From the Real to the Colon: A History of Costa Rican Currency is the new permanent exhibition at the Numismatic Museum. This exhibition shows the evolution of the different means of change from 1502 to the present.
The show begins with an explanation about the currency and its uses, then goes on to illustrate interesting aspects of the history of the country' currency, such as the barter system, metallic money initiated during the colonial period the use of foreign currency, coffee and banana tokens, the emission of bills by different banks up until the consolidation of the Central Bank, and the symbolisms evidenced in the coins and banknotes, among other details.
The most beautiful and valuable Costa Rica coins, bills, dyes and coffee and banana tokens from the Central Bank's collection are included in this exhibition. The museum offers, in addition, interactive activities to promote the collection, and a video entitled Paper and Silver Passions.
The numismatics collection was begun during the 1950s and is comprised of approximately 5000 objects, including coins, bills, coffee tokens, dyes, documents and photographs. The first numismatic exhibition opened in the Central Bank in 1971, to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Costa Rican independence.
The Numismatics Museum was inaugurated as such in 1990 under the name Jaime Solera Bennett, outstanding for his business performance and as the President of Costa Rica's Central Bank. Solera Bennett's interest in numismatics led him to promote the development of the Central Bank's collections and, personally, to constitute one of the best collections of banknotes in Costa Rica, which was donated by his family to this museum in 1997.
This is a great opportunity to understand the rumply old bills you give to taxistas, a way of understanding how Ticos see themselves.