10 July 2014
The History of Money
Background:The Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum is home to one of the world's finest numismatic collections, comprising about one million objects. The collection spans the history of coinage from its origins in the seventh century BC to the present day, and related material such as coin weights, tokens and money boxes.
The department also holds the national collection of paper money, ranging from one of the earliest fourteenth century Chinese banknotes to the euro, as well as a magnificent selection of commemorative and art medals from the Italian Renaissance to the present.
The most extensive numismatic library in the country is also housed within the department and, like the collection itself, exists for the benefit of the scholar and general public alike. This material is brought to a wide audience through exhibitions, publications, a broad programme of educational events and through study room facilities.
Ben Alsop is responsible for the Money Gallery, sponsored by Citibank. He is responsible for the updating of gallery content both in the gallery and on the Museum website.