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We offer curated online tours on topics that concern us: Money, developments in China, interesting books from our library.
The MoneyMuseum aims to appeal to a wide range of people who are interested in social, philosophical and historical issues. Especially people who want to delve deeper into the development and the implicit rules of our monetary system.
The aim of the MoneyMuseum is to stimulate deeper analysis of money and to increase the public’s knowledge about how economic and social movements are connected.
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Coin Images free to download
The History of Money by Coins: 2500 coin images in high-res from all over the world. You may sort by theme, country, area and mint year. Ideal for collectors, editors and writers, or students of the history of money.
Coin catalogue: moneymuseum.com/en/coins
History of Money
The beat rhythm has its origin in the fact that we have to deal with money every single day – something that emerged in the 16th century Europe for the first time in all of human history.
This video is also prepared for a workshop, the video being separated into five sequences with texts and questions. Press here.
The financial crisis that erupted throughout the world in autumn 2008 and since then has developed into a global economic crisis with an uncertain outcome did not come out of thin air and it is not the first of its kind. However the magnitude of it is utterly unique.
This film tells the chronicle of how it happened. It is the story of a house of cards, based on the real housing market in the USA, that was built higher and higher until it finally collapsed, wiping out money, security and confidence on an unprecedented scale.
"Kingdoms wax and wane. States come and go," Luo Guanzhong wrote in his novel The Three Kingdoms. The same can be said of China's money: in the course of its long development from a small cultural island on the Yellow River to the People's Republic, the Land of the Dragon has witnessed many forms of money come and go. And yet the history of its money has been characterised by its unique stability – cowry currency and the cash coin, for example, were in circulation for many centuries. This and other kinds of money from the Middle Kingdom are presented here in their historical context. The commentaries by Dagmar Lorenz, sinologist and author of the DVD, complete the small tour d'horizon.
Whether you worship money as if it were the golden calf or regard it as filthy lucre – it affects everyone in some way or other. So it is hardly surprising that questions revolving around money also occupy those who are concerned about the salvation of people's souls: the religions.
This DVD deals with the Christian religion and examines the question of what the New Testament has to say about money and the right way to handle it. And lo and behold, in the scriptures there are more answers than you might think. Here you will find out in pictures and text not only which coins were in circulation in Judaea when Jesus was alive ...
Local as well as international events have left their mark on the monetary history of Zurich. On the domestic level, for example, it was closely interwoven with the Fraumünsterstift (a former convent and one of Zurich's famous churches) over several centuries. But the Reformation, the rise of manufacturing, the Thirty Years' War, the French Revolution and other historical events have also left their traces on the town's monetary history. This DVD investigates them.
Money moves people and even those for whom money is of secondary importance. This is shown, last but not least, in the statements of the six personalities who are portrayed in this film. They range from the seminar leader and the aircraft restorer, the lady pastor and the artist to the silk manufacturer and the sociologist, people with quite different backgrounds. And the role money plays in their lives is as different as they are.
Bali's Dual Currency System: Nowadays there is nothing unusual about resolutions to save money – the financial resources of states, but also of many medium-sized and small businesses are in short supply. For a long time it has not been possible to satisfy all the needs of a society by means of official currencies. Complementary monetary systems – i.e. currencies that supplement a national one – can resolve this problem. How positive the coexistence of a national with a complementary currency can be is shown by the example of Bali.
Exhibitions in the MoneyMuseum
A journey in time through six mints from the 16th century to the present time
A piece of metal pressed with great force between two stamps – and the coin is complete. Is the production of coins really that easy? And how was it done in earlier times? This video looks into questions of this kind on a journey into the various centuries and towns in the Western world. As a result you are given an opportunity to visit five mints and the MoneyMuseum, where you will learn about not only details of diverse minting techniques, but also informative facts about the respective political and economic background of minting coins.
