More Fun Than You Think: An Afternoon at the Museum of American Finance

A museum all about money might sound a little dry, but the Museum of American Finance on Wall Street is a must-visit for any New Yorker — especially if you’re living nearby, in a condo at 101 Wall. We can tell you still need a bit of convincing — which is why we’ve listed just a few of the reasons to visit.

See a $10,000 bill

That’s right — a $5,000 and $10,000 bill are on show as part of the museum’s “America In Circulation” display. While we take the bills and coins in our pockets for granted, this exhibition reveals just how inventive and artistic money can be — showcasing 250 notes dating right back to Colonial times, as well as currency signed by the Founding Fathers.

Grapple with the financial markets

The financial markets haven’t always looked like an eternal scroll of numbers on a screen; an exhibition that starts with the age of the ticker tape, as well as a certain event that unfolded in 1929, tells you all about the history of the NYSE. The exhibit also immerses you in the frantic-paced world of contemporary investment banking, with three multimedia towers representing three of NYC's major exchanges: the New York Stock Exchange, the New York Mercantile Exchange and the Citigroup Bond Desk.

Gold that’s far from standard

Until December 2016 the museum has “Worth Its Weight,” a mind-blowing exhibition about gold and how it’s influenced the lives of every single American. There’s some serious bling on display here, including a gold-encrusted Monopoly board, a Nokia phone with a gold and jewel case, and even a set of gilded dentures! Some people really did catch gold fever.

Be inspired by great entrepreneurs

You don’t get to turn money into lots more money without having a great mind. The Museum of American Finance’s video on entrepreneurs introduces 10 of the people behind some of today’s biggest companies — including Steve Hindy of Brooklyn Brewery, Robin Chase from Zipcar, and Jacqueline Novogratz of Acumen Fund. Learn about their trials and tribulations and take away some of their life lessons. Who knows, maybe it’ll inspire you to be one of America’s next great businesspeople!

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