Cromwell Road

South Kensington

London SW7 2RL


tel: +44 (0)20 7942 2617







Contact details: Melissa Hamnett


Date of visit: 8 April 2013


Nature and extent of collection


7000 pieces. The collection is comprised of medals, plaquettes, coins,  plaster cast models and reproductions, wax models, dies, punches and electrotypes.



All numbers below are estimated


Coins: 2000

Medals: 5000

Paranumismatica: Wide-range of items: Jewellery, ceramics, beakers etc with coin/medal impressions or punching.

A variety of coin purses and dispensers

Coin weights

Dies and punches

Other: Museum of Childhood – play cash registers, plastic play coins, board game tokens, magic trick coin props.

Victoria and Albert Museum


Specific strengths: British commemorative medals, Italian medals.


Library: Around 100 volumes focusing on Italian Renaissance (Art) medals and British 19th/20th century medals. We also have a subscription to The Medal Journal.





Database used: Collection Management System (CMS).


Proportion of collection on database: 100%


How much detail in database entries? This varies.


Are images incorporated? Unconfirmed.


Is the database accessible to the public? No, but 'Search the Collections' on the V&A website provides an extensive record of our collections and can be used by the public.


Is the database publicly accessible online? What is the URL if so? No but you can access the collection via the V&A’s external 'Search the Collections.'





Are there permanent numismatic displays? Yes, there are permanent displays of medals which also feature coins.


Is numismatic material incorporated into more general displays? Sometimes, yes.


Is there a facility for temporary exhibitions? Not for medals/coins specifically but we do have Exhibition spaces.


Have there been numismatic exhibitions in the past? If so, what? Yes: One by One (Commemorative war medals) and New Medallists.



Access to the collection


Is there a study facility? The public can request to see objects for study on appointment if feasible but we do not have a dedicated study room for this purpose.


Is equipment (balances, magnifying glasses, etc.) provided? No.



Public engagement with numismatic collection


Is there a handling collection? No.


Are numismatic collections used in Education sessions? N/A


Do numismatic collections feature in gallery talks, lectures? Yes.


Are there other engagement activities based around numismatic collections? We have run medal making workshops through the Learning & Interpretation Department in the past but there is not a set programme for such activities.



ID and public enquiries


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



Curatorial knowledge


Is there any numismatic expertise in-house? If so, who, and in what areas? Not soley. Various curators in the Sculpture department have knowledge of certain periods or countries, and where/when medals were made etc.


Is there access to external expertise? If so, who and in what areas?Yes: The British Museum, National Maritime Museum, BAMS, Simmons Gallery, Spinks.


If there is expertise in-house, is there a willingness/capacity to share that with other museums? Yes – this is already in place.