Introduction

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money and related objects. While numismatists are often characterised 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.

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Royal Canadian Mint Ottawa 3jun2004.jpg

The Royal Canadian Mint produces all of Canada's circulation coins, and manufactures circulation coins on behalf of other nations. The Mint designs and manufactures: collector coins; gold, silver, palladium and platinum bullion coins; customized medals, tokens and trade dollars; and watches and jewellery featuring coin designs. It also offers gold and silver refinery and assay services.

The President and Master of the Mint is the senior executive officer of the organization.The Mint operates under the legislative basis of the Royal Canadian Mint Act. Among the Mint's technical innovations are its plating process, and the world's first coloured circulation coin, the 2004 Remembrance Day 25 cent piece. Further innovation was achieved with the adaptation of the Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD) technology to coat its dies, extending the life of the die beyond that of past chrome coated dies.

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1915-half-sov-reverse.png
Credit: DavidBrooks
Reverse of a 1915 George V half-sovereign.

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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

US $1 1886 Silver Certificate.jpg
Credit: commons:User:Red devil 666
Series of 1886 $1 silver certificates portraying Martha Washington, the only woman in United States history to be featured on its banknotes.

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, 2008Venezuela 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 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 More...



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