In 2020, the Barber celebrates the golden anniversary of its coin collection – one of the most significant in the world.
Scholars and numismatists, Geoffrey Haines (1899 – 1981) and Philip Whitting (1903 – 1988), each left their vast collections of a combined 15,000 pieces to the Barber with the condition that the coins were used for ‘educative purposes’.
This 50th-anniversary exhibition honours their wishes and introduces the fascinating world of coins – miniaturised artworks and historical documents – to today’s visitors.
Through visually engaging and appealing objects, this exhibition explains the basics of the study of coins and aims to answer the questions non-specialists might have about this niche, but revelatory, subject.
Find out how much an ancient coin might have bought, where and how it was made, and discover the story of how these coins came to be part of a museum here in Birmingham.