Curious about coin collecting? You are in the right place! Coin collecting is the hobby of kings, and it is called Numismatics. A person who collects coins is a numismatist, but coins are not the only things a numismatist might collect. What does a numismatist do? They collect items currently and previously used as money.
Coin collecting is called the hobby of kings because the hobby started when kingdoms began building treasuries. Before the advent of money, kings produced, collected, and managed tradeable goods. Goods and monies of all kinds, were gathered and stored for later dates. Eventually, precious metals were shaped into easily carried, measured sizes, and stamped with the king’s mark to identify the money as legitimate for use within the kingdom.
In addition to gold and silver, there is a rich history of copper and iron money as well. Money also took the shape of shells and beads, and other small tradeable items – all collected as wealth and still collectible today.
Why is a coin collector called a numismatist?
The history of trade is longer than our living language history. As best as linguists can tell, the noun “numismatist” comes from the proto-indo-european root “nem.” Nem meant to take, or to give. It was used as a prefix in many aspects of trade. The root word traveled through time, from the Greek “nomisma,” and the Latin “numisma” and “nummus,” all meaning coin, to the French word “numismatique” which is still in use today.
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Coin collecting is a great way to meet people, find community, and learn about the world we share. Welcome to the club.
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