The MoneyMuseum is backed by the Sunflower Foundation, the name of which did not come about by chance. It expresses the philosophy on which the MoneyMuseum as well as the activities of Jürg Conzett generally, who initiated the foundation, are based. The sunflower stands for generosity, balance, harmony and abundance in a positive sense, but also for coincidence and individuality.
An exhibition about the development of money in the West and in the East
No matter whether you are presented with a bill in Switzerland, in the USA or in China, the system is the same: coins and banknotes of no material value are accepted that are only worth anything in the respective country. This has led to a monetary system prevailing in which the state lays claim to a currency monopoly. And yet the way in this direction in West and East was a completely different one, as this journey through history shows.
Every story gives rise to characters who actively intervened in contemporary history and whose activities radiated far into the future, quite regardless of whether they were already successful during their lifetime – and whether they were sympathetic or not. Thus people who "reinvented" the future. They have also left their mark on Zurich's history (of money): for example, such personalities as Pastor Huldrych Zwingli, Mayor Waser or the entrepreneurs Escher and Duttweiler. And last but not least, "unimportant" people also play a part in it. The exhibition Zurich People and Their Money has related this in 20 stages. This DVD takes up some of them in a booklet and video.
All Films (link)
All films programmed for smart phones:
Eske Bockelmann speaks about money:critical
On this website, Sunflower explores the question, “What is money?” Our approach divides the idea of money into seven subsets. Exploring these, we move from the familiar to the less familiar, from the concrete to the abstract—from coins and other physical forms of money, to the relationships money creates (and destroys) between people and things and finally we look at money itself as a way of thinking.
Money and Material
Archaic means of Payment: Money originally was not what we think of today as money. In archaic times payments were made to satisfy an obligation, whether a debt or a wrongdoing. Many things could be used for payments. Archaic payments are indeed the origin of our money but they are far from being the same as our money.
Coins and bank notes: Before coins were minted, lumps and bars of precious metals, among many other things, were used as objects of payment. With coins, all these objects of payment acquired a standard. Only then did they also become a medium of exchange.
Digital money: From the moment a society bases its economy on money, the value of money no longer needs its substance. Money’s value comes from the fact that it can be exchanged to purchase goods of the same value. Monetary value consists solely in this function.
Money and Time
The genesis of modern money: For centuries, the early forms of money remained secondary as the provisioning of life’s necessities was based on self-sufficiency, or by the distribution of goods by the powerful. That changed in the course of the 16th century with the emergence of the capitalist economy. In this system, the entire provisioning of society depends on money.
Growth: In a society where people depend primarily on money for their livelihoods, they have to get more money for what they do than they expend on doing it. This necessity alone drives the inexorable compulsion of money to become more money.
Rich and poor: More money, more prosperity for all: This promise, seemingly inherent in money, is not being fulfilled. Even if an occasional pauper strikes it rich, overall, as time goes by, the poor grow poorer and the rich richer. Money’s continuing usage is based on its function as capital: the more money that’s invested, the more it can yield.
Money and Power
Property: Property doesn’t fundamentally mean the exclusion of others. There are inclusive and exclusive forms of ownership, with very different consequences for people’s interactions with each other and with nature. Our money imposes a private ownership that rigorously excludes everyone from everything they haven’t paid money for.
Command: All over the world people are compelled to sell something in order to get money that they need for living. Basically what most people have to sell is their labour and this is put to use to produce merchandise. Where things are produced in this way, those who buy with money appropriate control over the work of the others.
The State: No coin, no bill, no number on an account can force anyone to use them as money. It is governments that impose and maintain this compulsion. The states themselves depend on money, and want as much of it as possible to be generated in their own currency.
Money and Relationship
Individual: Money benchmarks everyone as an individual owner of money, and at the same time it positions the individual within the anonymous universe of all other people as money owners. This abstract reference forms a distinct instance of the “I” in everyone as a conceptually pure form of self. Accordingly the “I” as a psychological entity arose only in the modern era, under the reign of money.
