Coins and banknotes
The coin and banknote collection at the Central Office of the Deutsche Bundesbank in Frankfurt am Main will be celebrating its centenary in 2016. Nevertheless, compared with royal and national coin collections that are steeped in tradition and have their origins in the princely passion for collecting, it is a relatively new institution.
With a total of more than 350,000 items, the Deutsche Bundesbank’s collection is one of the four largest in Germany alongside those in Berlin, Munich and Dresden. Even by international standards, the coins and banknotes assembled in the collection are of exceptional importance in terms of their geographical scope and historical range.
The present-day collection dates back to the period of the Reichsbank. At what was then its central office of the Reichsbank in Berlin, a general collection was set up with no historical or geographical restrictions. Almost all of this collection was lost amid the chaos and destruction of 1945, the final year of the Second World War. After the war ended, the Bank deutscher Länder came into possession of no more than a fraction of the former Reichsbank collection, which was said to comprise 180,000 coins. The remaining pieces formed the basis of the current collection of more than 90,000 coins. The paper money collection, which reportedly consisted of 140,000 banknotes, was lost entirely and had to be built up from scratch. With around 260,000 items, it is now regarded as one of the most important of its kind worldwide.
The Numismatic Library, which is linked to the collection was also set up entirely from scratch at the war and currently contains some 23,000 media items.
Parts of the collection are on permanent display along with other items as changing exhibits at the Money Museum of the Deutsche Bundesbank.
The items may be accessed for study purposes. For details, please consult the Study room regulations.
It is possible to order digital photographs or scans of the items in the collection.
Orders for photographs are processed in the order in which they are received. The current price list may be inspected under Price list for copies, digital images and photographic reproductions. The team responsible for the coin and banknote collection regrets that it is unable to answer any enquiries about, or provide any information on the value and authenticity of (commemorative) coins or banknotes etc. Such information may be obtained from specialist dealers, auction houses or from certified experts in the field of numismatics.
Information on certified numismatists can be obtained from your regional Chamber of Industry and Commerce.
Further information on national and international specialist dealers and auction houses may be obtained, for example, from the "Verband der deutschen Münzenhändler e. V." and from the International Association of Professional Numismatists.