British Numismatic Society : The Society
BNS Medal
The British Numismatic Society

Promoting the study of coins, medals, tokens and banknotes

The Society


The Society

The British Numismatic Society was founded in 1903, and it is a Registered Charity (no. 275906). It promotes the study of British Numismatics by arranging lectures and other meetings, publishing articles in its Journal and books in its Special Publications series, by awarding medals and prizes recognising people’s contribution to the subject and representing the interests of British Numismatics in the wider world.

British Numismatics is interpreted broadly, embracing the study of all forms of coinage, tokens, banknotes and medals relating to the British Isles and former British colonies.

The Society is governed by the Officers and Council, who are elected annually each November. The society's by-laws can be downloaded here as a PDF file.

There are more than 600 members world-wide, including six Honorary Members and some 115 institutions (mainly museums and libraries). Overseas members account for about 20% of individual members and 55% of institutions. Among individuals North America is the largest overseas group (11%), with Europe accounting for just 6% and the rest of the world 4%. Among institutions Europe fares better representing 27%, with North America an impressive 21% and the rest of the world 8%.


Members are often very loyal, with some 17 who have been members for more than fifty years, and four of these have been members in excess of sixty years. To achieve this we have to enrol them at an early age, and younger members and full-time students are encouraged through special subscription rates.