The National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is the largest collection of numismatic artifacts in North America. It features more than 450,000 coins and 1.1 million pieces of paper money spanning nearly 30 centuries. The collection is home to some of the earliest coins ever created, as well as marquee pieces of America’s minting history — like the 1849 double eagle and two 1877 fifty-dollar patterns.
In addition to showcasing artifacts of payments past, the curators are also interested in documenting how the way we pay is evolving today — specifically around cashless transactions. And we’re excited to announce that Square Reader will be included in this effort as part of the museum’s new exhibit “The Value of Money,” which opens this summer.
“Over the years, our collection has expanded to include not only typical numismatic objects but also emerging numismatic technologies. These new technologies play an important role in everyday life and have an impact on how often people interact with cash, or indeed, whether they use it at all,” says Hillery York, a collections manager for the National Numismatic Collection.