Coin and Currency Sites to Visit on Your Vacation

 

It’s summer, and many people are heading out on vacation. But there’s no reason not to celebrate your hobby on the road! Here’s a list of coin- and currency-related attractions and exhibits in all 50 states (and DC, of course!)
Alabama: The El Cazador Museum, which preserves the artifacts of the 1784 shipwreck, including its shipment of “pieces of eight.”

 

Alaska: The Alaska Mint, a private mint and also the northernmost mint in the US, as well as the starting point for the Iditarod race.

 

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The Good Enough Mine

Arizona: The Good Enough Mine, which provided some of the metal for the New Orleans Mint.

 

Arkansas: Due to a corruption-fighting measure in Arkansas legislation, you can go into the Treasury vault and examine the tax money. You can even take a selfie while holding the money!

 

California: The classic choice is Sutter’s Mill, where the Gold Rush began. If you’re looking for something a little more off the beaten path, check out the Penny Bar in the McKittrick hotel, which is completely covered in pennies.

 

Colorado: Of course there is the Denver Mint, but don’t forget the American Numismatics Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs.

 

Connecticut: The Mitchelson Coin Collection at the Museum of Connecticut History has one of the premier collections of American coins in the world, including a 1907 ultra high relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold double eagle
District of Columbia: The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History is a must-see, with its exhibit of coins, currency, and medals.

 

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Coin Beach

Delaware: Find coins from old wrecks on Delaware’s Coin Beach!

 

Florida: No visit to Florida is complete without a visit to the king of shipwreck salvage, Mel Fisher’s Treasures.

 

Georgia: The Mint at Dahlonega hasn’t been in use since the 1860’s, but the Dahlonega Gold Museum and Mint (housed in the old county courthouse, since the original Mint building burned down) are definitely worth a visit.

 

Hawaii: The statue of King Kamehameha I depicted on the Hawaii State Quarter is striking, and something you’ll want to see for yourself.

 

Idaho: Collectors of all types will enjoy the Idaho Falls Collectors’ Corner Museum.

 

Illinois: The Money Museum at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago is a solid choice for kids and adults alike. 

 

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Roman coins found in Indiana

Indiana: While digging for construction, workers found a collection of Roman coins that appeared to have once been kept in a leather bag. Some of the coins are on display in the Falls of the Ohio museum

 

Iowa: For currency aficionados, the Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes is definitely something to check out.

 

Kansas: The University of Kansas has an excellent collection of ancient coins.

 

Kentucky: Clay City, Kentucky, is home to one of the most unusual replica coin controversies. (You can also visit the Fort Knox visitor’s center while you’re in the state, but don’t expect to see much gold!)

 

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New Orleans Mint

Louisiana: The New Orleans Mint is a classic choice but don’t pass up Louisiana Treasures: they have an excellent display of World’s Fair tokens.

 

Maine: The Maine Penny is an unusual artifact at the Maine State Museum. It’s a legitimate Viking coin, but found too far south for the Vikings to have brought it. What’s its story?

 

Maryland: Learn more about metal conservation and early colonial coinage at St. Mary’s City museum.

 

Massachusetts: The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, has a legendary coin room. (Recommended by collector Kevin Cahalane.)

 

Michigan: The Kelsey Museum of Archaeology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor has over 40,000 ancient coins.

 

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Wells Fargo Museum

Minnesota: Wells Fargo is synonymous with business and commerce over a distance, so it’s no surprise they have a Minneapolis museum featuring gold nuggets and coins.  

 

Mississippi: The University of Mississippi museum features an extensive collection of ancient coins.

 

Missouri: The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City also has a Money Museum, perfect for all ages.

 

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50,000 Silver Dollar Bar

Montana: If you’re looking for something a little more unusual, head off the beaten path in western Montana. The 50,000 Silver Dollar Bar in Haugan hosts one of the largest silver dollar collections in the world, displayed on the bar top and walls of the establishment.

 

Nebraska: Don’t miss the Byron Reed collection at Durham Museum in Omaha; it’s an impressive assortment of ancient and colonial coins, as well as exonumia, currency, and historical documents.

 

Nevada: Of course the Carson City Mint is the top choice for Nevada!

 

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Saint-Gaudens Estate

New Hampshire: America’s smallest and least-visited national park is a hidden gem, especially for numismatists. The Saint-Gauden Estate hosts some of the sculptor’s best works.

 

New Jersey: Be sure to check out the Belskie Museum, which contains some of the work of Abram Belskie, sculptor and medalist.

 

New Mexico: If you can find the Santa Clara Museum of Natural History, you just might be able to talk them into telling you where the 7 Cities of Gold are…

 

New York: Much of our financial system was put into place by Alexander Hamilton (including the Mint!) You can see his old house, the Hamilton Grange, in New York City.

 

North Carolina: The old Mint in Charlotte has a museum with a complete set of all gold coins minted there.

 

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Lefor Bank Vault

North Dakota: Sometimes all that’s left is where the coins were. You can see abandoned bank vaults in Lefor and Silva.

 

Ohio: Check out the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland Learning Center and Money Museum.

 

Oklahoma: The Midgley Museum of collectibles has something for everyone, coin collector or not!

 

Oregon: A single penny decided the name of Portland, Oregon, and the original Portland Penny is on display at the Oregon Historical Society Museum. (For the pop culture addict, you can also see a Goonies exhibit at the Oregon Film Museum. Sadly, pirate treasure is NOT included.)

 

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US Mint in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania: What would a list of coin sites be without a mention of Philadelphia, the first and current Mint. American coin central!

 

Rhode Island: Coins aren’t just for collecting: have a blast at Spring Lake Penny Arcade, the oldest Penny Arcade Business in America. Not only is it still operating, but it still has the original pricing!

 

South Carolina: Something unusual for a niche currency collector: the US Army Finance Corps Museum.

 

South Dakota: One of the best producing mine in America, the Homestake mine. Not only has it produced vast amounts of ore, but it’s also been important to science!

 

Tennessee: Oak Ridge used to give visitors mildly irradiated dimes to show the changes radiation could make to silver. The site is now the American Museum of Science and Energy, and they definitely don’t give out radioactive coins anymore.

 

Texas: The Money Museum and Rarities Room in Houston is by appointment only, but does host an impressive collection. You can also visit the Bureau of Engraving and Printing in Fort Worth.

 

 Utah: Copper mining made a big impact on this state; there’s a whole museum dedicated to it in the town of Magna.

 

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Site of Harmon’s Mint

Vermont: One of the earliest sites for post-colonial coin minting was East Rupert, where Reuben Harmon, Jr. minted coins for the new state.

 

Virginia: If colonial coins are your thing, visit the museum in Williamsburg. They have an excellent collection.

 

Washington: Blaine, Washington, right on the border with Canada, is home of the original wooden nickels.

 

West Virgina: Need a favor? The ghost that haunts this grave accepts coins in exchange for granting wishes.

 

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Largest penny in the world

Wisconsin: It may not be the most detailed penny in the world, but it’s (probably) the largest!

 

Wyoming: The Carissa gold mine and mill is an excellent historic site well worth a visit.

 

(All photos used under fair use.)

 

 

 

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