The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection
The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection is one of the most impressive private coin and banknote collections in the world. It comprises approximately 11,000 ancient coins, as well as 2,000 coins and banknotes of the new Greek state established after the Greek War of Independence. The main purpose of the Collection is to be an ark of Greek cultural heritage. Temporary exhibits are organised jointly with major museums in the country. At the same time, the Collection is a sponsor of significant educational and scientific activities.
A vast collection
The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection comprises approximately 11,000 Ancient Greek coins. Some of them are exceptional – and exceptionally rare – examples of ancient numismatic art.
Several are of particular historical interest, too, such as the silver stater of Aegina, the first coin in the Greek world struck in the 6th century BCE. This coin inspired our very own Alpha Bank logo.
The Collection also includes coins from the Roman, Byzantine, Mediaeval and Ottoman periods, as well as 2,000 coins and banknotes of the new Greek state established after the Greek War of Independence.
A home forever
The exhibits of the Numismatic Collection are kept in optimum conditions at the Alpha Bank headquarters.
There is no exhibit space per se. However, the doors are always open to researchers, students, scientists, and also to members of the general public with a desire to know the history and art of Ancient and Modern Greece through its coins.
Part of the banknote collection is on permanent display at the Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank on the island of Corfu.
Since then, and always with an eye on contributing to culture, the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection has organized important temporary exhibits jointly with major museums in Greece.
The Collection also organises thematic features at the Alpha Bank central branch in Athens, the Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank in Corfu, the Alpha Bank Cultural Centre in Nafplio, and other cultural spaces managed by significant entities in the cultural sector. Educational and photography exhibits are also on the agenda.
Protecting the cultural heritage
The main objectives of the Numismatic Collections include:
- Bringing a significant number of Greek artefacts back home, with purchases of Greek coins on auction in Europe and the US on an annual basis.
- Piecing back together the numismatic history of modern Greece based on 2,000 coins and banknotes spanning the period from the establishment of the new Greek state to the advent of the euro.
The Collection aspires to showcase the extent, expansion and impact of Greek civilization throughout the ancient world.
In 2010 and 2018, following a recommendation by the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection took part in UNESCO conferences on the preservation of cultural heritage.
The Numismatic Collection is a member of several international organizations, including:
Contributing to education
The Collection organises educational programmes for primary and secondary schools. The objective is always to provide stimuli and spread knowledge on coinage and transactions.
The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection currently runs 2 educational programmes in the form of our travelling museum case:
- Nomos-Nomizo-Nomisma since 2017, with the objective of familiarising students with the history of Ancient Greek coins.
- Coin and Transactions. From Yesterday to Nowadays since 2021, with the objective of familiarising students with the concept of coins as a medium of exchange from antiquity to the present.
The 2 travelling museum cases can travel anywhere in Greece and to Greek schools abroad. In 2019 the travelling museum case Nomos-Nomizo-Nomisma received the Corporate Responsibility Award.
Fostering scientific research
The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection regularly grants access to the original artefacts to researchers and members of the scientific community who wish to study them and publish on them. Many of the Collection’s coins have been mentioned in Greek and international literature on numismatics.
At the same time, the Collection participates in international conferences and scientific symposia, and organises talks and workshops on numismatics jointly with universities in Greece and abroad.
Publications on numismatic history are also an important item on the regular agenda.
In 1972 Ioannis Costopoulos (1938-2021), a prominent banker and historic leader of the Alpha Bank Group, purchased the collections of A. Andreopoulos and A. Meletopoulos.
Between them, these 2 private collections included the 1,186 coins that would become the core of the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection. In 1978 the Greek Numismatic Society published the collection catalogue.
From 1984 to 2015, several collections were added:
- A. Bouropoulos (1984).
- Part of the E. Argyropoulos-Evelpidis collection comprising coins from Athens, Aegina and Euboea (1986).
- A. Gkertsos, comprising 2,032 silver coins from Macedonia and Thrace (1990).
- I. Vasileiou (1992).
- T. Triantafyllidis (1997).
- F. Iplixian (2010).
- K. Laskaratos (2015).
The Collection is continuously expanded with purchases of coins on auction abroad.
News and activities of the Numismatic Collection
The exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin” in Romania
100 important Greek coins are on display in the exhibition organised by the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection at the heart of Bucharest.
The Banknote Museum participated in the International Museum Day
The Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank on Corfu hosted an event on “Coins and Biodiversity – Museum and the Environment”.
“Coins and Biodiversity – Museum and the Environment”
The Banknote Museum of Ionian Bank on Corfu is hosting an educational initiative to celebrate the International Museum Day.
Exhibition celebrating the 50-year anniversary of the Numismatic Collection
Alpha Bank is hosting the exhibition “The Other Side of the Coin” to mark the 50-year anniversary of its Numismatic Collection.