The numismatic collection of the Ancient History Department of the Department of History comprises almost 1,000 coins, which cover a time frame from the 6th century to the early 7th century BC. Since 2015, the Coin Collection has also housed a further 220 Greek and Roman coins as well as two Roman glass pastes on permanent loan from the Mainz Episcopal Cathedral and Diocesan Museum.
The collection is based on the coin collection of former professor Hans-Ulrich Instinsky (1907-1973), from whose private collection the Department of Ancient History was able to buy 368 copies in 1974 and 1984. Since the private collection included all ancient periods, it was possible in this way to provide a comprehensive overview for teaching purposes.
Although the focus is primarily on Roman Principate coins, Greek Poleis and Hellenism coins are just as well represented as coins from the Roman Republic and Late Antiquity. The collection also includes a few coins from the Persian Empire or Jewish copies, as well as some forgeries from the Italian Renaissance, which were minted by Giovanni Cavino in Padova.
The specimens in the collection are regularly incorporated into ancient history teaching, regular seminars and specific numismatic exercises.