What is Numismatics?

by Investing School on February 21, 2011

The word “Numismatics” refers to studying or collecting currency, whether as a hobby or as an investment. This may include coins, tokens, bills, or other similar items, which can be collected as investments when coins fluctuate in value, or as items of interest for private individuals.

The types of money used by cultures in ancient times are now known as “Odd and Curious.” As an example, the people of Kyrgyzstan once traditionally used horses as their main form of currency unit, and offered smaller change in the skins of lambs. In numismatics, the lambskins could be considered currency, but the horses could not. A variety of objects have been used as money over the centuries, including shells, precious metals, and even gemstones.

People who collect currencies are known as numismatists, whether they are dealers, collectors or academics. Some people collect coins and moneys for pleasure and learn about these items as interested scholars on an amateur level.

Other dealers are the professional numismatists, who get involved in the process of authenticating and determining the values of coins for commercial reasons. These professionals may engage in the purchase and sale of valuable coin collections, which aids in the growth of the study of money as a subject. In fact, some renowned and expert numismatists will sometimes be contacted for consultation by museums, historians, and archaeologists.

Academic numismatists work with universities, private collections, or independently to develop more knowledge about monetary systems, their function and history within world economies, and related topics.

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