales to collectors were tremendous, partly because we offered a wide variety of material.”

Attendance was strongest on Saturday, Aug. 5, when 1,958 members of the public turned out for free “family-day” admission. Hundreds of young people converged into the Kids Zone, where they could see their faces on a $100,000 bill, design their own coin or note, make an elongated coin, spin a wheel for a chance to win numismatic prizes or grab some high-flying bucks inside the “Cash Cube.” ANA Education Director Rod Gillis reported that 346 kids participated in the Treasure Trivia game as they explored the bourse floor in search of answers to trivia questions. Coin Collecting 101, a free class for those interested in numismatics, was standing room only.

Complete attendance numbers for the 2017 World’s Fair of Money

Total attendance: 8,638

  • General public: 4,196

  • ANA members: 2,909

  • Table-holders/dealers: 1,420

  • Staff, volunteers and pages: 113

Total daily attendance

  • Tuesday: 2,840 (returning visitors such as table holders, staff and volunteers are counted in first-day attendance only)

  • Wednesday: 1,194

  • Thursday: 1,196

  • Friday: 1,090

  • Saturday: 2,318

Immediately following the World’s Fair of Money on Sunday, Aug. 6, the Association hosted a “Golden Day at the ANA” to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its Colorado Springs-based headquarters. Nearly 250 members converged at the ANA open house to enjoy food, fellowship, collectible souvenirs, caricatures, tours and mini-mint demonstrations.

The 2018 World’s Fair of Money will be held in Philadelphia, Aug. 14-18, at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

New ANA Board of Governors installed

The World’s Fair of Money also saw the installation of the newly elected ANA Board of Governors on Aug 4. Voting members of the Association chose a new president, Gary Adkins, and vice president, Don Kagin, as well as three new board members: Thomas Uram, John Highfill and Brian Hendelson, who join Col. Steve Ellsworth, Dr. Ralph Ross, Greg Lyon and Paul Montgomery for a two-year term. Outgoing president Jeff Garrett will serve as a non-voting, ex-officio member of the board. Governor Walt Ostromecki reached his term limit, and Tom Mulvaney did not seek re-election.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational 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.

Order a 2017 ANA Show Panda and Get a Free ANA Membership!

Mike Fuljenz Honored At 2017 World’s Fair of Money

(Denver, Colorado) August 7, 2017 – Rare coin and precious metals expert Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion of Beaumont, Texas (www.UniversalCoin.com), received an important national award at the recent American Numismatic Association 2017 Denver World’s Fair of Money® for his decades of anti-counterfeiting efforts. 

Mike Fuljenz with ICTA medal

The Industry Council for Tangible Assets (www.ICTAonline.org) presented him with the Al Kreuzer Memorial Award medal for “outstanding contributions in the efforts to combat counterfeit coins and currency.”

Fuljenz is a long-time member of the ICTA Board of Directors and a member of their recently-formed Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force.  Since the 1980’s he has taught many counterfeit detection and rare coin authentication seminars for collectors, dealers and law enforcement officers.

“I am proud and honored to receive this award, and look forward to additional work with ICTA and other organizations to combat counterfeits and educate the public about the needs to buy and sell rare coins and precious metal bullion coins only with reputable, knowledgeable dealers, such as members of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG),” said Fuljenz.

Fuljenz is a member of the PNG’s Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program that requires all members to adhere to a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of gold, silver and other bullion products. He now has won major awards from the four top organizations in the rare coin hobby and profession: the American Numismatic Association (ANA), Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG), Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets.

A strong consumer advocate, he received the prestigious PNG Sol Kaplan Award in 2016 in part for assisting an 84-year man recover the $84,000 he had paid to two unscrupulous dealers who sold him counterfeit American Eagle gold coins. Earlier, Fuljenz assisted a group of New Orleans physicians recover $750,000 after they unsuspectingly purchased counterfeit coins from a local attorney.

