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The Numismatics Portal

Claudius II coin (colourised).png
Numismatics (ancient Greek: νομισματική) 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 a much larger study of payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods.

Exonumia is the study of coin-like objects such as token coins and medals, and other items used in place of legal currency or for commemoration. Notaphily is the study of paper money or banknotes. Scripophily is the study and collection of stocks and Bonds. Numismatics is an ancient discipline, reaching as far back as Julius Caesar, who is often credited with writing the first book on numismatics. It can include the study of many different aspects relating to coins, including history, geography, economics, metallurgy, usage, and manufacturing processes.

Economic and historical studies of money's use and development are separate to the numismatists' study of money's physical embodiment (although the fields are related; economic theories of money's origin depend upon numismatics, for example).

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The gold standard is a monetary system in which the standard economic unit of account is a fixed weight of gold. Under the gold standard, currency issuers guarantee to redeem notes in that amount of gold. Governments that employ such a fixed unit of account, and which will redeem their notes to other governments in gold, share a fixed-currency relationship. Supporters of the gold standard claim it is more resistant to credit and debt expansion. Unlike a fiat currency, the money backed by gold cannot be created arbitrarily by government action. This restraint prevents artificial inflation by the devaluation of currency. This is supposed to remove "currency uncertainty," keep the credit of the issuing monetary authority sound, and encourage lending. Nevertheless, countries under the gold standard, like countries with fiat currencies, underwent debt crises and depressions throughout the history of its use.

The gold standard is no longer used in any nation, having been replaced completely by fiat currency. It still is in use by private institutions in the supply of digital gold currency, which uses gold grams as money. Due to its rarity, durability, and the general ease of identification through its unique color, weight, ductility and acoustic properties, gold is a commodity that merchants and traders came to select as a common unit of account - thus it has long been used as a form of money and store of wealth.

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2006-01-15 coin on water.jpg
Credit: commons:User:Roger McLassus.
A 1 Hungarian pengő coin, made of aluminium, floating on water, demonstrating its surface tension.

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The Chinese Silver Panda is a series of silver bullion coins issued by the People's Republic of China. The design changes every year and comes in different sizes, from 0.5 troy oz to 1 kilogram. The purity of the coin is 99.90% silver and it has a weight of 31.105 gram. The program was started early in the 1980s but in different weight standard early on. There are several mints that produce these coins, including: Shenzhen, Shanghai and Shenyang. Sometimes the different mints can be distinguished from the size of the year on the obverse side of the coin.

Banknotes

KyrgyzstanP21-100Som-2002 b.jpg
Credit: Ronald Wise, banknoteworld
Back of 100 Kyrgyz som, printed and issued in 2002.

Numismatic terminology

  • Bullion - Precious metals (platinum, gold and silver) in the form of bars, ingots or plate.
  • Error - Usually a mis-made coin not intended for circulation, but can also refer to an engraving or die-cutting error not discovered until the coins are released to circulation. This may result is two or more varieties of the coin in the same year.
  • Exonumia is the study of coin-like objects such as token coins and medals, and other items used in place of legal currency or for commemoration.
  • Fineness - Purity of precious metal content expressed in terms of one thousand parts. 90% is expressed as .900 fine.
  • Notaphily is the study of paper money or banknotes.
  • Scripophily is the study and collection of stocks and Bonds.

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  • Business
  • Numismatics
  • Philately

Numismatic News

January 1, 2008 Venezuela launched a new currency with the new year, lopping off three zeros from denominations in a bid to simplify finances and boost confidence in a money that has been losing value due to high inflation. The new currency is called bolívar fuerte or "strong bolívar". Officials also say it is part of a broader effort to contain rising prices and strengthen the economy. More...

January 1, 2008

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Today at midnight, the Cyprus and the Malta adopted the euro as their official currency; less than four years after their accession to the European Union. The single currency has replaced the Cypriot pound and the Maltese lira at a rate of one euro to 0.585274 Cypriot pound and 0.4293 to the Maltese lira. In both countries the euro was welcomed with outdoor celebrations, including a fireworks display in Malta's capital Valletta. More...

September 26, 2007

Designs for three of four themes proposed for the reverse of 2009 Lincoln cents to honor Abraham Lincoln's life were endorsed by the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. More...

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