Website survey

We want to improve the British Museum website. Please help us by giving your feedback through our survey. You can complete the survey once you have finished using the website. It will take a couple of minutes and all responses are anonymous.

Reading list

General Introduction to the History of Money

General Surveys of the History of Coinage

Detailed Introductions to Specific Series of Coins, Medals and Paper Money

Celtic Coins
Byzantine Coins
Medieval Coins
British Coins
Asian Coins
East Asian Money
Greek Coins
Roman Coins
Modern Coins, tokens and paper money

Children's Books on Coins and Paper Money

Web Resources for Converting Currency

General Introduction to the History of Money

A Burnett, Interpreting the Past: Coins (British Museum Publications 1991)

J Casey and R Reece, Coins and the Archaeologist (B A Seaby Ltd 1988)

J Casey, Understanding Ancient Coins (London 1986)

J Cribb, Money: From Cowrie Shells to Credit Cards (British Museum Publications 1986)

D R Cooper, The Art and Craft of Coin-making (Spink & Son Ltd 1988)

R G Doty, Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Numismatics (1982)

A R Frey, Dictionary of Numismatic Names (New York 1965) (revised edition 1973) Grierson, P Numismatics (Oxford University Press 1975)

T Hockenhull (ed), Symbols of Power: Ten Coins that Changed the World (London: British Museum Press, 2015)

J Jarrett, Coins in Collections: care and use.  A guide to best practice produced by the COINS project (Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge 2009)

J Porteous, Coins in History (London 1969)

C Eagleton and J Williams, (revised edition) Money: A History (British Museum Publications 2007)

back to top

General Surveys of the History of Coinage

G A Boon, Hundred and One Coins (National Museum of Wales 1973)

R A G Carson, Coins: Ancient, Medieval and Modern (Hutchinson 1962, reprinted 1972)

J Cribb and B Cook, The Coin Atlas: the World of Coinage from its Origins to the Present Day (Macdonald Illustrated & Spink & Son Ltd 1990)

I Carradice and M Price, Coins: An Illustrated Survey 650BC to the Present Day (Hamlyn 1980)

back to top

Detailed Introductions to Specific Series of Coins, Medals and Paper Money

Celtic Coins

R D van Arsdell, Celtic Coinage of Britain (Spink & Son Ltd 1989)

R Hobbs, British Iron Age Coins in the British Museum (British Museum Press 1996)

P de Jersey, Celtic Coinage in Britain (Shire Archaeology 1996)

D Nash, Coinage in the Celtic World (B A Seaby Ltd 1987)

back to top

Byzantine Coins

P Grierson, Byzantine Coins (Methuen 1982)

M F Hendy, Studies in the Byzantine Monetary Economy c.300-1450 (Cambridge University Press; 1 paperback edition 2008)

D Sear, Byzantine Coins and their Values (B A Seaby Ltd 1987)

back to top

Medieval Coins

P Grierson, Coins of Medieval Europe (B A Seaby Ltd 1991)

P Spufford, Money and its Use in Medieval Europe (Cambridge University Press 1988)

D. Wood, (ed.), Medieval Money Matters (Oxford, 2004)

back to top

British Coins

E Besly, Coins and Medals of the English Civil War (B A Seaby Ltd 1990)

G C Brooke, English Coins (Spink & Son Ltd 1932, reprinted 1976)

C E Challis, A New History of the Royal Mint (Cambridge 1992)

C M Cope and P A Rayner, The Standard Catalogue of English Milled Coinage 1662-1972 (Spink & Son Ltd 1975)

J J North, English Hammered Coinage Vol I c 600-1272 (3rd edition) (Spink & Son Ltd 1994) Vol II 1272-1662 (3rd edition) (Spink & Son Ltd 1994)

C W Peck, English Copper, Tin and Bronze Coins in the British Museum 1558-1958 (British Museum Trustees 1959)

P Seaby, The Story of British Coinage (B A Seaby Ltd 1985)

Lord Stewartby, English Coins 1180-1551 (Spink 2010)

Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England and the United Kingdom (Spink & Son Ltd), annual

Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of Scotland, Ireland and the Islands (Spink & Son Ltd, second edition 2003)

back to top

Asian Coins

M A Broome, Handbook of Islamic Coins (B A Seaby Ltd 1985)

C R Bruce and others, The Standard Guide to South Asian Coins and Paper Money, since 1556 AD (Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin 1981)

A P de Clemont and J Wheeler, Spinks Catalogue of Colonial and Commonwealth Coins (Spink & Son Ltd 1986)

E Errington and V S Curtis, From Persepolis to the Punjab: Exploring Ancient Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan (British Musuem Publications 2007)

R Göbl, Sasanian Numismatics (Klinkhardt & Biermann 1971)

P L Gupta, India - the Land and People: Coins (New Delhi 1969, revised edition 1990)

M Mitchiner, Oriental Coins and their Values
I The Ancient and Classical World (Hawkins 1978)
II The World of Islam (Hawkins 1977)
III Non-Islamic States and Western Colonies AD 600-1979 (Hawkins 1979)

