12 Best Coin Museums in the USA You May like to Visit
According to archaeologists and historians, coins were used as early as 600 BC. Old coins were made of precious metals – gold and silver. These specie metals were often mixed with base metals to form a stronger alloy. Today, most circulating coins are made of nickel, copper, or stainless steel, though bullion coins do exist. Let’s explore the top coin museums in USA.
Coin Museums in the USA
1. American Numismatic Association Money Museum, Colorado
The study of coins and currency is called numismatics, and the people who pursue this hobby or profession are called numismatists. The American Numismatic Association (ANA) began in 1891 and currently has over 20,000 members. Its HQ is in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
- Name: Edward C. Rochette Money Museum
- Address: 818 N. Cascade Avenue Colorado Springs, CO 80903
- Website: https://www.money.org/money-museum
- Phone: 800-367-9723
- Regular Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 10.30 am to 5 pm; Sunday – Closed
- Holiday Hours: Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve – Closed
- Free Admission: Kids Under 12, Colorado College Staff & Students, ANA Members
- Paid Admission: $5 to $8 Per Person
George Francis Heath started the organization, and among other things, it runs the Edward C. Rochette Money Museum at the Colorado College Campus, next to the Fine Arts Centre. The museum has a mini mint on-site, offers virtual exhibitions online, and remote VR tours.
2. American Numismatic Society, New York
The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is slightly older than the ANA. It began three decades earlier in 1858. The society boasts a library, a free public gallery, and multiple private collections. Close to 1M items are hosted at the ANS Headquarters in New York.
- Name: ANS Museum
- Address: 75 Varick Street Floor 11 New York, NY 10013
- Website: https://numismatics.org/about-us/visiting/
- Phone: (212) 571-4470
- Regular Hours: Monday to Friday – 9.30 am to 4.30 pm
- Holiday Hours: Weekends – Closed
- Free Admission: Public Gallery, ANS Members, Students, and Faculty
- Paid Admission: Non-Members Library – $20; Non-Members Collections – $50
ANS exhibits are divided into almost a dozen departments including Byzantine, E. Asian, Roman, Modern, and Islamic. You can view the gallery for free but you need an appointment to access collections and special exhibits. Those viewings are only available for 2 hours a day.
3. America’s Credit Union Museum, New Hampshire
Credit unions are financial institutions that help ordinary folk save, invest, and grow their wealth. Members pool their money and the pot is used to offer loans at far lower interest rates than commercial banks. The first US credit union was in Manchester, New Hampshire.
- Name: American Credit Union Museum
- Address: 420 Notre Dame Ave Manchester, NH, 03102
- Website: https://www.acumuseum.org/
- Phone: 603-629-1553
- Hours: Tuesday to Thursday – 9 am to 3 pm (Book your appointment in advance.)
It opened in 1908 and was called St. Mary’s Cooperative Credit Association. In 1925, its name changed to La Caisse Populaire Ste.-Marie which translates as Bank of the People, St. Mary’s. Today, its original office building is the site of the American Credit Union Museum.
4. Durham Museum, Nebraska
Previously known as the Western Heritage Museum, this building displays various relics of western US history, including old coins. After prolonged lobbying that started in 1971, the museum opened at the Union Station in Omaha in 1975. It was renamed in 1997 and 2008.
- Name: Durham Museum
- Address: 801 S 10th Street Omaha, NE 68108
- Website: https://durhammuseum.org
- Phone: (402) 444-5071
- Regular Hours: Tuesday to Saturday – 10 am to 4 pm; Sunday – Noon to 4 pm
- Holiday Hours: Mondays and Major Holidays – Closed
- Summer 2023 Weekdays: Mon, Wed, Thur – 10 am to 4 pm; Tue – 10 am to 8 pm
- Summer 2023 Weekends: Fri to Sat – 10 am to 4 pm; Sun – Noon to 4 pm
- Free Admission: Members, Kids Under 2 Years
- Paid Admission: $7 to $13 Plus Tax
The word Durham was added in 1997 to celebrate Charles and Marge Durham, who donated $22M to renovate the museum. Then in 2008, the words Western Heritage were removed as the museum partnered with the Smithsonian and expanded its content beyond the Old West.
5. Learning Centre and Money Museum, Ohio
The Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland is an impressive building. It’s 13 stories high, clad in pink marble, mimics an Italian renaissance palace, and has the world’s largest bank vault door and hinge. In 2006, this building became the Learning Centre and Money Museum.
- Name: Learning Centre and Money Museum
- Address: 1455 East Sixth Street, Cleveland, Ohio 44114
- Website: https://www.clevelandfed.org/education/visit-money-museum
- Phone: 579.2000
- Hours: Monday to Thursday – 9 am to 2 pm
- Admission: Free
After 9/11, the bank teller windows were shut down, and once the museum opened, these teller windows were converted into interactive exhibits that include videogames, crayon etchings, films, barter trade simulations, counterfeit detection exercises, and virtual tours.
6. Money Museum of Boston, Massachusetts
Boston played a massive role in the colonial history of the United States, and the Money Museum of Boston lays it all out beautifully. The museum has currency from all over the world, including the first coins minted on US soil. They have modern money exhibits too.
- Name: Money Museum of Boston (MMOB)
- Address: 41 Bromfield Street Boston, MA 02108
- Website: https://moneymuseumofboston.org
- Phone: 617-451-0665
- Hours: Custom Private Tours by Appointment Only
- Admission: $250 Per Group of 20 People Max
By September 2022, MMOB wasn’t offering public tours, but you can still book personalized private tours tailored for groups of up to twenty people. The tour takes 60 to 90 minutes, is led by in-house currency experts, and all guests get specially selected US coins as souvenirs.
