Cuba is the only country of the world where you’ll find a Numismatic Museum, located on the busy Obispo Street, in the very heart of Old Havana. Created in 1975 and occupying the ancient Havana’s Palacio Episcopal space, the Numismatic Museum is dedicated to preserve the “financial” memory not only of Cuba, but other countries’ as well.
With a very early-XX-century-Republic-bank façade, the museum has in its interiors a coin & bill collection with more than 35 000 samples, divided all of them in three exhibition rooms, and valued, the whole collection, in more than 50 million dollars. Among the interesting and curious things you may find there, you shouldn’t miss the first coins minted in America by order of the Spain’s Catholic Kings, or bills signed by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes, the first President of the Republic of Cuba in Arms.
Every single age of the Cuban history is represented in this exhibition, from the Spanish colonial times, to the independence wars and the American Intervention’s years. Besides, you can find coins, bills, bonds, lottery tickets and even falsifications, from other countries and times and in very good conditions most of them.
You’ll see how different money was in the XIX century, or in the beginning of the XX. Apart from the regular exhibitions, the museum offers services like the Specialized Library, the guided visits and the appraisal experts. In sum, an interesting place, especially for those looking for a Oh-I-have-never-seen-so-much-money-in-front-of-me situation!
© Javier Roque Martínez