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The Numismatic Collection is one of the largest collections of its kind with around 500,000 objects. The collection owes its international renown to its rich diversity as well as the comprehensiveness of its coin series which range from the beginnings of coinage in the seventh century BC in Asia Minor to the coins and medals of the twenty-first century.
On the occasion of the centenary of the Bode-Museum, the Numismatic Collection was re-opened on 22 October 2004, after six years of restoration. The whole Bode-Museum was ceremoniously re-opened in October 2006. Since 2011, the Numismatic Collection has also had a collection of ancient coins on permanent display in the Altes Museum, containing over 1400 prize items. In addition, some of its select holdings feature as part of the exhibitions in the Neues Museum. With more than a total of 5000 noteworthy coins and medallions on display, the Museum Island is therefore a veritable El Dorado for admirers of the art of minting.
The most significant holdings within the Numismatic Collection include: 102,000 Greek coins and about 50,000 from ancient Rome; 160,00 European coins from the Middle Ages to modern times and 35,000 Oriental-Islamic coins. There are also 25,000 examples of medals, which began to develop as an art form around 1400 AD.
Apart from the coins and medals, the collection also contains paper currency, historical seals dating from the Middle Ages, and examples of different forms of money used by primitive peoples. In addition there are more than 15,000 minting tools, including over 10,000 dies with which coins were struck in Berlin from the 17th century onwards, as well as a large collection of casts.
The Numismatic Collection acquired its leading status primarily through the comprehensiveness of the series in its possession, as well as through a significant number of extremely rare items. The motifs on the coins are highly varied and themes tend to reappear throughout the centuries. Images include religious themes from ancient mythology and Christian beliefs, coats of arms, animals, plants, buildings and famous personalities.