The Odessa Numismatics Museum Collection

Thank you for joining us today for another edition of the World Coin Tour with Pendant and Ring!

In Odesa, Ukraine there exists a stunning coin museum. The collection includes pieces that date back to the 7th century BCE when artistic arrow-tips were the region’s preferred method of trade. In the following centuries dolphin-shaped, and fish-shaped pre-coinage replaced the arrow-tips. It wasn’t until the close of the 6th century BCE that Panticapaeum, an Ancient Greek city nestled in an Eastern harbor of modern-day Crimea, minted silver coins for circulation.

The Odessa Numismatics Museum covers the history of regional coins in its collection from these early artifacts, through the time of the Romans, Arabs, Europeans, Mongols, Polish, Lithuanians, Russians, and into the modern Period of Independence which began in 1991. Despite waves of invaders, those in Odesa continue to stand fast.

In 1992 Ukrainian national currency was minted but not dispersed until 1996. These modern coins are part of the Hryvnia monetary system. The smaller denominations are called kopiikas. The coins include single, deuce, five, ten, and twenty-five kopiikas, as well as a half Hryvnia, and a 1 Hryvnia coin. The denomination is stamped on the reverse, while the Ukrainian Coat of Arms is minted on the obverse. The coins are minted on Brass, Stainless Steel, and Aluminium planchets from 16 to 26mm in diameter. The coin designs were created by Ukrainian artist and poet, Vasyl Lopata who is 80 years old in 2022.

Odessa Numismatics Museum Coin Collection

The museum was opened for business in 1999 and has two locations. One location contains coins dating from antiquity up to the close of the 13th century. The other location houses coins from the medieval period to the present date – including world coins. You can see the collection on their website: Odessa Numismatics Museum. (Click here to go directly to the arrow-tips and pre-coins!)

In addition to the stunning coin collection, the museum worked with local historical and educational partners to produce a scientific periodical, and a television show dedicated to the history of Ukraine. The purpose of the periodicals published between 1999 and 2016 was to share new findings regarding details of the coins in the collection. You can request PDF versions of the periodicals by contacting the museum at

With the Russian incursion into Ukraine dominating the headlines, we share this bright piece of culture and history to show our similarities. We should all have safety in body and home, free from the threat of invasion. Here at Pendant and Ring, we are hopeful for a swift end to this conflict and restoration of Ukrainian borders dating back to the recognition of an Independent Ukraine in 1991.

Until next time, stay safe and do what you can to help.

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