R Plant, Arabic Coins and How to Read Them (B A Seaby Ltd 1973, revised edition 1980)

S Lane Poole, Catalogue of Oriental Coins in the British Museum, volumes 1-10 (British Museum Trustees 1875-90)

S Lane Poole, Catalogue of Indian Coins in the British Museum, volumes 1-7 (British Museum Trustees 1886-1936)

R S Poole, Catalogue of Persian Coins in the British Museum (British Museum Trustees 1887)

F Pridmore, The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations

Part I European Territories (Spink & Son Ltd 1960)
Part II Asian Territories (Spink & Son Ltd1962)
Part III Bermuda, British Guiana, British Honduras and the British West Indies (Spink & Son Ltd 1965)
Part IV India (2 vols) (Spink & Son Ltd 1980)

D G Sellwood and others, An Introduction to Sasanian Coins (Spink & Son Ltd 1985)

J Walker, Catalogue of Muhammedan Coins in the British Museum
I Arab-Sasanian Coins (British Museum Trustees 1941)
II Arab-Byzantine & Post-reform Ummayad Coins (British Museum Trustees 1956)

back to top

East Asian Money

J Cribb, A Catalogue of Sycee in the British Museum. Chinese Silver Currency Ingots c.1750-1933 (British Musuem 1992) ISBN 0-7141-0873-1

D Hartill, Cast Chinese Coins. A Historical Catalogue (Trafford Publishing UK 2005) ISBN 1-4120-5466-4

H Wang, Money on the Silk Road. The evidence from Eastern Central Asia to c.AD 800 (British Museum 2004) ISBN 0-7141-1806-0

H Wang, S Cowell, J Cribb, S Bowman (eds), Metallurgical Analysis of Chinese Coins at the British Museum (British Museum Research Publication 152, 2005) ISBN 086159-152-6

H Wang, S Sakuraki and P Kornicki, Catalogue of the Japanese Coins (pre-Meiji) in the British Museum, with special reference to Kutsuki Masatsuna (British Museum Research Publication, 2010)

Greek Coins

K Butcher, Roman Provincial Coinage, an Introduction to the Greek Imperials (B A Seaby Ltd 1988)

I Carradice, Greek Coins (British Museum Press 1995)

C Kraay, Archaic and Classical Greek Coins (Methuen 1976)

C Kraay, Greek Coins (Thames and Hudson 1966)

O Morkholm, Early Hellenistic Coinage (Cambridge University Press 1991)

R Plant, Greek Coin Types and Their Identification (Spink 1979; reprinted 2004)

R S Poole and others, Catalogue of Greek Coins in the British Museum, volumes 1-29 (British Museum Trustees 1873-1927)

M J Price, Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus, 2 volumes (British Museum Press & Swiss Numismatic Society 1991)

M Price, Coinage in the Greek World (B A Seaby Ltd 1988)

N K Rutter, et al., Historia Nummorum (British Museum Press 2001)

D Sear, Greek Coins and their Values, I: Europe (B A Seaby Ltd 1978)

D Sear, Greek Coins and their Values, II: Asia & Africa (B A Seaby Ltd 1979)

D Sear, Greek Imperial Coins and their Values (B A Seaby Ltd 1982)

D G Sellwood, An Introduction to the Coinage of Parthia (Spink & Son Ltd 1971, second edition 1980)


back to top

Roman Coins

R A Abdy, Romano-British Coin Hoards (Shire Archaeology 2002)

A Burnett, Coinage in the Roman World (B A Seaby Ltd 1987)

A Burnett, Roman Provincial Coinage.
Vol. 1: From the death of Caesar to the death of Vitellius (44BC-AD 69)
(British Museum Press/Paris, 1992)

Vol. 2: From Vespasian to Domitian
(British Museum Press/Paris, 1999)

R A G Carson, Coins of the Roman Empire (Methuen 1990)

R A G Carson, Principal Coins of the Romans, 3 volumes (British Museum Publications 1978, 1980, 1981)

R A G Carson, Late Roman Bronze Coinage (Spink & Son Ltd 1960, reprinted 1978)

P J Casey, Roman Coinage in Britain (Shire Archaeology 1984)

M H Crawford, Coinage and Money Under the Roman Republic (Methuen 1985)

M Crawford, Roman Republican Coinage (Cambridge University Press 1974)

H Mattingly and R AG Carson, Coins of the Roman Empire in the British Museum, volumes 1-6 (British Museum Trustees 1923-62)

H Mattingly et al., Roman Imperial Coinage, volumes 1-10 (Spink & Son Ltd 1923-81)

J Melville-Jones, A Dictionary of Ancient Roman Coins (Spink 1990; reprinted 1998)

W E Metcalf (ed), The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage (2012)

R Reece, The Coinage of Roman Britain (NPI Media Group 2002)

