An overriding theme of the past six Tyrant exhibits, held at the Long Beach Coin Expos, have dealt with an individual nations’ initial governing act to coin money. The August ANA Convention continues this tradition with another rare opportunity to view a world class collection.
The goal of this exhibit, featuring United States Type Coins, is to focus on the beauty, artistry, patriotism and history of America’s coinage. When touring the exhibit, one should recognize how crude our nation’s first mint actually was. By first utilizing several coin presses acquired from local sources, coupled with immigrants and American ingenuity, magnificent coins were created. The level of talent sourced for the various engravings and their execution by skilled coin-makers (minters) is a testament to the pride of a new nation. In 1795, Samuel Howell provided a large screw press that could provide the power to produce well-struck silver dollars and gold eagles.
To best accomplish this task, theoretically, four coins are exhibited for each type and sub-type. One was selected as a Proof (Specimen or Presentation Strike or Master Coin, as they were first called by the Mint officials) and another was selected in Mint State (Business Strike). In addition, since many collectors prefer untoned coins and feel oxidation (toning) hides the artistic beauty of the designs, an untoned coin was selected. For others, who appreciate the natural oxidation of the metals, a toned coin was chosen. Consequently, this exhibit contains approximately 400 different type coins, sub-types and finishes. Exhibited are dozens of the finest known examples of both circulation strikes and proofs.