What Is Numismatics?

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By definition, numismatics comprises of the study on coins, medallions, stock certificates, banknotes and other forms of money. The origin of numismatics is dated way back to the time when Julius Caesar authored the first ever book on it. The subject of numismatics is a very interesting concept since it covers every single coin and/or medal which represents a different time in history, culture, political scenario and economic condition. 

The people who follow that are of numismatics are called numismatists. They are known to study the history that all the aforementioned varieties of currencies carry. They are different from coin collectors in most aspects. On one hand, coin collectors are mostly occupied with collecting coins and possessing the element of prestige that the coin brings with it. However, numismatists are not only restricted to coins, they go beyond the boundaries that are established by coin collectors.   

With the passage of time, coin collection has grown in popularity. Amongst coin collectors the most common categories of coins are those with famous people to represent the era that the coin belonged to and was in circulation.  

Numismatists are generally involved in the understanding the use of the coins, the origin of the coins, its production, appearance and the varieties of related coins. One of the strongest objectives is to uncover the role that was played by the different currencies. This is information is mostly obtained by referring to the mint information.  This refers to the facility or the location of the place where the coins were actually manufactured.  Further, numismatists also are involved in grading the coins, assessing the authenticity of coins and establishing the current market value of these coins.   

When collecting coins was not as universally present as it is today, there used to only be 3 categories that were used to categorize coins. 

Good: Implied that the coin had all its details in proper condition

Fine: Implied that although the details were in proper condition, the coin lacked luster

Not circulated: Implied that the coin was new in circulation in the market. Hence, the original appearance was maintained. 

However, in today’s time there exists a much evolved system of grading these coins. A combination of alphabets and numerical are used corresponding to the coin’s quality. The U.S Grading system is perhaps the most comprehensive and popular amongst amateurs and professionals alike.  

Finally, it is imperative to have ample information about coins and the technique of grading that is used in this field.  Hence, make sure you are fully geared up for this experience.


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