The Smithsonian Institution is one of the greatest establishments in the United States. But where did this colossus of cultural collections come from? And how did it come to be?
The tale is as fascinating as it is revealing. And it began nearly 190 years ago, when James Smithson, a wealthy British chemist and mineralist, passed away in 1829.
He left his sizable estate to his nephew, Henry James Dickinson. But when Dickinson died several years later without an heir, a stipulation in Smithson’s will went into effect.
All of his assets would go “to the United States of America, to found at Washington, under the name of the Smithsonian Institution, an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge…”
Smithson’s final wish was graciously accepted by the U.S. Congress, which requested that the monies sent would be newly struck Gold Sovereigns — bearing the profile of the recently-crowned Queen Victoria.
The Royal Mint went to work, and soon 104,960 1838 British Gold Sovereigns were loaded on a ship bound for America.
Once Smithson’s treasure arrived, that coinage was shipped to the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, where it was melted down and turned into 1838-dated $10 U.S. “Liberty” Gold Eagles — equaling more than $11 million in today’s money!
Now you can own .999 pure silver versions of the 1838 British Sovereign and U.S. Liberty Eagle — two gold coins that built the original Smithsonian Institution!
Add a piece of this incredible true story to your collection — with two dual-dated .999 pure silver proofs struck by the Commonwealth Mint, each modeled after the coins that made the founding of the Smithsonian Institution possible.
Officially evaluated by the Queen’s Assay office and approved by the Smithsonian Institution, this historic Silver Founder’s Two-Proof Set comes in a beautiful black lacquered wooden box, featuring a pewter engraving of the original Smithsonian Castle.
The coins enclosed will be graded as either Gem Proofs or perfect Proof 70 Ultra Cameo (PF70UC) coins by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation — each sonically sealed in individual acrylic cases with distinctive “Founder’s Set” labels, specially-designed for this occasion!
Order yours today! Only a very limited number of these sets will be minted and released. So don’t miss out on this incredible opportunity to bring this 190-year-old story home!