Numismatics & Philately

The Numismatic and Philately Collection provides insight into diverse aspects of the economic, political, social, technological and design histories of societies. The Numismatics collection comprises just under 60,000 items and includes coins, electrotypes, paper money, traditional money, tokens, medals, military medals, badges, share scrip, seal casts and dies. The collection is diverse and includes extensive collections of ancient Roman and Greek coins, British coins, British colonial coins, European and world coins, and paper money. The medal collection is particularly strong in Australian medals, military medals, British medals and French art medals. The Philately collection comprises approximately 16,500 items and is predominantly focused on Australian stamps.


The Numismatics Collection is the most important collection of its kind in Australia, and is of international significance. In particular, the Australian coin collection is the most important of its kind in the world, containing unique reference material formally held by the Melbourne and Sydney mints. Also of national importance are the collections of Australian commemorative and presentation medals, and the most complete collection of Australian trade tokens from the mid-nineteenth to the early twentieth centuries. The collection of international coins is an important collection internationally, although not a prime reference collection. The Philatelic collection is nationally important, especially the collection of Australian colonial stamps (which complements the collection of post-Federation stamps held in the National Philatelic Collection of Australia Post), and an important collection of world airmail stamps to 1950.