As the idea of a money museum at Banque du Liban started, we aimed at establishing a complete collection including rare items of Lebanese banknotes and Lebanese coins representing all historical periods, and an international banknotes collection representing all countries, including non-existent ones.
The first section of the Museum consists of banknotes used in Lebanon under the Ottoman Empire dating back from 1861 to 1918. A selective collection is displayed where we can see the banknotes’ evolution in size, form and writing.
The second section consists of Lebanese banknotes issued under the French Mandate starting 1919 after the fall of the Ottoman Empire. These banknotes were issued by Banque de Syrie from1919 to 1924, Banque de Syrie et du Grand Liban from 1924 to 1939, Banque de Syrie et du Liban from 1939 to 1964. Part of this Lebanese collection was available initially at Banque du Liban. The challenge was to complete it by providing two banknotes for each denomination, knowing that many banknotes are unique and rare.
The last part is the one issued by Banque du Liban since its establishment in 1964 until today, including commemorative banknotes.
In the numismatic section, the Museum exhibits the most ancient coins having circulated in what is known today as Lebanon. The section displays gold, silver and bronze coins from 500 BC, dating back to the Persian, Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine, Arab, Islamic, Crusaders periods. It also displays contemporary coins issued by Banque de Syrie, Banque de Syrie et du Grand Liban, Banque de Syrie et du Liban, up to the coins issued by Banque du Liban starting 1964 until today, including commemorative coins, medals, and souvenir coins.
Knowing there are today 196 international countries, the international collection consists of banknotes for 246 countries, of which 280 banknotes come from 21 Arabic countries, and 833 banknotes come from 225 international countries. The historical background of each country’s collection comprises the significant political, cultural, social, financial landmarks events that made influential impact on the history of these countries throughout centuries.