The great state of Georgia is no stranger to organized numismatics. You might remember a few years ago when the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo—usually hosted in Baltimore three times a year—was held in Atlanta. The American Numismatic Association, too, has held shows in The Big Peach in recent years. And local and state groups like the Metropolitan Coin Club of Atlanta, the Rockdale Coin Club, and the Georgia Numismatic Association sponsor regular meetings, shows, and events.

Now we have another chance to enjoy some Southern charm, and (for the Yankees) a break from the cold winter, when the ANA brings its National Money Show® to Atlanta, February 27–29, 2020.

I think back to 2007 when a unique gold coin—valued then at $2.5 million—was exhibited at the Whitman Expo in Atlanta. It was an 1854 Kellogg & Co. $20 gold piece once personally owned by Augustus Humbert, United States Assayer of Gold. Also on display were the “Top Ten” pieces of paper money (as ranked in 100 Greatest American Currency Notes, by Q. David Bowers and David Sundman). That remarkable exhibit included the world’s first million-dollar-valued note, the famous Grand Watermelon. Four new Whitman books debuted at the 2007 show: the third edition of Dave Bowers’s Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars (today available in its sixth edition and counting!); the second edition of Dr. Cornelius Vermeule’s classic Numismatic Art in America; the wonderful 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens, by Bowers and Katherine Jaeger (who signed copies and gave a presentation at the show); and George Tremmel’s Guide Book of Counterfeit Confederate Currency, an engaging history of the events and people involved in the production and passing of counterfeit notes during the Civil War—and the dramatic countermeasures the Confederate Treasury Department took to protect its paper money. Tremmel also gave a program, “How Much Do You Know About Counterfeit CSA Paper Money?”

Will the upcoming February 2020 ANA National Money Show bring the same level of hobby fun?

Yes indeed. Everyone is looking forward to first-class numismatic auctions, displays of ultra-rarities and famous coins, and educational programs to attract collectors from around the country.

The Appeal of Atlanta

Atlanta, Georgia, is the ninth-largest metropolitan area in the nation, with a population of six million people, and a rich numismatic history. There are tokens, medals, obsolete paper money, and scrip that hail from the “Big Peach.” An hour north of Atlanta, the Dahlonega region saw the first major gold rush in the United States (in the 1820s and 1830s, years before California); it was a hotbed of private gold coinage, and later the site of a U.S. branch mint.

More recently, the Greater Atlanta metro region has been home to numismatic luminaries like die-variety expert Bill Fivaz, professional coin dealers Bob Harwell (well known for dealing in Dahlonega gold coins) and John Hamrick (who founded World-Wide Coin Investments), Southern gold specialist Al Adams, ICTA chief operating officer David Crenshaw, and “Coin Dealers Helping Coin Dealers” creator Rob Oberth. ANA governor Dr. Radford Stearns, an expert on Georgia colonial money, lived in nearby Lilburn. For more than 15 years Atlanta was the national headquarters city of Whitman Publishing, and much of the company’s publishing staff is still located there.

Atlanta is a gracious hostess. Hobbyists from the Southeast drive in comfortably from major cities including Birmingham, Nashville, Charlotte, Jacksonville, Lexington/Fayette, Greensboro, Louisville, Memphis, Orlando, Tallahassee, Columbia, and Raleigh/Durham. With the nation’s largest airport and a convenient public-transit system, it’s easy to get into and around town. The National Money Show venue, the Cobb Galleria Centre, has free parking and admission, comfortable meeting rooms, and good food.

Outside of the hobby, Atlanta is well known for its diverse restaurants, arts and culture, sports, high-end and eclectic shopping, great hotels, and of course that famous Southern hospitality. The show’s hotel, the Renaissance Atlanta Waverly, is right next to the convention center, and the Cumberland Mall is across the street, accessible by a pedestrian sky-bridge. Cumberland offers popular restaurants including Maggiano’s Little Italy, P.F. Chang’s China Bistro, Cheesecake Factory, Stoney River Legendary Steaks, Ted’s Montana Grill, Buffalo Wild Wings, Jason’s Deli, Bezoria, and more. The Cobb Energy Performing Arts Center is nearby.

Head a few miles south and you have Centennial Olympic Park, CNN Center, the World of Coca-Cola, the Children’s Museum of Atlanta, the new National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the Georgia Aquarium, Zoo Atlanta, Piedmont Park, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, the Martin Luther King, Jr., National Historic Site, and other world-class historical and educational sites and recreational venues.

Whitman Programs and Presentations at the ANA National Money Show

Whitman Publishing numismatic books, folders, albums, display cases, holders, and other hobby products will be for sale at the ANA show. Stanton Books and Stone Mountain Supply will be set up next to the ANA Museum Showcase.

Bill Bierly, author of the recently released In God We Trust: The American Civil War, Money, Banking, and Religion, will be on hand to autograph books and talk about his research. Other Whitman authors including Jeff Garrett, Bill Fivaz, and Dennis Tucker will sign books and talk with collectors.

Thursday morning, February 27, Bill Fivaz and Dennis Tucker will give presentations on cherrypicking rare die varieties and collecting modern U.S. Mint silver and gold medals. These programs are part of the ANA’s suite of one-hour “Money Talks,” free and open to the public, giving people a chance to learn from their fellow numismatists, collectors, and ANA staff and members.

Thursday afternoon at 4:00 the ANA will host its Philanthropy Award Presentation and Reception (social and networking at 4:00, presentation at 5:00), celebrating Charles and Joel Anderson of Anderson Companies, owner of Whitman Publishing.

Immediately following, at 6:00, Bill Fivaz will be interviewed for the ANA Legacy Series, an ongoing program that “acquaints collectors with legends, heroes, and icons of numismatics, celebrating their lives and contributions to the hobby.”

See You in Atlanta!

Come for the coins and paper money, enjoy the nice weather and everything Atlanta has to offer, pick up some exciting new Whitman books, learn from the exhibits and presentations, hunt down additions for your collection, and meet some of your favorite numismatic authors in person. It’s all at the 2020 ANA National Money Show in Atlanta. See you there!

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