Famous coin collections

Numismatic Museum in Athens, Greece

Learn about the famous collections of rare coins and the popular coin collectors. Famous coin collections have been preserved by institutions and government agencies all through history.

Did you know that rare coins collecting is actually a good investment? When a country’s paper currency is threatened, the value or rare coin collections can safeguard the nation’s wealth.

Famous rare coin collections are insurable and there are thousands of coin dealers eager to get hold of a unique selection of coins.

Here are a few of the famous rare coin collections and the equally famous coin collectors:

The coin collection of the Numismatic Museum in Athens

Numismatic Museum in Athens, Greece

The Numismatic Museum in Athens located in the Heinrich Schliemann mansion houses a famous collection of coins. Visiting the Athens’ Coin Museum is like having a crash course in Greek history, art, and culture. The renowned coin collections are separated in galleries according to varied themes.

A remarkable numismatic collection of Greek coinages from Athens, Macedonia and Alexandria, Magna Graecia, and other Greek leagues and alliances grace one of the chambers.

Other famous rare collections in the museum are the selected gold coins of every Ptolemaic king and queen of Egypt. Most of the collections are from rare coin collecting connoisseurs who donated the finest Byzantine and Greek numismatic pieces.

State Hermitage Museum coin collection

The Room of Coins - Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg
The Room of Coins – Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg

The Room of Coins at the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia is one of the popular coin museums. It has 63,600 pieces of ancient Greek coins from the 7th century B.C. to the 5th century A.D. including the set of electrum coin from the old city of Cyzicus (known as the first international currency during the ancient times), and the Syracusan Dekadrachms (the first known commemorative coins).

The Hermitage Museums’ Oriental collection boasts of coins, money ingots, dies, coin-shaped amulets and primitive currency of Asia, Africa and the neighbouring Atlantic and Pacific islands. The famous rare coin collection of the Sassanian coins and the 19th century Chinese silver money ingots are among the finest numismatic selections in the world.

Also worthy of honor in the museum’s Münzkabinet (coin and medal collection) is the Jakob  Reichel collection  which contains Western and European coins and a selection of Russian coins and rarities from the first half of the 19th century.

Harry W. Bass Jr. coin collection at the ANA Money Museum

ANA Money Museum – Harry W. Bass Jr. coin collection

The National Numismatic Association Money Museum in Colorado Springs is the second largest coin collection in the USA with over 250,000 numismatic objects. Harry W. Bass, Jr., one of the popular numismatists, donated a complete collection of US gold coins dated 1834 to 1933, including the rare 1870-s. 

The ANA famous rare coins collections also include the 1913 Liberty nickel, a specimen of the famous rare coin collector George O. Walton. Other articles on display include the 1804 dollar and the 1866 no motto series. The ANA Money Museum coin collection has a selection of US mint error coins, as well as tokens, medals, paper money, and currencies from around the world.

Fitzwilliam Museum coin collection

Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England

The Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, England has an interesting array of Roman coins issued after the murder of Nero. Fitzwilliam’s famous coin collection also covers the unique copper tokens handed out by the Cambridge chandler in 1668, a golden rupee from 1600s, and other ancient, medieval and modern coins. There are Renaissance medals, too.

Smithsonian Museum numismatic collection

Gallery of Numismatics at the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C.

Without doubt, the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. earns a spot in the list of the world’s famous coin collections as the museum holds the biggest numismatic collection in the entire North America. Also known as the National Numismatic Collection, its 1.6 million pieces of coins, tokens, medals, and other numismatic objects is replete with rare coins from all over the world.

The Smithsonian museum is well-equipped for numismatists who are into famous rare coin collecting. Their famous rare US coin collection features all variations of the 1804 silver dollar, two of the most valuable 1933 Double Eagles, and a 1913 Liberty nickel. The unique 1974 aluminum Lincoln cent is also displayed. Another famous rare coin is the Brasher half doubloon.

John J. Ford Jr. colonial coin Collection

Ford Jr.’s famous coin collections include early American coins and rare confederate pennies. His rare numismatic collections include the Massachusetts 1960, the oldest coin issued by the Continental Congress and the African medals.

His rare colonial coin collection graced the shelter in his Long Island home. He catalogued the New Netherlands Coin Company which he partly owned.

Eliasberg Collection

One of the famous coin collections in US numismatic history is that of Louis Eliasberg’s. He was Baltimore financier and rare coins collector who attempted to complete a rare collection of the United States regular issue coins. The popular numismatist kept his collection current and purchased old coins.

 By 1950, he was able to achieve his goal when he purchased the last US gold coin and silver dime missing in his collection. Then the Eliasberg coins were auctioned in 1982, 1996, and 1997. The three Eliasberg sales are among of the greatest down the annals of numismatic history next to John J. Ford Jr’s colonial coin collection.

I am passionate about the historical, cultural, and artistic aspects of currency. I collect coins and banknotes from various countries and time periods, focusing on specific themes, time periods, or regions that I find interesting. I also love to study the historical context of the currency that influenced coinage and currency issuance.