to the present day
Supported by Citi
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The history of money can be traced back over 4,000 years. During this time, currency has taken many different forms, from coins to banknotes, shells to mobile phones.
This gallery displays the history of money around the world.
From the earliest evidence, to the latest developments in digital technology, money has been an important part of human societies. Looking at the history of money gives us a way to understand the history of the world.
From the earliest objects used for exchange, to the technology changing the way we spend
A hoard from the dawn of Roman Britain
In 2010 a metal-detector user in the English county of Dorset found a hoard of coins dating to the Roman conquest of Britain in AD 43.
The hoard includes Iron Age and Roman Republican coins, as well as coins issued by the emperor Claudius between AD 41 and 50. This could be the contents of a purse lost by a Roman soldier as his legion (the famous Legio II Augusta) advanced through southern England in the years immediately after the conquest.
3 December 2013
Mahesh A. Kalra, University of Mumbai and International Training Programme curator, British Museum
27 September 2013
Eleanor Ghey, curator, British Museum
5 July 2013
Ellen Feingold, project curator, British Museum
Related online tours
Watch British Sign Language videos of objects on display in this gallery.