Summing up the rare coin marketplace during the ANA show in Denver, August 1 – 5, he commented:

“Really nice coins and important coins were in short supply, and highly desired by leading dealers and collectors at the show. These types of coins often brought impressive prices at auctions this week.   The United States Mint had long lines of customers wanting to buy their new products. The U.S. Treasury Department exhibits by the United States Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are always popular and educational.”

David Hall and Mike Fuljenz

In addition to receiving an award at the World’s Fair of Money, Fuljenz presented two of them. As 2016 recipient of “The Ribbit,” an important honor presented annually by the NLG for outstanding service to the hobby, he presented the 2017 award to David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service.  “David is one of the top professional leaders of the hobby who certainly deserves recognition for all he has done to promote numismatic education,” explained Fuljenz.

As sponsor of the ANA’s top honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award, Fuljenz co-presented it with ANA President Jeff Garrett to Brian Fanton of Iowa. “Brian surprised me at the ceremony by telling me he recalled how much he enjoyed taking one of my ANA coin grading seminars back in the 1980’s,” said Fuljenz.

Known as America’s Gold Expert®, Universal Coin & Bullion President Michael Fuljenz has won more than 60 prestigious national and regional awards and honors for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals. His weekly Metals Market Report is available free at www.UniversalCoin.com.

What is the Coolest Thing at Your Booth – Upper Deck

Gabe Garcia, Brand Manager of Upper Deck highlights a new specialized product line. The exclusive distributor of Grandeur Hockey is CIBC. For more information on Grandeur Hockey, go to Hockeycoins.com

Pawn Stars’ Rick Harrison Helps “Shave Miles” Event Raise $10,000 For ANA and Sick Children

(Denver, Colorado) August 3, 2017 – With the help of nationally known television celebrity Rick Harrison and two Denver Broncos cheerleaders, prominent numismatists Michael “Miles” Standish, Jim Halperin and Orlando Rodrigo Lorenzana Williams got their heads shaved at the American Numismatic Association 2017 World’s Fair of Money® in Denver to raise money for two nonprofit organizations. The event on August 3 generated $10,000 in donations that will be evenly divided between the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org) and the Standish Foundation for Child & Family Centered Healthcare (www.sf4c.org).

History’s Pawn Stars celebrity Rick Harrison makes the first pass of the electric cutter as NGC Vice President Miles Standish gets his head shaved at the World’s Fair of Money in Denver, Colorado, August 3, 2017, to raise money for the Austin-based Standish Foundation for Child & Family Centered Healthcare and the American Numismatic Association.

Photo credit: Donn Pearlman.

Immediately after his head was shaved, Standish held up a t-shirt printed with the words: “BALD GUYS Never have a bad hair day.”

Standish is an award-winning numismatic author and Senior Grader and Vice-President of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation. Halperin is Co-Chairman of Heritage Auctions and also an author of numismatic books and futurist novels. Williams is Director of Sales at Coin Invest Trust in Liechtenstein.

Harrison, of the popular History’s Pawn Stars television program and the Las Vegas Gold & Silver Pawn Shop (www.gspawn.com), made the first pass of the electric cutter on Standish’s head and was among those who presented a donation check.  

Additional cutting was performed on Standish by coin hobby personalities including Lee Minshull, ANA President Jeff Garrett and former ANA President Ken Bressett.  

Accompanied by Denver Broncos cheerleaders Krista (left) and Brielle (right) the now-hairless Miles Standish holds a t-shirt proclaiming: BALD GUYS Never have a bad hair day.

Photo credit: Donn Pearlman

Broncos cheerleaders Brielle and Krista led cheers, signed autographs and posed for photos during the “Shave Miles” event.

A silent auction of a half dozen plaster sculptures by John Mercanti, who served as the 12th Chief Engraver of the United States Mint, also helped raise funds for the Standish Foundation and the ANA.

Miles’ wife, Andrea Mangione Standish, a certified child life specialist, launched the Austin, Texas-based foundation in 2010.  The foundation assists healthcare providers around the world to provide the tools and training they need to minimize healthcare-related pain and suffering in children.

