In 1955, Aruban resident Mario Odor - while digging in his garden - unearthed two rare 18th Century coins. So began a hobby that has transformed into a remarkable public display, of nearly 40,000 coins and bank notes from all over the world. Opened in 1981, Aruba's Numismatic Museum is a winning tourist attraction, and a fascinating insight into the history of modern civilisation. The expertly-organised, meticulously-ordered collections allow visitors to view currency used by the Roman and Byzantine empires, Chinese and Indian dynasties, Feudal Europe, and even 'special issues' used in Nazi concentration camps. Examples of all kinds of unusual coinage, from centre-holed, scalloped, square and wooden coins are included, as well as coins made by mistake and commemorative coins. Materials used to make the various coins on display range from the usual metal to porcelian, carboard, wood, shell, clay, ivory, plastic and linen. Guided tours are also available, run by informed and enthusiastic numismatists. While the tours give insights into cultures and histories the world over, a spcial focus is on the depiction of Aruba's often turbulent history through the means of allthe coins that have been used on the island. Although Mr. Odor has sadly passed away, his amazing collection lives on, leaving visitors to Aruba with a renewed appreciation of the world's economic history.
Address: Weststraat, Oranjestad (next to the central bus station)
Telephone: (297) 582-8831
Opening times: Open Monday to Friday, from 9am to 4pm, and Saturday from 8am to 12pm
Admission: $5 (adults), free for children. Admission price includes a souvenir coin