Discovery Museum

Blandford Square

Newcastle Upon Tyne



tel: +44 (0)191 232 6789







Contact details: Adam Bell, Keeper of History for Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums


Date of visit: 28 June 2017


Nature and extent of collection


? pieces. Discovery Museum is home to one of the finest collections of scientific and technical material outside of London as well as housing significant collections on maritime history, social history and regimental history. Our numismatic collection features a number of coins, medals and tokens, many of which have a direct relevance to the history of Newcastle-upon-Tyne.



All numbers below are estimated


British coins: Collection includes medieval silver coins such as Elizabethan sixpences and shillings. Also includes sovereigns, half-sovereigns and Maundy money. A group of ten George IV coins found in 1928 on the demolition of the gaol and house of correction also features in the collection. These coins had been placed in the foundation stone.

British tokens: Collection includes British armed forces halfpenny, local trade tokens, tavern tokens, national transport token, railway pass, E. Shephard Ltd Gateshead and branches tokens, colliery tokens, milk tokens (Newcastle Co-op Society Ltd Dairy Department), Borough of Gateshead Boundary token, communion tokens.

Modern and paper money: Some modern British coins.

Medals (commemorative and military): Large collection includes military, agricultural, jubilee and coronation medals, North East Coast Exhibition Newcastle on Tyne 1929 medal, North Eastern Railway: King Edward Bridge over the River Tyne medal, Illustrious House of Hanover medal, William IV/London Bridge medal, Lusitania medal (possiibly a German original), Camera Club medal, Northern Amateur Football League medal, cathedral medals: Canterbury, Colchester, York Minster.

Paranumismatica: Waitrose token

Other: Munitions of War Imperial Service, Newcastle-upon-Tyne Coachman ID badge, Northern Women's Bowling Association badge, British Railways North East Region badge.


Specific strengths: Commemorative medals.







Database used: Emu


Proportion of collection on database:


How much detail in database entries?


Are images incorporated?


Is the database accessible to the public?


Is the database publicly accessible online?





Are there permanent numismatic displays?


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays?


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions?


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what?



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility?


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided?



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection?


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions?


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures?


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections?



ID and public enquiries


Does the museum offer a service for identifying objects and other public enquiries?



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas?


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas?


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums?