The 20,000+ coins, tokens, medals and other items in the numismatic collections include ancient coins, modern coins and paper money, as well as medals, medallions and associated material. The collection also includes local historical material and large numbers of modern European coins.
There are approximately 8,000 coins from the ancient world in the numismatic collections, including a variety of Iron Age, ancient Greek, Republican and Imperial Roman, Byzantine, Viking, Medieval, and post-Medieval coinage. This also includes local coin hoards and coins from archaeological archives. There is also a large collection of ancient coin casts and coin moulds. The most significant collection of ancient coins is George Baron’s generous bequest of 2,000 gold, silver and bronze coins acquired by Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society in 1854.
We hold an extensive collection of British, European and International coinage from the 17th century up to the present day. Part of the collection reflects national changes in currency and spending practices in the UK, for example decimalisation, early cheques, credit cards, etc. Other highlights of the collection include coins and banknotes from across the world, and alternative world currencies, both ancient and modern.
Military and commemorative medals
There are about 1,000 military medals and decorations in the collection relating to campaigns and individuals worldwide, but many with a local connection. This is augmented by substantial collections of regimental badges and military buttons. There is also a variety of local commemorative coins and medals, British historical medals and royal commemorative medals in the collection, as well as a more miscellaneous selection of medal series’ mainly acquired in the 19th century (for example, papal medals donated by George Baron and R.L.P Jowitt in the mid 1800s).
Other collections of note include British and Yorkshire tokens, casts of Medieval and post-Medieval seals (royal, monastic, and heraldic), and historical ephemera relating to the collection. There is also a variety of miscellaneous material which ranges from Royal Maundy money to 1970s chocolate coins!