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Million dollar penny & Mint's first coin return "home" for Philadelphia World's Fair of Money
1943 Philadelphia bronze alloy cent. It sold earlier this year for over $1 million.

PHILADELPHIA, PA.- A Philadelphia Mint million dollar mismade penny, a $2.5 million example of the Mint’s first coin from 1792, a $3 million nickel made under mysterious circumstance at the Mint a century ago and $1 billion of other rare coins and vintage paper money will be publicly displayed in Philadelphia, August 14-18, at the 2018 World’s Fair of Money®

Hosted by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association, the educational and family-friendly World’s Fair of Money will be held in Hall D of the Pennsylvania Convention Center, 1101 Arch St. The public can also find out what their old coins and currency may be worth with free, informal evaluations by many of the 500 dealers attending the five-day show.

“This will be a Philadelphia ‘homecoming’ for these historic and valuable coins, some of which have never before been publicly displayed in the town in which they were minted,” explained Douglas Mudd, director and curator of the American Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Mudd has assembled a special exhibition from the museum’s collection and historic items loaned by collectors and rare coin dealers.

“Money is history you can hold in your hands, and there will be more than $1 billion of numismatic treasures on public display from spectacular ancient Greek coins to modern money,” said Gary Adkins, president of the 25,000-member association.

Included among the exhibit highlights the public can see during the World’s Fair of Money are:

• A 1943 Lincoln cent mistakenly made of a bronze alloy instead of the zinc-coated steel being used to make pennies that year because copper was needed for World War II materials. It is being displayed courtesy of Philadelphia rare coin dealer Bob Paul who sold the coin for more than $1 million to an anonymous collector earlier this year.

• The first public display in Philadelphia of more than $1 million of historic California Gold Rush-era gold coins and gold bars recovered in 2014 from the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the SS Central America. The Titanic of her day, the ship sank during a hurricane in 1857 off the coast of the Carolinas carrying tons of California gold on a voyage from Panama to New York City.

• The finest known surviving example of the first coins made for circulation by the young United States Mint in 1792, a silver “Half Disme” (an early spelling of the word, dime) that was owned by the first Mint Director, David Rittenhouse. A small coin with huge significance, it was worth just five cents when it was struck with a hand-operated coining press 226 years ago in a basement across the street from where the first mint building was under construction. It is now insured for $2.5 million by its owner, Brian Hendelson, President of Classic Coin Company of Bridgewater, New Jersey ( Hendelson also provided for the exhibit the original document signed by President George Washington and then-Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson appointing Rittenhouse as Mint Director in 1792.

• A $25 million display of other early American money including the only complete, four denominations set of the USA’s first proposed coins, the 1783 Nova Constellatio patterns. Nova Constellatio is Latin for “new constellation,” and these are the world's first decimal system coins created at the urging of U.S. Superintendent of Finance and Declaration of Independence signer, Robert Morris. Struck in Philadelphia in 1783 under authority of the U.S. Treasury Department in the denominations of 5, 100, 500 and 1,000 "units," they will be displayed courtesy of Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, California.

• The unique "Nova Constellatio Quint," an early American experimental silver coin recently pinpointed by researchers as the first coin struck under authority of the young United States government in 1783, nine years before the Mint opened. Once held by Alexander Hamilton, it is insured for $5 million and will be displayed courtesy of Kagin's, Inc. of Tiburon, California (

• One of the five known 1913 Liberty Head nickels made under mysterious circumstances at the Philadelphia Mint and insured now for $3 million. It is owned by the American Numismatic Association.

• One of two known 1861 Liberty Head design $20 denomination gold coins with a different “tail’s side” design than the nearly 3 million others of that denomination made that year at the Philadelphia Mint. Named after Mint Engraver Anthony Paquet, the gold piece is known as the Paquet Reverse, is also owned by Hendelson and is insured for $8 million. It once was owned by the notorious King Farouk of Egypt.

• One of the 16 Confederate States of America cents privately made under secretive circumstances in Philadelphia in 1861, and one of the four Confederate silver half dollars made that year at the New Orleans Mint soon after it was taken over by the Confederacy. The cent is insured for $250,000, the half dollar for $1 million, and they are both displayed courtesy of their anonymous owner and Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey (

• A display of historic Pennsylvania paper money including a 10 shillings denomination note printed by Ben Franklin in 1764 with the warning, “To Counterfeit is DEATH.”

• The United States Treasury Department Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the agency that now prints all our paper money, will have an educational exhibit of high denomination currency including $100,000 bills and $500 million Treasury notes. The United States Mint will be showcasing its latest coins for collectors.

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