“The mission of the foundation is to have happy, healthy, resilient kids who haven’t been traumatized by healthcare experiences.  This event was to help children get better care and to help an important hobby organization dear to me and to so many others, the American Numismatic Association,” he explained.

The 25,000-member American Numismatic Association, based in Colorado Springs, Colorado, is dedicated to educating and encouraging people to study and collect coins and related items.  The ANA serves the academic community, collectors, and the general public.

Professional stylist “Dava” skillfully removed Heritage Auctions Co-Chairman Jim Halperin’s hair at the 2017 Denver World’s Fair of Money to help raise $10,000 for the ANA and the Standish Foundation for Child & Family Centered Healthcare.

Photo credit: Donn Pearlman​

A native of Michigan, Standish began collecting in 1973 at the age of nine.  In 2011, he was honored with the “Director’s Coin for Excellence” by then-Director of the United States Mint Edmund Moy.

He is co-author with former Chief Engraving of the United States Mint, John Mercanti, of the 2012 reference book, “American Silver Eagles: A Guide to the U.S. Bullion Coin Program.”  Standish’s 2014 book, “Morgan Dollar: America’s Love Affair with a Legendary Coin,” received the 2015 Numismatic Literary Guild award for Best Specialized Book. 

Information about the Standish Foundation for Child & Family Centered Healthcare is at www.sf4c.org and information about the American Numismatic Association is at www.money.org.

2017 Denver World’s Fair of Money Opening Ceremonies

2017 Denver World’s Fair of Money Opening Ceremonies

Source: American Numismatic Association

ModernCoinMart and GovMint.com Offer 10 Golden Ticket Vouchers for Children at the World’s Fair of Money

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Denver, CO, August 2, 2017 (Newswire.com) – Children 15 years of age and younger can spot any of our employees on the bourse floor to redeem a golden ticket that will allow them to claim a prize at booth #1000.

From August 1-5, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is hosting the World’s Fair of Money. The event is being held at Hall F of the Colorado Convention Center at 700 14th St.

ModernCoinMart and GovMint.com are attending the event and are offering an exciting activity for children attendees. For those 15-years-old and under, golden tickets are being offered to those that are able spot our employees around the convention center. Keep an eye out for anyone wearing a black shirt with MCM and GovMint logos on the front. When you spot us out on the bourse floor, just ask for your golden ticket! Golden tickets can be brought to booth #1000 for a special prize.

Be sure to always be on the lookout for us – only 10 of these golden tickets are available! And remember, you have to see us out on the bourse floor to redeem your ticket.

“It’s a really thrilling event,” says Kelsey Howard, Marketing Manager.  “We want to ensure that everyone in attendance is able to enjoy themselves, no matter their age. But most importantly, we want to help young collectors create a lasting interest in the hobby of coin collecting.”

This activity will run through the course of the show or until all 10 tickets are claimed.

About ModernCoinMart

ModernCoinMart, established in 2004, has pioneered the modern coin market online. The company has a professional customer service team, offers free domestic shipping on all orders with no minimum, and strives to bring their customers the lowest possible prices. To learn more, visit ModernCoinMart.com.

About GovMint.com

For more than 30 years, Bill Gale has been a nationally recognized numismatist, and is the founder and president of GovMint.com. With headquarters located in Minneapolis, MN, GovMint.com is one of the largest retailers of rare and collectible coins in the country. To learn more, visit GovMint.com.

United States Mint Reveals Final America the Beautiful Quarters® Program Coin Designs for 2018

DENVER – The United States Mint (Mint) unveiled reverse (tails side) designs for the 2018 coins in its multi-year America the Beautiful Quarters® Program today at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money.

The national sites to be recognized in 2018 are Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore in Michigan, Apostle Islands National Lakeshore in Wisconsin, Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota, Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge in Rhode Island.

The design representing Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore depicts Chapel Rock and the white pine tree that grows atop with the inscriptions “PICTURED ROCKS,” “MICHIGAN,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” This reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Designer Paul C. Balan and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso.

