Several coins from the numismatic collection ©Deutsche Bundesbank

Collection Coins and banknotes

Like many other central banks around the world, the Deutsche Bundesbank collects coins, banknotes and other important artefacts related to the history of money. On the one hand, this helps to document present-day developments in cash for future generations. On the other, these historical objects provide physical evidence of the minting and monetary policy of the past two-and-a-half thousand years – starting from when coins were invented in the 7th century BC. The collection serves to illustrate key events in monetary history from all angles.

With over 90,000 coins and around 260,000 banknotes from all over the world, the Bundesbank’s carefully selected numismatic collection is one of the most important of its kind worldwide.

The collection of coins and banknotes is complemented by a further 3,000 artefacts closely related to the history of money, such as coin dies, printing plates, scales and weights, money boxes and vessels decorated with coins. It also includes engravings and prints, decrees and edicts relating to coins and other historic printed material ranging from the late 17th to the early 20th century.

Our members of staff curate and document the collection, making intensive use of the contents of the numismatic library. This library currently contains around 23,000 media items and is also open to external visitors provided that they register first.

Outstanding individual pieces from the coin and banknote collection are on display as part of the permanent exhibition at the Bundesbank’s Money Museum. Special exhibitions provide deeper insights into key aspects of monetary history.