Do you know what numismatics really is?

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods. A broader study like a particular country’s cultural background, history, language and other major information. Coins are one of the most important sources of information from which archaeologists and historians can try to interpret the past. This is partly because, unlike most other ancient artefacts, they are often stamped with words and images. It is also because they are hard-wearing and survive in large numbers.

Coin collecting is one of the oldest hobbies in the world. There are many facts of numismatics but I would like to share 5 which I believe is worth sharing:

  1. The first city in the world to mint its own gold coins was Florence,
    situated in Italy. This significant event took place in 1252.
  2. In Britain, the oldest Roman coin was found which was about 2,224
    years old. This coin was minted in 211 BC. On one side of the coin,
    there is the image of Goddess Roma while the other side has the image of mythical twin horses Pollux and Castor
  3. In ancient India, cowrie shells were used as an important economic tool instead of coins. These had great value at that time. In fact, Veda has the earliest reference of coins in India.
  4. The largest numismatic organization in the world is “American
    Numismatic Association” was founded in 1891. This Association has the largest circulating numismatic material in the world. Its headquarters includes the “World Money Museum”.
  5. During the rule of Ming dynasty, China issued the largest currency note in the world. In 1917, Romania issued the smallest banknote in
    the world.

I would like to compare by sharing a few differences of what actually a numismatist is and what a few collectors do in this vast hobby. Let me start by talking about myself. When I started in 1997, I started off with stamps and the love for them started off due to the beautiful designs and colours on them that attracted me towards it. And then when I left India and went abroad, in 2001 there the love for coins started and then banknotes thereafter, having the same reason but the twist was i was curious about knowing about the history of why such and such note was made and what was the reason behind it the history etc., I started to buy books on them to learn more and found a very deep history behind this ast hobby. And that was the secret of my interest in this hobby.

Unlike the current generation collectors’ most of them collect just for the sake of the looks or interest but they do not go in details or at least the stick to one particular form like just let’s say the local country banknotes nothing more than that, so their information and knowledge is limited to that level.
Therefore, I would like to conclude by saying that no numismatist is an expert in all the felids of this vast hobby, but if they are focusing on one particular area, they must gain more and more knowledge on that particular chosen area of interest. There are different types of numismatists in the world.

My suggestion would be for young/future numismatists to first choose
an area that interests you the most and makes a deep study about it by
reading relevant authentic books, attending exhibitions, coordinate with experts, go through blogs and have a collection of your own.

All the best!

Courtesy: Sulaiman Sameeh


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