The design representing Apostle Islands National Lakeshore depicts the sea caves at Devils Island with the lighthouse in the background and a kayaker paddling in the foreground. Inscriptions are “APOSTLE ISLANDS,” “WISCONSIN,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” This reverse was designed by AIP Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Renata Gordon.

The design representing Voyageurs National Park depicts a common loon with a rock cliff in the background and the inscriptions “VOYAGEURS,” “MINNESOTA,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” This reverse was designed by AIP Designer Patricia Lucas-Morris and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna.

The design representing Cumberland Island National Seashore depicts a snowy egret perched on a branch on the edge of a salt marsh, ready for flight. Inscriptions are “CUMBERLAND ISLAND,” “GEORGIA,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” This reverse was designed by AIP Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.

The design selected for the quarter honoring Block Island National Wildlife Refuge depicts a black-crowned night-heron flying over a view from the beach at Cow Cove looking towards Sandy Point. The North Lighthouse is seen in the background. Inscriptions are “BLOCK ISLAND,” “RHODE ISLAND,” “2018” and “E PLURIBUS UNUM.” This reverse was designed by AIP Designer Chris Costello and sculpted by Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

The obverse (heads) of the 2018 quarters will continue to feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington by sculptor John Flanagan. Required obverse inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “LIBERTY,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” and “QUARTER DOLLAR.”

2018 marks the ninth year of the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program authorized by Public Law 110-456, the America’s Beautiful National Parks Quarter Dollar Coin Act of 2008 (Act). The Act directs the Mint to design, mint, and issue quarter-dollar coins emblematic of a national park or other national site in each state, the District of Columbia, and the five U.S. territories. In accordance with the Act, the Mint is issuing the new quarters at the rate of five per year until 2020 in the order in which each honored site was first established. The final coin will be released in 2021.

Kagin’s Researcher Pinpoints 1783 Plain Nova Constellatio Quint as First Official USA Coin Struck

(Tiburon, California) August 1, 2017 – David McCarthy, senior numismatist at Kagin’s, Inc. of Tiburon, California (www.Kagins.com), has pinpointed the 1783 plain obverse Nova Constellatio Quint pattern (Breen-1102, W-1830) as the first coin officially struck by authority of the United States government, a finding hailed by another U.S. rare coin expert as “one of the most exciting developments in modern numismatics.”

Results of McCarthy’s research on the unique, early American experimental silver coin, that once was in the hands of one of the USA’s Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton, are in the August 2017 edition of “The Numismatist,” the official journal of the American Numismatic Association (www.money.org).

Now insured for $5 million, the historic ancestor of the dollar as well as every coin in the western world using a decimal monetary system, will be publicly displayed at the Kagin’s booth, #700, during the ANA 2017 World’s Fair of Money (www.WorldsFairofMoney.com) in Denver, Colorado, August 1- 5.

“It’s a national treasure that was hiding in plain sight until all the pieces of the puzzle recently came together,” said Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D., President of Kagin’s.

“Although the coin was discovered in 1870, it was misattributed. We now have compelling evidence that it is, ‘the first that has been struck as an American coin,’ as described in the April 2, 1783 diary entry of Robert Morris, a signer of the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. government’s first Superintendent of Finance,” explained McCarthy.

“The Quint and a subsequent set of coins were created in Philadelphia in April of 1783 under authority of the Treasury some nine years before the next coins would be struck by the U.S. government.  It would have been valued at 500-units in a proposed system that would range from 5 to 1,000 units,” McCarthy said.

“This was the first use of the vital and enduring decimal system to be established in the western world,” stated Kagin.

During the 1770s and 1780s several states and private individuals manufactured coins, but this is the first coin that was struck and paid for by the U.S. government, according to McCarthy’s research, which a dozen other early American coin experts agreed with before he submitted it for publication.

After examining McCarthy’s research, early American coins researcher and writer John Dannreuther of Memphis, Tennessee, the American Numismatic Association’s 2007 Numismatist of the Year, summed up the findings:

“There is a first United States coin, as we have written evidence (in the April 2, 1783 diary entry of Robert Morris, U.S. Superintendent of Finance) that one was delivered:

‘I sent for (metallurgist) Mr. (Benjamin) Dudley who delivered me a Piece of Silver Coin being the first that has been struck as an American Coin.’

