Room 68

From prehistory
to the present day

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.

Admission free, open late Fridays

Find Room 68 on the floor plan 

Education programme

The gallery runs a range of educational programmes for school groups from KS2 through to KS5. Find out more  

Chinese Ming banknote

Chinese Ming banknote, China, AD 1375.
More about this object 

Curator's Corner
A love story on a coin

Ben Alsop, the gallery's curator, found a love note inscribed on the back of a coin in the British Museum. The inscription was simple: ‘From Fred to Nellie, France 1916’. There was no additional information to identify who this couple might be.

This is the tale of how Ben used a blog post to hunt down Fred and Nellie and uncover a 100-year-old love story.



Gallery highlights

Stories of Money

Stories of money

Discover the ideas and objects explored in this gallery 

From the earliest objects used for exchange to the technology changing the way we spend.