Special money: the National Numismatic Collection
The National Numismatic Collection (NNC) is the Netherlands' largest collection of banknotes, coins, medals and related items. These include non-Western means of payment, coin die stamps, coin weights, and an extensive library. The collection comprises a total of 400,000 objects. The NNC is managed by De Nederlandsche Bank (DNB).
What is the National Numismatic Collection?
Numismatics is the scientific study of all tangible forms of money. The NNC is therefore a collection that showcases money in all its many different forms. We have objects from all over the world, from antiquity to the modern age. Not only do we have Dutch coins and banknotes, but also Greek and Roman coins, non-Western means of payment from Africa and Oceania, a large collection of medals and much, much more. The NNC is the most extensive numismatic collection in the Netherlands and is ranked around tenth in the world. Our library houses modern, but also very ancient and rare publications, a large number of periodicals, and auction catalogues.
In addition to our own private collection, we also manage collections from the ministries of Finance, Education, Culture & Science. We also have objects on loan, for example from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Royal Archives and the Netherlands Economic Historical Archive.
Curious about our collection? View the NNC collection database online.
Origins of the National Numismatic Collection
The Netherlands had three separate large numismatic collections until the early 21st century. They were:
- The National Museum of Coins and Medals, whose special collection comprised banknotes since 1960s, and which also boasted an important numismatic library.
- The Dutch Mint Museum, which managed the collection of the former Royal Dutch Mint with a particular focus on the means of production and the coinage process in Utrecht.
- DNB had in its possession a virtually complete collection of Dutch banknotes, as well as a special collection of Dutch coins and foreign banknotes and coins.
These collections were transferred to the Money and Bank Museum in 2004, and then to DNB following the closure of this museum in 2013. The collection of cut gem stones went to the National Museum of Antiquities.
View the collection
The NNC is part of our national cultural heritage and must therefore be accessible for everyone. Unfortunately, we do not yet have the facilities to exhibit objects ourselves.
However, it is a pity to have a collection that is in storage and cannot be viewed by the public or by researchers. That is why you can view the collection in our online NNC database, or at other museums when the objects are on loan. Are you researching any of the objects, and is it necessary to observe them? It is then possible to make an appointment to do this at our temporary location in Haarlem. To do so, mail us at email@example.com.
Due to the renovation of our headquarters in Amsterdam, the collection is temporarily housed in the Joh. Enschede complex in Haarlem until 2023. If all goes according to plan, from spring 2023 the NNC will be showcased in permanent and changing exhibitions in the new public areas of our headquarters.
In addition to coins, paper money and medals, the NNC also has a library with a unique collection of books (about 25,000 titles), periodicals and auction catalogues in the field of numismatics. This includes a rich collection of government-issued placards related to coinage, manuscripts and documentation material.
You can visit us by appointment. Books are not lent out, and copying is bound to restrictions. Do you have any questions, are you looking for information or do you want to make an appointment to visit us? Please email us at: bibliotheek_NNC@dnb.nl. You can also consult the library catalogue online.
NUMIS: Online database of Dutch finds
Besides the database of our own collection, we also manage the NUMIS (Numismatic Information System) database. All numismatic finds in the Netherlands are recorded in the NUMIS database. The information in NUMIS is very important for researching the history of money in our country. NUMIS contains individual coins minted before 1600, and finds of hoards (also from later periods) consisting of several coins. Have you found a coin? You can report it to us. If you are going to clean a find, then it is of course important that you do this very carefully.