“The only coin that logically could be this coin is the Plain Obverse Quint.

“There are numerous things that bring us to this conclusion, the first being that “Nova Constellatio” is not found on the Plain Legend Quint. One does not remove legends, they are added,” explained Dannreuther.

“Secondly, the number of dies noted in the literature can be made to match only by having one die ground down and reengraved. After overlaying the two Quint types, it became obvious that the Plain Obverse die’s eye matched the with Legend eye. Since this is the highest point of the coin, it is the lowest part of the die, as well as the center, it would be logical to leave a small amount of this area as a starting point for the new die. The rest of the die’s detail was removed by the grinding process, of course.”

“Thirdly, the two Quint dies obviously were engraved by two different hands. Since, we know that the with Legend coins match the other denominations in style, as well as having the “Nova Constellatio” legend, the Plain Obverse has to be the first one – thus, it is the first United States coin,” stated Dannreuther.

American Numismatic Association President Jeff Garrett of Lexington, Kentucky also examined McCarthy’s study prior to publication and stated: “David McCarthy’s research makes a compelling case for the 1783 Nova Constellatio Quint being the ‘First American Coin.’  As such, the historical importance of his research, and the coin, is one of the most exciting developments in modern numismatics!”

Only two examples of the 500-unit coin are known, and each is distinctively different on the front. One has the words, NOVA CONSTELLATIO, Latin for “a new constellation,” while the other example does not have any words. The research demonstrates the coin without the words on the obverse was struck first.

After surfacing in New York City nearly 150 years ago, the coin was carefully preserved in several major collections including Lorin G. Parmelee, S.H. and H. Chapman and Wayte Raymond before becoming part of the Garrett Collection and into the possession of Johns Hopkins University where it resided for much of the 20th century.  Only now, though, has numismatic research brought together evidence that it was the first federal coin made by authority of the U.S. government.

Kagin’s acquired the coin at an auction in 2013 where it was graded PCGS AU53 Secure.  McCarthy began researching it through the writings of Morris and Thomas Jefferson, Continental Congress documents, and forensic evidence found on the coins themselves, and he consulted with other noted experts in early American numismatics.

“While the 1783 Plain Obverse Nova Constellatio Quint is among the most historically significant of all United States coins, it is also one of the most important artifacts in the world,” stated Kagin.  “Nothing defines a nation and its society more than its coinage. Just like great documents such as The Magna Carta or The Declaration of Independence established fundamental principles and tenets for western society, so does coinage reflect a nation’s most important ideals, becoming a primary source of communication for a nation’s beliefs.” 

“By examining the first coin of the United States and the new decimal monetary system that it ushered in, we gain significant insights to the thinking of America’s Founding Fathers concerning what kind of nation they wished to establish,” he continued.

Kagin said the coin’s inscriptions and symbols contain the most important aspects of our fledging nation:

On the Obverse the central devices are:

  • The Eye of Providence—symbolizing the creator’s approval of our nation.
  • A circle of 13 stars –a theme which has endured for 240 years—as an obvious reference to the new constellation formed by the original 13 colonies.

The Reverse central inscription includes:

  • “U.S.” as it proclaims the name of our country for all the world to acknowledge.

This is followed by the denomination—in this case, 500 units or a Quint.  Along with the date, two of the most fundamental and defining issues for Americans then and today are prominently inscribed in Latin so all nations could understand: LIBERTAS (Liberty) and JUSTITIA (Justice).

“This coin, struck in the precious metal silver, was also the very first artifact to present our nation’s new decimal system—in fact, the first use of such a vital and enduring system to be established in the western world,” concluded Kagin.

Kagin and McCarthy made international headlines in 2014 when they assisted an anonymous California couple who discovered the “Saddle Ridge Hoard,” nearly $10 million of 19th century U.S. gold coins buried in rusting tin cans.