Society: Every person must make or do something so that others will give him money. But he doesn’t exert himself for them because he knows them, and they don’t pay him money because they want to contribute to his livelihood; rather everyone seeks his own ways of coming into money. A group so formed is not a community but an interrelation determined by money.
The world as environment: With the advent of modern capitalistic money, the world becomes an environment. The self-referential monetized individual sees itself as a singular interior element surrounded by an all-encompassing exterior. And so it is that monetized individuals regards the world as a mere externality, as if they themselves would not belong to it.
Money as Thought Form
Function and progress: Money requires everyone to think of goods as both the respective thing itself and its monetary value, that is, purely quantitatively. This results in a way of thinking which also induces a new way of calculating. Unlike all earlier forms of mathematics, this new form deals with pure numbers, calculating mathematical function.
Subject / Object: Prompted by the money-mediated society, the notion arises of a world split into subject and object. Descartes was the first to formulate this then-new notion at the beginning of the 17th century. It implies the world is split into the determining, money, as subject and that which it determines, the commodity, as object.
Thought reflexes: Just as we can buy anything and everything with money, we also view and judge anything and everything in the form it acquires through money: as a value among values. We think in terms of purely quantitative value even when we’re not involved with money-related things. This way of thinking is effective in many possible applications.
Money and Exchange
Gifts: Because money functions as exchange medium today, it is generally thought to have originated in barter transactions – mistakenly. In communities that have no money in the modern sense, the presentation of gifts is crucially important. The gifts are not swaps; rather, along with other customs, they confirm and reaffirm a basic bond people have with one another.
Purchasing: Buying changes ownership of money and goods from one person to another. If the trade is completed, every obligation between the participants is fulfilled and, so, the interaction ends. Buying replaces the all-encompassing social bond with one single obligation: to pay something to someone. Thus buying is both obligatory liquidation and the liquidation of the obligation.
Market: Long before “the market” became a byword, there were only local markets, strictly limited in terms of time and in their range of goods. A coherent market with a common pricing structure only emerges towards the end of the 16th century in Europe. This development gave the market economy its name and coincided with the transformation of money into the universal medium of exchange.
"Good Money": Most considerations about the difficulties that money provokes are directed to the money itself: money should be crisis-free. Accordingly, in their thoughts they construct a kind of money that ignores certain disadvantages and limits itself to its benefits. Other approaches use alternative forms of money circulation, underneath the reign of world money, that deviate in tangible ways from its logic.
Commoning: The commons movement counters money-mediated provisioning with collective participation in the activities and basic concerns of provisioning such as ownership. The movement’s core conviction is that, to avoid money’s built-in constraints, only the community can decide on its common endeavours.
Oikos, modern: What the people live from and how they distribute it ought to be organised fundamentally differently than it is with money. And if highly segmented divisions of labour shall persist, a return to older forms of subsistence can be excluded. The extremely elevated capacity of people pressured by money to produce more with less effort and to distribute their products more precisely than ever would doubtless be useful – just organized differently than it is with money.
Success Stories and their Secrets
Inspiring stories of individuals who ditched their safe, old lives and took risky journeys of self-discovery that ultimately led to financial independence. Daring to change was only the first challenge.
What are money secrets?
A secret is something that cannot be expressed in words - but contains a lot of truth. Once it's pronounced, it's no secret anymore. The same applies to the parables in the Bible. There is always an uncertainty as to how they are to be interpreted. Did Jesus already spoke of financial investment opportunities in the "parable of investing"?
Markus 14: A parable of price versus value
Markus 12: The parable of Offering
Matthew 20: The parable of the laborers in the vineyard
Matthew 25: The parable of the Talents
Markus 10: The parable of the rich man
Lukas 12: The parable of the rich fool
Markus 14: Parabel über Wert und Preis
how big is a billion?
Exploring the World of Money
These 5-minute podcasts entertainingly explore the topic of money. Learn about the very first coins in the ancient world, the first dollar bill, the land where feathers were currency, or just what Bitcoin really is, and much more.