oney…. money… money! You can see it all at Bank Negara Money Museum Kuala Lumpur. The Kuala Lumpur money museum displays a wide variety of coins and bank notes with emphasis on the evolution of money during various stages of Malaysian history, as depicted by various artifacts, medals, tokens, coins and banknotes used for trade exchange.
You can also find commemorative coins and rare items on display. Most of the items were obtained through auctions, direct purchases from individual collectors and also from donations.
Bank Negara Money Museum comprised of two floors with fascinating interior design in the form of woven bamboo wall panels adorned with floral and traditional Malay motifs. On the ground floor, you can see amazing displays of beads, brass kettles and a variety of miniature cannons in attractive shapes such as the shape of buffaloes.
It’s amazing to discover that these items were popular as barter trade currency in Sarawak and Borneo until the beginning of the 20th century. Just imagine how beads can make you an extremely rich man!
Other fascinating monetary items that you can find include cowrie shells from the third century, copper spade and knife money used by Chinese traders in the eighth century, Chinese silver sycees (ingots) from the Han Dynasty (206BC-220AD) and Siamese silver bars known as tiger tongues. There are also replicas of tin ingots in the shape of animals and insects such as crocodiles, elephants and grasshoppers that were used in the 16th century.
Do you know that the first coins used in Malaysia were just simple tin coins? The tin coins were made during the Malacca Sultanate in 1445, while Kijang (deer) gold coins and tin coins tree were used in Kelantan during the 16th century.
Other items that will capture your interest in the Bank Negara Money Museum include a British gold trade dollar minted in 1895, as well as rare 18th and 19th century gold and silver trade dollars from Europe, Mexico, Japan and French Indo-China.
These are some of the wonderful numismatic collections of “early money“.
- Animal Money is made out of tin and shaped like a cockerel
- Brass Kettle dated from the 1800s and is made from brass
- Shell-backed Ingot is made out of tin and is tortoise-shell shaped
- Tampang dated from the 1400s and is made out of tin and has a denomination of one-cent
- Small Tampang comes from the year 1847 and is made out of tin and is equivalent to 1/100 cent
- Private Issue Ampang dated from the 1860s and is denominated at one cent and Chinese characters are imprinted on tin.
- Duit Ayam Kedah dated from 1710, is also cockerel shaped.
While you are on the Ground floor of Bank Negara Money Museum, don’t let go the opportunity to see the first currency notes issued in the country by the Straits Settlements Government in 1898, with denominations ranging from one dollar to 1,000 dollars. There are also rubber export coupons issued for Malaya during the Great Depression after World War I and share certificates issued to rubber planters in 1939.
On the mezzanine floor, you can find commemorative coins and specimens of banknotes donated by foreign countries, commemorative coin sets such as one issued for the 15th SEA Games held in Kuala Lumpur in 1989, and Malaysian gold bullion coins called Kijang Emas of different denominations. There are also exhibits of banknotes and coins issued by Bank Negara after its establishment in 1959. Some of them are no longer in circulation such as the RM20, RM500 and RM1,000 notes.
Before leaving Bank Negara Money Museum, you can get Kuala Lumpur souvenier for youself or your loved ones in the form of aluminium coins produced by a coin-minting machine, books on currency heritage, commemorative coins and thematic coin sets.
Money Museum Location
Bank Negara Money Museum Kuala Lumpur is located at Block A, Bank Negara Malaysia, Jalan Dato’ Onn, Kuala Lumpur. It is accessible by KTM Komuter (Bank Negara station) and Star LRT (Bandaraya station). You can visit the money museum from 9am – 4.30pm from Monday to Friday, and 9am to 12.30pm on the second and fourth Saturdays of the month. It is closed on Sundays and public holidays. Admission is free.
Before leaving the Money Museum, drop in at the Museum Shop where you can get publications that detail more of the museum’s primary depository. Among the literature available are Buku Wang Saku — a basic financial planning foundation for students, and Warna dan Rupa, a book specializing on Bank Negara’s modern art collection by local artists.
9am – 4.30pm (Monday – Friday)
9am – 12pm (Saturday)
Closed: Sunday and Public Holidays