R Reece and S James, Identifying Roman Coins: a practical guide to the site finds in Britain (B A Seaby Ltd 1986) ISBN 0-900652-79-9

D Sear, Roman Coins and their Values (1 volume = B A Seaby Ltd 1988; 5 volumes = Spink Books 2000-2014)

W Wroth, Coins of the Vandals, Ostrogoths, Lombards & co in the British Museum (British Museum Trustees 1911)

back to top

Modern Coins, tokens and paper money

F P Barnard, The Casting Counter and the Counting Board (Claredon Press 1916)

G Berry, Medieval English Jetons (Spink & Sons Ltd 1974)

C R Bruce II and T Michael, Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1601-1700 (4th edition, Krause Publications 2008) 

G S Cuhaj and T Michael, Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1801-1900 (6th edition, Krause Publications 2009)

G S Cuhaj and T Michael, Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1901-2000 (37th edition, Krause Publications 2010) 

R Dalton and S H Hammer, The Provincial Token Coinage of the Eighteenth Century (London 1910-18, reprinted B A Seaby Ltd 1967)

W J Davis, The Nineteenth Century Token Coinage (London 1904, reprinted B A Seaby Ltd 1969)

W J Davis and A W Waters, Tickets and Passes of Great Britain and Ireland (Leamington Spa 1922)

M Dickinson, Seventeenth Century Tokens of the British Isles and their values (B A Seaby Ltd 1986)

J Douglas, Scottish Banknotes (Stanley Gibbons 1975)

F Draskovic and S Rubenfeld, Standard Price Guide to World Crowns and Talers 1484-1968 as catalogued by Dr John S Davenport (Krause Publications 1984)

V Duggleby, English Paper Money (4th edition) (Spink & Son Ltd 1990)

R Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World (5th edition) (Coin & Currency Institute 1976)

V Hewitt and J Keyworth, As Good As Gold (British Musuem Publications 1987)

C L Krause and C Mischler,  Standard Catalogue of World Coins, 2001-Date  (5th edition 2011)

C L Krause and C Mischler, Standard Catalogue of World Coins 1701-1800 (3rd edition, Krause Publications 2002)

A Pick, Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money (6th edition) (Krause Publications, Iola, Wisconsin 1990)

D J Rodgers, Coins de S Toy Money (Galata Press, Wolverhampton 1990)

P Seaby, British Tokens and their values (B A Seaby 1986)

C F Schwann and J E Boling, World War II Military Currency (BNR Press, Ohio 1978)

G C Williamson, Boyne's Trade Tokens issued in the Seventeenth Century in England, Wales and Ireland (London 1889-91, reprinted B A Seaby Ltd 1967)


back to top


P Attwood, Italian Medals c.1530-1600, 2 vols (British Musuem 2003)

P Attwood, British Art Medals 1982-2002 (British Art Medal Trust 1994)

P Attwood and F Powell, Medals of Dishonour, (British Museum 2009)

L Brown, British Historical Medals 1760-1960, 3 vols  (B A Seaby Ltd and Spink & Son 1980-95, vols 1 and 2 reprinted Spink & Son 2007)

L S Forrer, Biographical Dictionary of Medalists volumes 1-8 (Spink & Son Ltd 1904-30, reprinted A H Baldwin Ltd c. 1980, index volume Royal Numismatic Society - British Art Medal Society 1987)

E Hawkins, Medallic Illustrations of the History of Great Britain and Ireland to the Death of George II (British Museum 1885, re issued as one volume with plates Quarterman Publications Inc with British Musuem 1979)

G F Hill, and G Pollard, Medals of the Renaissance (British Museum Publications 1978)

G F Hill, A Corpus of Italian Medals of the Renaissance before Cellini, 2 vols (British Musuem 1930, reprinted Studio per Edizioni Scelte 1984)

M Jones, The Art of the Medal (British Museum Publications 1979)

M Jones, French Medals 1402-1610 v 1 (British Museum Publication 1982)

M Jones, French Medals 1600-1672 v 2 (British Museum Publication 1988)

M Jones, Contemporary British Medals (1986)

M Jones, ed, Designs on Posterity: Drawings for Medals (British Art Medal Trust 1994

S K Scher, ed, The Currency of Fame: Portrait Medals of the Renaissance, exh. cat. (Harry N Abrams Inc with The Frick Collections1994)

back to top


P Attwood, Badges (British Museum Publication 2004)

H Wang, Chairman Mao Badges: Symbols and Slogans of the Cultural Revolution (British Museum Research Publication 155)

Children's Books on Coins and Paper Money

A Briers, True Stories about Roman Coins, True Stories about Greek Coins, True Stories about Money (Ashmolean Museum 1987)

J Cribb and T Francis, The Money Fun Book (British Museum Publications 1986)

J Cribb, Eyewitness Guides: Money (Dorling Kindersley & British Museum 1990)

J Orna-Ornstein, The Story of Money (British Museum Press 1998)

Web Resources for Converting Currency


back to top