Open main menu

Introduction

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money and related objects. While numismatists are often characterised 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. Early money used by people is referred to as "Odd and Curious", but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency (e.g., cigarettes in prison). The Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins; the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horses are not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, cocoa beans, large stones and gems.

Today, most transactions take place by a form of payment with either inherent, standardized, or credit value. Numismatic value is the value in excess of the monetary value conferred by law, which is known as the collector value.

Selected article

Lindenmueller token.jpg

Civil War token are token coins that were privately minted and distributed in the United States between 1862 and 1864. They were used mainly in the Northeast and Midwest. The widespread use of the tokens was a result of the scarcity of government-issued cents during the Civil War.

Civil War tokens became illegal after the United States Congress passed a law on April 22, 1864 prohibiting the issue of any one or two-cent coins, tokens or devices for use as currency. On June 8, 1864 an additional law was passed that forbade all private coinage. Civil War tokens are divided into three types—store cards, patriotic tokens, and sutler tokens. All three types were utilized as currency, and are differentiated by their designs.

Patriotic Civil War tokens typically displayed a patriotic slogan or image on one or both sides. Since the majority of these tokens were minted in Union states, the slogans and images were decidedly pro-Union.

Selected image

ClemensXI.png

Credit: Richardfabi and Sniff

Medal depicting Pope Clement XI.

Did you know...

Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

Web resources

Related portals

Selected issue

2006 AESilver Proof Obv.png

The American Silver Eagle is the official silver bullion coin of the United States. It was first released by the United States Mint in 1986. It is struck only in the 1 troy oz denomination which has a face value of one dollar and is guaranteed to contain one troy ounce of .999 pure silver. It is authorized by the United States Congress and is backed by the United States Mint for weight and content.

Banknotes

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 – 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 – The study of paper money or banknotes.
  • Scripophily – The study and collection of stocks and Bonds.

Subcategories

WikiProjects

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

Pix.gif Pix.gif

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...



Numismatic topics

Things you can do



Here are some tasks awaiting attention:


Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:

Wikibooks
Books

Commons
Media

Wikinews 
News

Wikiquote 
Quotations

Wikisource 
Texts

Wikiversity
Learning resources

Wiktionary 
Definitions

Wikidata 
Database