Theories are dry information and there is no person on this planet who would be interested only in theories of any field. However, if you want to be good at something, you cannot do things blindly. As a result, you reach a crossroad here when you need to sit down, study the theories and do some researches. Because theory and practice always step out together in order to reach the top.
If you are interested in coins, you’ve probably already heard and know the word “numismatics”. However, do you know what it means, how is this activity described, who were the most outstanding collectors and why it is still important until these modern days? Let us explain everything step-by-step and make you a professional of coins.
If talking dry and briefly, numismatics is a field of study focused on coins and other money-related objects. As coins and money of different historical ages are included in the area of focus, numismatics can be considered as one of the branches of history. However, it must be noted that only the material that was understood as real money can be a subject of numismatics. Any other form of payment such as animals, precious metals, jewelry, territories of land, pieces of stones or wood cannot be considered as an object of numismatics.
The term “numismatics” comes from the Greek word “nomisma”, which means ‘current coin’. Later this word was influenced by Latin language and adopted by the English language, as a result, today the term “numismatics” literally means ‘of coins’ and cannot describe the essence of this field any better.
Numismatics has many different subfields. In a very general saying, numismatics is focused on any coin-shaped object that has been used as money and the collection can include not just coins but medallions, tags, badges, counter stamped coins and similar objects as well. Some people collect paper money as well and they are a part of the community. However, collecting paper money is called notaphily, studying or collecting any certificates of stocks is scripophily, and finally, the very wide term exonumia includes the collectors of medals, military orders and even medallions.
The study of numismatics can be divided into two large categories: old numismatics and modern numismatics. The old numismatics are focused on ancient and very old coins made by hands and used during the periods of first civilizations and the Middle ages. The modern numismatics include coins made in any machine-related way. Don’t get confused, we are not talking about mass production. The modern numismatics are interested in coins made in the 17th century and later and these coins might have a serious historical context, extraordinary patterns, or be related to any other circumstances that made coins rare and valuable.
People who are interested in this field and collect coins are called numismatists. This term includes the collectors, coins‘ dealers, and scholars as well. Numismatics as a hobby has been well-known for centuries and many famous names are related here. If you are looking for inspiration, check out names such as Penny Marshall, James Earl Jones, Thomas Jefferson, and even Nicole Kidman.