Portal:Numismatics

The Numismatics Portal

Electrum coin from Ephesus, 520-500 BCE. Obverse: Forepart of stag. Reverse: Square incuse punch

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals and related objects.

Specialists, known as numismatists, are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, but the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other means of payment used to resolve debts and exchange goods.

The earliest forms of money used by people are categorised by collectors 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). As an example, 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. (Full article...)

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Charon and Psyche (1883), a pre-Raphaelite interpretation of the myth by John Roddam Spencer Stanhope

Charon's obol is an allusive term for the coin placed in or on the mouth of a dead person before burial. Greek and Latin literary sources specify the coin as an obol, and explain it as a payment or bribe for Charon, the ferryman who conveyed souls across the river that divided the world of the living from the world of the dead. Archaeological examples of these coins, of various denominations in practice, have been called "the most famous grave goods from antiquity."

The custom is primarily associated with the ancient Greeks and Romans, though it is also found in the ancient Near East. In Western Europe, a similar usage of coins in burials occurs in regions inhabited by Celts of the Gallo-Roman, Hispano-Roman and Romano-British cultures, and among the Germanic peoples of late antiquity and the early Christian era, with sporadic examples into the early 20th century. (Full article...)
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Zamek Dolny w Wilnie.jpg

Credit: Poznaniak

The Lituanian 1 litas commemorative coin was released into circulation in 2005 to promote reconstruction of the royal palace.

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Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

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The five dollar coin is the second-highest denomination coin of the Hong Kong dollar. It replaced the five dollar banknotes in 1976.

It was first issued as a 10-sided coin in 1976, under British rule. The coin was also made of copper-nickel but weighed 10.76 grams, was 31 mm in diameter and 2.08 mm thick. The obverse featured Arnold Machin's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and the inscription Queen Elizabeth II. Its reverse featured a crowned British lion and the year of minting, as well as the country's name and the coin's denomination in both English and Chinese. (Full article...)

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Banknote 1000 rubles (1997) back.jpg
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Back of Russian 1000 rubles banknote, 1997.

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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.

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Numismatic topics



List articles

Central banks • Currencies • Circulating currencies • Historical currencies • US community currencies • Canadian community currencies • Mints • Motifs on banknotes • Most expensive coins

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Most traded currencies

Most traded currencies by value
Currency distribution of global foreign exchange market turnover[1]
Rank Currency ISO 4217
code
Symbol Proportion of
daily volume,
April 2019
1
United States dollar
USD
US$
88.3%
2
Euro
EUR
32.3%
3
Japanese yen
JPY
円 / ¥
16.8%
4
Sterling
GBP
£
12.8%
5
Australian dollar
AUD
A$
6.8%
6
Canadian dollar
CAD
C$
5.0%
7
Swiss franc
CHF
CHF
5.0%
8
Renminbi
CNY
元 / ¥
4.3%
9
Hong Kong dollar
HKD
HK$
3.5%
10
New Zealand dollar
NZD
NZ$
2.1%
11
Swedish krona
SEK
kr
2.0%
12
South Korean won
KRW
원 / ₩
2.0%
13
Singapore dollar
SGD
S$
1.8%
14
Norwegian krone
NOK
kr
1.8%
15
Mexican peso
MXN
$
1.7%
16
Indian rupee
INR
1.7%
17
Russian ruble
RUB
1.1%
18
South African rand
ZAR
R
1.1%
19
Turkish lira
TRY
1.1%
20
Brazilian real
BRL
R$
1.1%
21
New Taiwan dollar
TWD
NT$
0.9%
22
Danish krone
DKK
kr
0.6%
23
Polish złoty
PLN
0.6%
24
Thai baht
THB
฿
0.5%
25
Indonesian rupiah
IDR
Rp
0.4%
26
Hungarian forint
HUF
Ft
0.4%
27
Czech koruna
CZK
0.4%
28
Israeli new shekel
ILS
0.3%
29
Chilean peso
CLP
CLP$
0.3%
30
Philippine peso
PHP
0.3%
31
UAE dirham
AED
د.إ
0.2%
32
Colombian peso
COP
COL$
0.2%
33
Saudi riyal
SAR
0.2%
34
Malaysian ringgit
MYR
RM
0.1%
35
Romanian leu
RON
L
0.1%
Other 2.2%
Total[note 1] 200.0%

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Sources

  1. ^ The total sum is 200% because each currency trade always involves a currency pair; one currency is sold (e.g. US$) and another bought (€). Therefore each trade is counted twice, once under the sold currency ($) and once under the bought currency (€). The percentages above are the percent of trades involving that currency regardless of whether it is bought or sold, e.g. the US dollar is bought or sold in 88% of all trades, whereas the euro is bought or sold 32% of the time.
  1. ^ "Triennial Central Bank Survey Foreign exchange turnover in April 2019" (PDF). Bank for International Settlements. 16 September 2019. p. 10. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2021-02-07. Retrieved 2019-09-16.
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