Jacques Schoonheyt, a Belgian numismatist specialising in the study of payment means, donated his collection amassed over more than 40 years to the Banque de France. The collection comprises numerous objects that were used by mankind before the introduction of metallic coinage.
Copper axe-heads, shells, cocoa beans and strings of pearls are just a few examples of objects that have been accepted in different regions of the world and at different times as payment for transactions.
The collection covers a vast period: from 2,000 BC for certain items, through to the start of the 20th century. It is arranged into more than 100 different categories and will round-out the Banque de France’s collection of banknotes and coins.
A number of these objects can be seen on permanent display or in special exhibitions at the Cité de l’Économie et de la Monnaie.
The Banque de France has also contributed to the publication of Jacques Schoonheyt’s book, “4 000 ans de moyens d’échange”, which contains numerous illustrations, including photographs of objects from the collection. The field covered by this book provides a real insight into history and many parts of the world. Published by Marot, the book will be available in bookshops from the spring of 2013.
Published on 14 May 2013.