The Numismatics and Philately Collections offer a window into societies and their values, particularly officially sanctioned values. They have a worldwide coverage of coins, historical medals, military medals, paper money, share scrip and stamps.

The most extensive parts of the collection are of Australian and British Commonwealth material. The Australian coin collection is the most important of its kind in the world, containing unique reference material retained by both the Melbourne and Sydney mints.

The Numismatic collection reflects the economic, political and technological histories of societies. It is primarily built up from the collections formed by the National Gallery of Victoria and the Melbourne Mint, and products from the Canberra Mint are still obtained.

It includes the collection of the artist Eugene von Guerard and groups of medals awarded to important Victorian figures including Frederick McCoy, Redmond Barry and Ferdinand von Mueller, together with many internationally significant pieces collected for the 1879, 1880 and 1888 Australian international exhibitions.

The Philately collection comprises stamps, envelopes, covers and commemorative sets. It includes a collection of colonial Australasian stamps and an important collection of world airmail stamps to 1950. Australia Post's National Philatelic Collection is also held in Victoria. Together, these form an internationally significant resource.

Significant items

  • Melbourne Mint and Sydney Mint coin collections.
  • British Commonwealth coins.
  • Pre-decimal Australian reference coins.
  • Australian and New Zealand trade tokens.
  • Gold-rush period token dies including those from the Kangaroo Office.
  • Acclimatisation Society Medals.
  • First trial for a token manufactured in Australia.
  • Original press and gold scales from Melbourne Mint.
  • Australia's first coins (holey dollars and dumps), 1813.
  • 1888 Melbourne International Exhibition Ceremonial key and medal.
  • European art medals, particularly by French artists, and Australian art medals.
  • Colonial Australasian stamps.
  • Antarctic stamps and medals.
  • British Commonwealth stamps, 1935-1954.
  • World stamps issued for airmail 1913-1953.
  • Share scrip collection, with particular emphasis on Victorian gold mining.
  • Australian internment camp currency.

More Information