Museo Nacional de Costa Rica
”Storytelling money”

ImageNumismatic collections from the National Museum and the National Bank: 120 coins, 82 bills, and 27 coffee tokens (see description below) tell you some of the history of over 100 years of economic and social changes in our country.


“Storytelling money” is the most recent changing exhibition at the National Museum fulfilled in accordance with the Central Bank Museums and the National Bank because of the “Numismatists Encounter” to be held in San Jose in November.

This is the first time the museum carries out an exhibition based on its numismatic collection, which displays a selection of the most representative coins between 1828 and 1949 and that has been enhanced with time-related objects.


ImageAmong the collection, stunning XIX century coins outstand, which were gold and silver minted and issued since Costa Rica belonged to the Federal Central American Republic until a few years after Independence , in 1821. The colon was established as national currency later, in 1896.


The first bills issued by the National Bank were actually restampings from the ones issued by the International Bank. It was not until 1939 that the National Bank decided to print the obverse of the bills with the portraits of some political Costa Rican figures.

The first element in the bill collection is a one- peso bill issued by the Anglo-Costa Rican Bank on June 25, 1863.

Coffee tokens

In the 1840s, due to the lack of coins in circulation, coffee croppers started a payment system using coffee tokens. It was some kind of private coin used to pay employees. They were able to, then, exchange the tokens at commercial establishments.

This exhibition will be open to the public from November 2, 2005, until May 31, 2006. You can enjoy the stories told by these samples from Tuesday to Sunday in the museum's regular schedule.

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