Coins are cool at the British Museum display

The Money Gallery at the British Museum re-launches today – with a prototype British coin produced for its possible entry into the euro back in the late 1990s.

The gallery, which is sponsored by Citi, includes thousands of the artefacts showing the history of money, including a sample British 20 cent coin produced for the Mint Directors’ conference for UK’s potential euro entry.

The exhibition, curated by British Museum coin and medals expert Catherine Eagleton,who says “coins are cool”, first opened in 1997.

Eagleton said: “For me, the history of money is a way to look at the history of the world. This new permanent display at the British Museum is exciting and timely because it looks at money and the ways that people use it, and how that has changed over the last 4,500 years.”

If the current euro fails, it won’t be the first currency to do so. The gallery shows the evolution of money – from local currencies created by 17th century London traders to mobile phones used to make payments in Haiti after its devastating 2010 earthquake. Citi chief executive for EMEA Michael Corbat said: “From the origins of coinage, through to the form money and payments might take in the future, the gallery allows visitors to get a better understanding of the history of money.”

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SPARE a thought for RSA’s Bart Nash, who endured an uncomfortable train ride back from the north east yesterday after completing the final leg of his 100 mile running challenge to raise money for the Alzheimer’s Society.

A jelly-legged Nash completed the 69-mile Hadrian’s Wall ultra-marathon yesterday, taking a whisker over 15 hours in spite of the tough terrain, surprise route changes and “ridiculous amounts of rain”.

“I was expecting to have sore legs, but I wasn’t prepared for trench foot... it took me 20 minutes to walk to the train station round the corner,” he managed to joke yesterday while en route back to London.

Yesterday’s soggy trek was the last of three gruelling races that saw him run 100 miles in a total of just over 20 hours.

Having completed the London marathon last year, he bravely signed up for the Brighton half marathon, Edinburgh marathon and inaugural Hadrian’s Wall race this year with a goal of completing the three in a total of under 24 hours.

“I’m looking forward to sitting back and doing nothing for a little while - but I’m back to work on Tuesday,” he added.

To help him reach his target of raising £2,000 for the Alzheimer’s Society, go to