Friday, August 01, 2014

Word of the Day -- Numismatics

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized 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 horse is not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, and gems.
Today, most transactions take place by a form of payment with either inherent, standardized, or credit value. Numismatic value may be used to refer to the value in excess of the monetary value conferred by law, which is known as the "collector value."

Blogger's Note:  I have always had a keen interest in coin collecting, spurred on by my grandfather's collection.  I would spend hours going through stacks and bottles full of old coins.  Later in life I would learn about the American Numismatic Association would occasionally, at their annual meeting, take a handful of rare coins and purchase random items with them, such as newspapers, chewing gum, etc. to put those coins back in circulation in hopes it would spark people's interest in coin collection.  I thought that was such a cool idea.  I routinely check my coins for wheat pennies, buffalo nickels to name a few.  It's great fun to discover a coin that has been passing through hands for 75 plus years.  --TB

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