Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812) had been fascinated by coins since early childhood. In 1757 he was sent to the Oppenheim bank in Hanover and there he was able to extend his knowledge of rare and antique coins and historic medals in the bank's rare coin department.
Collectors came to the bank, often to purchase as an investment Roman, Persian and Byzantine or more modern coins and medals which were popular at the time. Mayer Amschel read what he could on the subject, and acquired the first numismatic catalogue of its kind to be published. He also met a Hanoverian nobleman, General von Estorff, a collector himself who gave Mayer Amschel commissions to track down and purchase certain coins for him. This interest in numismatics and his involvement with von Estorff finally led him to do business with Wilhelm the Crown Prince and future Landgrave of Hesse.
Other members of the family also collected coins, including Baron Edmond (1845-1934), Mayer Amschel's grandson who built up an impressive collection of Islamic, Greek, Roman and Gaulish coins, and in England, Leopold de Rothschild (1845-1917) was a discerning collector.