The numismatic exposition presents examples of different countries’ currencies from the earliest centuries of our era to the 20th century.
The oldest exhibits here are coins of the Roman Empire, found in the surroundings of Klaipėda, minted during the times of Marcus Aurelius (161–180), Antoninus Pius (138–161) and others. This testifies to the fact that by the beginning of the 1st millennium, the Baltic tribes that lived by the sea had already established trade relations with the Roman Empire.
The first Lithuanian money is also shown: silver alloys of the 12th – 13th centuries – Lithuanian long currency. They weigh approximately 100 grams. Nearby one can see scales for weighing silver and weights found in the exploratory expedition in Slengiai, Klaipėda district.
Visitors are introduced to coins of various denominations such as shillings, small coins, orts, patagons, etc., minted in the 14th – 16th centuries in the State of the Order, 17th – 18th centuries in Prussia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia and other Western European countries. The exposition also includes tokens minted at the Königsberg mint in the beginning of the 17th century, as well as the 17th century Klaipėda Town treasury coffer, which was kept in the former Magistrate’s building. Maps, engravings and documents illustrate the history of coin minting and banking.
Attention is also drawn to the treasures found in the Klaipėda region. In 1942, in a clay cup wrapped in linen cloth, under a pile of large stones, in the village of Jucaičiai (Priekulė district), 823 silver coins from Poland-Lithuania, Prussia, Saxony and other countries of the 17th – 18th centuries were found. In 1959, only part of this find—274 exemplars—reached the museum. In 1962, another treasure with 151 Prussian, Polish-Lithuanian silver coins from the second half of the 17th century was unearthed in Gargždai.
The exposition displays coins and paper money issued in Prussia and Russia in the 19th century. A considerable amount of space is devoted to the provisional money that emerged during the First World War and the post-war period, which was printed due to the shortage of money and inflation by the German government, local authorities in the occupied lands, by the municipalities of the cities and counties of East Prussia, as well as by banks, commercial and industrial enterprises. After the First World War, such money was also issued by the Rusnė (1917–1920) and Šilutė (1918–1921) elderships and the Klaipėda Chamber of Commerce (2 February 1922). The latter ones were printed in Munich and are distinguished by their high printing quality and design, and are therefore valued by collectors.
Examples of banknotes and coins issued by the Bank of Lithuania during the period of independent Lithuania (1918–1940) and by Germany (early 20th century – 1944) are reviewed. Savings books, cheques and other exhibits remind the history of commercial banks.
The exposition ends with a find discovered during the restoration of the Kretingalė church in 1993: thirteen coins of various denominations minted in 1812, 1873 and 1874 were placed in the cross of the tower, alongside documents and press, testifying to the construction works.