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Collection Studio 4.72

[ release date: March 31, 2016 ]


library folder United States coinage history (22)

library article Coin collecting

library article Coin Grading

library article Exonumia

library article Numismatics

library article World Mints


Numismatics is the scientific study of money and its history in all its varied forms. While numismatists are often characterized as studying coins, the discipline also includes the study of medals, medallions and tokens (also referred to as Exonumia). Checks, bank notes, paper money, Scripophily and credit cards are also often subjects of numismatistic interest. Early money used by primitive people is referred to as Odd and Curious.

Numismatics is an ancient discipline. Julius Caesar is often credited with writing the first book on numismatics. Numismatics can include the study of many different aspects relating to coins, including history, geography, economy, metallurgy, usage and manufacturing processes.

Numismatists are sometimes differentiated from coin collectors inasmuch as the latter chiefly derive pleasure from the simple ownership of monetary devices, whereas the former are more concerned with acquiring knowledge about monetary devices and systems. In fact, many numismatists are also collectors and vice-versa. Walter Breen is a well-known example of a noted numismatist who was not an avid collector, while King Farouk I of Egypt was an avid collector who had very little interest in numismatics. Harry Bass by comparison was a noted collector who was also a numismatist.

Numismatists frequently research the production and use of money in historical contexts using mint or other records in order to determine the relative rarity of the coins they study. Varieties, mint-made errors, the results of progressive die wear, mintage figures and even the socio-political context of coin mintings are also matters of interest. In sum, there is very little about money that is not a valid numismatic field of study.

Professional numismatists often authenticate or grade coins for commercial purposes, buy or sell a piece or collection; assist historians, museum curators and archaeologists, and lend their expertise to the collecting community.