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Collection

The permanent displays of the Department of Coins and Medals are distributed across the different galleries of the museum, each in the appropriate cultural or artistic context with the objects of the other departments. The numbers in brackets give the gallery numbers used on the Museum map (view map).

Coins and Medals

Gallery

Ancient Greek coins

Gregg Gallery

Greek & Roman Gallery (21)

Cypriot Gallery (22)

Roman provincial, Greek, Byzantine and Medieval Islamic coins

Ancient Egyptian Gallery (20)

Medieval and Renaissance coins and medals

Rothschild Gallery (32)

Italian Renaissance medals

Upper Marlay Gallery (6)

Italian Baroque medals

Courtauld Gallery (7)

Chinese coins (Ancient and Medieval)

Far East Gallery (28)

Islamic coins (Medieval and Modern)

Near East Gallery (33)

Modern coins and Medals (18th-19th century)

Glaisher Gallery (27) (forthcoming)

The coins on display are only a small fraction of our numismatic collection, which are in principle universal in scope, from the origins of coinage to the present day, encompassing Ancient, Medieval, Modern and Oriental coins, tokens, jetons, and paper money.

The collection of medals is essentially one of historical and art medals, rather than military or civil awards and decorations, but it includes school prize medals.

The Department also has a small collection of seal matrices and a large reference set of seal impressions.

Roughly half of the Museum's gems and cameos, those that are unmounted, are curated by the Department, which is also responsible for a vast collection of gem impressions, mainly of the 18th and 19th centuries.

The holdings are summarised by category below.

 

Collection

Number of objects

Ancient Greek

35,000

Roman

25,500

Celtic

900

Byzantine

4,500

Pre-Islamic Iranian etc.

1,000

Islamic

7,000

Indian

12,500

Far East

9,000

Medieval, Continental

20,000

Medieval, British Isles

8,000

Modern, British Isles

12,500

Modern, European 1500-1800

6,500

Modern, World post-1800

18,000

Coin weights

150

Coin forgeries and electrotypes

1,000

Coin casts

1,000

Paper money

6,500

Credit and telephone cards

200

Tokens, jettons & toy money

11,000

Medals and plaquettes

5,600

Wax models

40

Gems and cameos

500

Seal matrices

50

Seal impressions

8,000

TOTAL

c. 195,000

These totals last updated April 2008.

 

Visitors are welcome to consult the collections held within the Department by appointment
(see Contact Us - Visiting the Department).