Wang, Helen

Curator of East Asian Money at the British Museum

Helen Kay Wang (*1965) studied Chinese at the SOAS University of London and spent one year at the Beijing Language and Culture University before graduating in 1988. Helen Wang has been working at the British Museum since 1991. At first, she worked as an assistant to Joe Cribb in the Asian section of the Department of Coins and Medals. Two years later she became Curator of East Asian Money. Her main fields of interests and her duties are closely connected to the collection that she is responsible for. In addition, her interests include the history of collecting, Silk Road numismatics, the archaeologist and collector Sir Aurel Stein as well as textiles used as means of payment.

She completed her doctoral dissertation entitled “Money on the Silk Road: the evidence from Eastern Central Asia to c. AD 800” in 2002.

Helen Wang was joint Honorary Secretary of the Royal Numismatic Society from 2011 to 2016 and has been the society’s Honorary Vice President since 2018. She has been Regional Secretary for the UK and Ireland of the Oriental Numismatic Society since 2021. Moreover, she is actively engaged in other associations.

In addition to her scholarly interests, Helen Wang also publishes literary translations from Chinese. She has been translating short stories and essays as well as children’s literature since the 1990s. Her translation of the children’s novel “Bronze and Sunflower” has been honoured with several awards. She was a Member of the Committee of the Translators Association, a British association for literary translators, from 2012 to 2015.


If you would like to contact Helen Wang, please write her an email.

Since 2017, Helen Wang has been writing about Chinese and Asian money in her blog Chinese Money Matters.

Read more about Helen Wang on Wikipedia.

You can find a list of her publications at

Last year Helen Wang wrote a short obituary for the numismatist and collector Werner Burger.