7. Museum of American Finance, New York
Opened in 1988 and named the Museum of American Financial History, this museum was on 26 Broadway. But it changed its name to the Museum of American Finance (MOAF) in 2005 and moved to 46 Wall Street in 2008. Sadly, a flood evicted them in October 2022.
- Name: Museum of American Finance
- Address: 222 Broadway, 19th Floor New York, NY 10038 (Temporary)
- Website: https://www.moaf.org/plan-your-visit
- Phone: 908.4110
- Hours: Consult the Regularly Updated Events Page: https://www.moaf.org/events
- Admission Fees: Consult the Events Page: https://www.moaf.org/events
At the moment, MOAF has no permanent residence so you can’t visit its shop or gallery, but it still hosts various programs and exhibitions off-site. Apart from typical museum tours, MOAF teaches sessions on personal finance ranging from kindergarteners to MBA students.
8. New Orleans Jazz Museum, Louisiana
In France, the original riverside city of Orléans is pronounced Orr-lay-oh while its Louisiana progeny is known as N’orlins by its American residents. The New Orleans Jazz Museum is located at the Old New Orleans Mint, so its exhibits do include coins of numismatic interest.
- Name: New Orleans Jazz Museum
- Address: 400 Esplanade Ave., New Orleans, 70116
- Website: https://louisianastatemuseum.org/new-orleans-jazz-museum-old-us-mint/exhibit/old-us-mint-coin-exhibition
- Phone: 504-568-6993 or 800-568-6968
- Regular Hours: Tuesday to Sunday – 9 am to 4 pm
- Holiday Hours: State Holidays – Closed
- Free Admission: School Groups and Kids Under Age 6
- Paid Admission: $6 to $8 with Selected Discounts of 10% to 20%
The mint itself was used from 1838 to 1861 and again from 1879 to 1909, producing more than 400M US coins in gold and silver. It became a museum in 1981, closed after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, underwent repairs and renovations for two years, and reopened in 2007.
9. Wilson Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina (UNC)
The University of North Carolina is heavily biased toward research, so their coin collection at the Chapel Hill Library attracts numismatists from around the world. They’re drawn by its hoard of historic moneys including coins, tokens, stocks, treasury notes, and paper currency.
- Name: Wilson Special Collections, North Carolina Collection, Chapel Hill (NCC-CH)
- Address: 200 South Road, Chapel Hill, North Carolina
- Website: https://library.unc.edu/hours/#wilson
- Phone: (919) 962-3765
- Hours: Monday to Friday – 10 am to 4 pm By Appointment Only
- Admission: Call or Fill out the Tour Request Form One Week in Advance for Details
These historic moneys are housed at the Wilson Special Collection Library in NCC-CH. They range from the Colonial Era and the Civil War to the Gold Rush and the Federal Period. The NCC-CH has three departments – the Photographic Archive, Research Library, and Gallery.
10. Firestone Library Numismatic Collection, Princeton University
Universities receive lots of library donations from their alumni, including rare collections from researchers and academics. So it makes sense that lots of coin museums in USA are located at prestigious college campuses. We’ve just seen one at UNC, and now here’s Princeton.
- Name: Firestone Library Numismatic Collection, Princeton
- Address: One Washington Road Princeton, NJ 08544-2098 USA
- Website: https://library.princeton.edu/collections/numismatic-collection
- Phone: (609) 258-9127
- Hours: Contact the Collection Curator (Alan Stahl) for Details
- Admission: Contact the Collection Curator (Alan Stahl) for Details
The Princeton Numismatic Collection sits in the Firestone Library in New Jersey. It has roughly international 100,000 coins including ancient artifacts, financial tokens, aviation medals, and even paper money. The collection has samples from contemporary times as well.
11. National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian, Washington DC
The Smithsonian has multiple partnerships with many smaller coin museums in USA, including several on this list. But it also has its own premises and collections. The largest is the National Numismatic Collection housed at the Smithsonian HQ in Washington DC.
- Name: National Numismatic Collection, Smithsonian
- Address: Constitution Avenue, NW Between 12th and 14th Streets Washington, D.C.
- Website: https://americanhistory.si.edu/national-numismatic-collection
- Phone: (202) 633-1000
- Hours: 10 am to 5.30 pm Daily (except 25th December)
- Admission: Free
This collection is sometimes known as the national coin cabinet because it keeps sample proof coins, bills, medals, and securities from every batch minted or printed within the US. It’s the official record keeper for US currency. It also has donations from private collectors.
12. The Money Museum, Missouri
Just like the Money Museum in Ohio, the Federal Bank of Kansas City has its own money museum in Missouri. Special features include a chance to touch a real gold bar and access to Harry Truman’s massive coin collection. Security is tight though, so prepare to be searched!
- Name: Money Museum, Missouri
- Address: 1 Memorial Drive, Kansas City, Missouri 64198
- Website: https://www.kansascityfed.org/moneymuseum/
- Phone: 816-881-2683
- Hours: Monday to Friday: 9.30 am to 4 pm
- Admission: Free
One of the coolest things about this museum is the automated vault tour. This vault is several stories high and holds millions of dollars. You can walk around on your own or take a guided tour for an hour. You can also enjoy the interactive exhibits for a truly hands-on experience.
Do you know any other coin museums in USA? Tell us about them in the comments section!