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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.  

Hosting exhibitions 

The Collection was first put on display for the general public in 2007, with the exhibit titled Hellenic Coinage. The Alpha Bank Collection at the Benaki Museum in Athens.   

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: 

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

Discover all the news
15.05.2024

Global Money Week 2024

Numismatic Collection

The Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection carried out educational activities on financial literacy for schools on the occasion of the Global Money Week.

Global Money Week 2024
09.01.2024

The Numismatic Collection at the “Chaeronea” exhibition

Numismatic Collection

The coin bearing the name of Theban General Epaminondas is on display at the temporary exhibition hosted by the Museum of Cycladic Art.

The Numismatic Collection at the “Chaeronea” exhibition
06.12.2023

The Numismatic Collection at the “Meanings” exhibition

Numismatic Collection

11 of our coins are on display at the temporary exhibition of the Acropolis Museum.

The Numismatic Collection at the “Meanings” exhibition
21.09.2023

The exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin” in Romania

Numismatic Collection

100 important Greek coins are on display in the exhibition organised by the Alpha Bank Numismatic Collection at the heart of Bucharest.

The exhibition “Two Sides of the Same Coin” in Romania

Contact the Numismatic Collection

Address: 41 Panepistimiou Street, 105 64 Athens
Phone numbers: 210 326 2460, 2103262416
Email: numismatic@alpha.gr
Contact persons: Dr Dimitra Tsangari, Curator dimitra.tsangari@alpha.gr
Eleni Kakouri eleni.kakouri@alpha.gr

Discover other Collections

Choose a Collection or Archive to marvel at unique pieces that make up Greek culture and the history of Alpha Bank.