The public can get free appraisals of old coins and paper money and see hundreds of millions of dollars of historic rare coins and colorful currency at the World's Fair of Money continuing through Saturday, Aug. 9, in the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont.
The show also offers the first chance to buy the U.S. Mint's new dual-dated 1964-2014 President John F. Kennedy half dollars struck in gold. Only 500 of the half dollars will be sold per day, limit one per person. The initial price is $1,240.
People interested in buying the Kennedy half dollars can line up beginning at 7 a.m. in the meeting rooms lobby area around the corner from Hall A of the convention center. Tickets will be handed out at 8 a.m. to the first 500 people in line each day. After the doors to the convention open at 10 a.m., 20 ticket holders at a time will be permitted to purchase a coin at the mint's booth.
Sponsored by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association, the show, which opened Tuesday, also has displays by government and private mints from around the world. More than 1,000 coin and currency dealers will be buying and selling items ranging in price from a dollar to more than a million dollars.
One of the featured exhibits at the show is a fabled Brasher Doubloon, the first gold coin made for the United States in 1787 by George Washington's neighbor and now insured for $10 million for its first public display in the Midwest in nearly 30 years.
Exhibits include a $2.5 million nickel formerly owned by a Milwaukee man who carried it in his pocket to show strangers, and a display of ancient gold coins of the legendary 12 Caesars of the Roman Empire.
Visitors also can see a U.S. $10,000 denomination bill printed in the 1930s and educational exhibits including the first coin authorized by President Washington, a rare 1792 silver half "dime" (an early spelling of dime).
"The fabled 1787 Brasher Doubloon that will be displayed at the show courtesy of Monaco Rare Coins of Newport Beach, California, is the finest of only seven known surviving examples made by New York goldsmith, Ephraim Brasher," said Walter Ostromecki, president of the Congressionally-chartered, 25,000 member American Numismatic Association.
"When it was made by hand 227 years ago, it was valued at $16 worth of gold," said Adam Crum, vice president of Monaco Rare Coins. "This national treasure now is insured for $10 million."
Public auction of rare coins and currency will be conducted by Heritage Auctions and Stack's Bowers Galleries in conjunction with the show that is hosted by the Chicago Coin Club.
Public hours for the World's Fair of Money will be 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. through Friday and from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
Admission will be free on Saturday when people can get complimentary, educational appraisals of their old coins and paper money from numismatic experts. Admission other days is $6 for adults and free for children 12 and under.
Discount admission coupons and additional details are at www.WorldsFairOfMoney.com.