The history of the formation of the collection of numismatics is closely tied in with the founding of the museum itself. Coins were already being acquired back in 1897 for the Alexander III Memorial Department in the future museum. These included medals and coins minted during his reign. The sphere of interests of the department was, however, later extended. Additions to its rich collection continue to this day. It now boasts some70,000 coins and banknotes, as well as medals and orders produced from the fifteenth century onwards.