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Portal:Numismatics

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Introduction

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 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.

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The dime is a United States ten-cent coin equaling one-tenth of a United States dollar. The dime has the smallest diameter and smallest thickness of all United States coins currently minted for circulation. Mintage of the dime was authorized by the Coinage Act of 1792, and production began in 1796. A feminine head representing Liberty was used on the front and an eagle was used on the back. From 1837-1891 'Seated Liberty' dimes were issued which featured Liberty seated next to a shield. In 1892 a feminine head of Liberty returned to the dime and was known as a 'Barber dime'. In 1916, the head of a winged-capped Liberty was put on the dime and is commonly known by the misnomer of 'Mercury dime'. The last design change to the dime occurred in 1946 when the dime was changed to its current design with Franklin Roosevelt.

The term 'dime' comes from the French word disme, meaning "tithe" or "tenth part," from the Latin decima [pars]. This term appeared on early pattern coins, but was not used on any dimes until 1837.

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Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

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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

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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 – 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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