East Asian Numismatics in 3D!

Instructional Resource

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East Asian Numismatics in 3D!

Instructional Resource

The Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is America's collection of monetary and transactional objects. This diverse and expansive global collection contains objects that represent every inhabited continent and span more than 3,000 years of human history. The NNC holds an expansive collection of East Asian coins with notable objects from China, Korea, and Japan. Indeed, many of the earliest donations to the Smithsonian in the 19th century were East Asian coins and paper currencies. They include a set of coins and medals gifted to President Ulysses S. Grant by the Japanese Meiji Emperor during Grant’s world tour. Grant’s widow, Julia Dent Grant, donated the unique gift to the museum in 1886. Shortly after, the estate of collector George Bunker Glover bequeathed more than 2,025 pieces of East Asian currency to the Smithsonian. Growth of the NNC’s East Asian collection continued in the 20th century with significant donations from The Chase Manhattan Money Museum,  the descendants of collector Alexander I. Pogrebetsky, and the estate of collector Josiah K. Lilly Jr. Today the NNC continues to grow its East Asian holdings. In 2017 the NNC received 473 objects from the Howard F. Bowker Collection. Thanks to the generous support of the Howard F. Bowker Family, Michael Chou, and the Smithsonian’s 3D Program, the NNC’s East Asian holdings are accessible online, with a selection available in 3D!