Link to Legacies Home Page Link to National Museum of American History About Legacies Tour the Exhibit Most Intriguing Objects Most Popular Objects Take the Collector Quiz A Treasure House A Shrine to the Famous A Palace of Progress A Mirror of America From Artifacts to America Exhibit Search Buy the Book Smithsonian Press--Legacies--1Treasure House--British sovereign, 1838

Legacies: Collecting America's History at the Smithsonian, by Steven Lubar and Kathleen M. Kendrick
You are here: Treasure House > Monetary Value

British sovereign, 1838British sovereign, 1838

In his will James Smithson, an English scientist, provided for the establishment of the Smithsonian Institution. In 1838 his bequest—105 bags of British gold sovereigns—was shipped from England, and all but two sovereigns were melted down to produce new American coins. These two sovereigns, transferred from the U.S. Mint in 1923, have since come to symbolize the origins of the Institution.

Return to the Legacies Home Page

Privacy  |  Terms of Use