An E-Sylum reader writes:
The Shell Factory, apparently an amusement center with seashells, a petting zoo and so forth, in Fort Myers, Florida, now has a display of money. I've heard of money being called clams, but this is interesting...
The Shell Factory has launched a new exhibit within its shops, sure to be a favorite with coin enthusiasts. The Money Museum is a free exhibit that features coins and notes and “oddities in mediums” from different eras and from around the world.
There’s Greek coins from 356 to 323 B.C., bronze coins from the Roman Empire circa 253 A.D., notes from each of the first 13 colonies, original Confederate bills, specially minted World War II notes and more.
“The exhibit is incredible,” said Kathy VanderJaqt, retail manager. “The history of it is fascinating.”
One of her favorite parts of the exhibit is a display featuring a Mongolian bridal vest, a vest sewn full of coins.
“Brides wore these in Mongolia and Afghanistan as a dowry,” she said.
She also noted a detailed display of the famous El Cazador sunken treasure. Also called “The Hunter,” the ship is famous in the coin world, noted as “the shipwreck that changed the world.”
In other areas, the exhibit features Mayanmar rupees, yen from China, Military Payment Certificates from the Vietnam War and even “Giant Spear Money” from Africa, used before traditional monies for currency and trade.
“We’re going to expand the exhibit in the future,” said VanderJaqt. “Everything is for sale in the exhibit except for some of the donated memorabilia.”
Many guests are already commenting on the wide array of eras and their tender at the new exhibit.
“Of all our new attractions, The Money Museum has been the most surprising to me,” said the Shell Factory’s Pamela J. Cronin. “The historical aspects of the coins, notes and bonds is extremely interesting and we are astonished at the level of interest from the public.”
I've always advocated placing coin exhibits anywhere tourists congregate. They're interesting, memorable, and make great conversation starters. How many hours are wasted standing in line for attractions at amusement parks? If I were running one of our national numismatic organizations I'd offer to develop exhibits and place them on loan to places like Disney World.
A display of sea-salvaged coins such as those in the store's exhibit could be a great way to entertain and enlighten people waiting for the Pirates of the Caribbean. How about a set of gold Celestons for Tomorrowland? Or coins and medals of Queens and Princesses for Cinderella's castle? -Editor
To read the complete article, see: Money Museum exhibit launches at Shell Factory (www.northfortmyersneighbor.com/news/articles.asp?articleID=4953)
Wayne Homren, Editor
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