UNC = Uncirculated
EF = Extremely Fine
VF = Very Fine
F = Fine
VG = Very Good
What is Numismatics?
Numismatics is the science of the study of Coins, considering historical, economical and time elements.
Coins were realized to be a real art form in Ancient times, specifically in Greece, where it started in VII Century BC.
FROM: "Der Geldwechsler und seine Frau" by Quentin Massys
Gold and other precious metals have been used since Ancient times to make coins.
In order to study and investigate numismatics, it is necessary to understand and to know coins, but also to have an awareness of the history of different populations; their geography, anthropology and also heraldy (that is the study of coats of arms).
How did Numismatics begin?
The passion for Numismatics' began when people started to manufacture coins. The first collectors were the money changers that had operated since ancient times around IV century B.C.
In those times, the money changers had to bring at least one coin of each kind along with them in order to be able to recognize the weight and the aspect of the coin without making any mistakes.
These were merchants who exchanged coins originating from any civilization, amongst the ports of the ancient Greece, and they could ill afford to have incomplete collections or missing pieces.
Such money changers were real collectors that were in possession of a true fortune almost without even knowing to what extent.
This type of coin collection found in ancient times is called forced collecting, and still remains today: all National States send an example of each new coin minted to all the other National Banks.
How has Numismatics evolved?
Collecting rare coins has been a worldwide passion since ancient times. Indeed some of the first rare coins collectors were made up of Roman Emperors: Pompeo, Giulio Cesar, Lucullo and Sallustio.
During the excavation of Pompei, a small bag containing tens of Romans Aurei, each with different faces on the sides of the coin was found lying alongside a corpse. Petrarch (an Italian poet 1304-1374) was also a collector during the Middle Ages.
During the Renaissance Humanism period that emerged in the late 14th Century, the passion for coins was established both in the technical sense, and also as a taste for collecting different coins for leisure. It's in this period that passion for the oldest, ancient and most well-preserved coins became widespread.
What does Numismatics mean today?
As we have observed, the collection of rare coins can be a demanding passion, that asks for an investigative and focused study of a specific historic period. That being said, it is never too late to start composing your own collection.
There are many different ways to create and compose your own coin collection: you may choose to collect all the coins that circulated within a geographic region or ancient nation, or simply gather and collect the coins that your ancestors had in their pockets, their purse or in their attic before.