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Portal:Numismatics

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Introduction

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals 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). 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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The main Roman currency during most of the Roman Republic and the western half of the Roman Empire consisted of coins including: the aureus (gold), the denarius (silver), the sestertius (bronze), the dupondius (bronze), and the as (copper).These were used from the middle of the second century BC until the middle of the third century, a remarkably long time. They were still accepted as payment in Greek influenced territories, even though these regions issued their own base coinage. Either called Greek Imperial or Roman provincial coins.

During the third century, the denarius was replaced by the double denarius, now usually known as the antoninianus or radiate, which was then itself replaced during the monetary reform of Diocletian which created denominations such as the argenteus (silver) and the follis (silvered bronze). After the reforms Roman coinage consisted mainly of the gold solidus and small bronze denominations. This trend continued to the end of the Empire in the West.

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Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

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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

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Credit: commons:User:Schutz.
A 1000 Swiss franc note, the fourth highest non-commemorative banknote in the world.

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 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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