Numismatics

Numismatics is a term that you often find yourself listening to even if you don’t always fully understand its meaning. Before going into the specifics and advancing into what is etymology and the main aspects of this area, it is good to understand, in general, what we are talking about.

numismatics collection
A Numismatic Collection

Introduction to Numismatics

Numismatics is what we could define as the scientific study of coins and their classification over time. In fact, coins have many very interesting aspects that can be studied, analyzed and understood.

In addition to the aesthetic aspect, in fact, they present a specific history linked to the year of production, the place, but also characteristics of a political, economic, historical and artistic nature.

In short, behind the simple metal hides a real world which has many different facets.

The task of Numismatics is precisely that of going to “dig” into this world in order to understand and study the coins to the end.

Meaning of Numismatics

The term Numismatics has ancient origins to be found even in ancient Greece.

The etymology of the term comes down to us from the Latin “numisma” which in turn comes from the Greek “nomisma” or “coin”.

As we have seen, Numismatics has as its main object the study of the coin in all its facets. In reality, this sector also embraces different sectors. For example, it includes the study of banknotes, means of payment prior to money and objects very close to coins such as medals, tokens, etc..

This science is specifically concerned with analyzing different aspects of these objects including metallurgy, appearance, year of manufacture, etc..

In this regard, it should also be said that over the years, Numismatics has also made it possible to create, so to speak, a real “Numismatics of discoveries”. Specialized that is in those that are the findings of coins and other objects of this kind within ‘particular archaeological sites. This represents however to today the part of this discipline more active and innovative.

The activity of search of the ancient coins and the rare coins is regulated from some laws that also concern who searches the coins with the metal detector.

The Numismatist

The Numismatist, thus defined, is the one who deals with the research, cataloguing and general study of coins.

The area of competence of the numismatist can be in museums where the study and dissemination of information about large public collections takes place, or in universities where Numismatics is taught as a subject.

numismatics collection of gold coins
Numismatics: Detail of Ancient Gold Rare Coins

The method by which these professionals carry out the study of currency is incredibly careful and accurate and takes into account some fundamental factors.

The most important and recognized method is coin analysis.

Each coin in fact is characterized by two defined minting: upper minting (or hammer minting) and lower minting (called anvil minting). These two cones, being different, wear out with completely different timing. This leads to a greater number of substitutions for what is the hammer minting.

Over the years there have therefore been numerous combinations of cones thanks to which it is possible to go back to the historical origins and not only of the single coin.

The Numismatist, however, also deals with the analysis of the various styles of the coins. He also carries out research into, for example, the characteristics of metals, thanks to which the origin of each individual coin can be effectively understood.

In short, the task of this professional is not at all simple. It ‘characterized by many specific skills in the field that allow him to have a 360-degree knowledge of what is the world of coin and beyond.

Italian Numismatic

The Italian Numismatic Society is a cultural association founded in 1982, in a post-uniform climate, to promote what is the study of currency, cards, seals and medals.

Among the founding members of that time there was also Vittorio Emanuele III, at that time prince of Naples. He was a well-known enthusiast of Numismatics and was honorary president of the association since 1897.

Currently the Italian Numismatics Society is based in Milan and has among its members the greatest experts and collectors of Numismatics including Serafino Ricci one of the first university professors who have dealt with this subject.

The object of their studies are of course coins, with particular attention to Italian coins. Specifically, the coins of the Lira are among the most appreciated for the large quantity of ancient, rare and particular pieces that it houses.

Numismatic of Lire Coins

The Numismatics of the Lira, as mentioned, includes what is the study of the Lira coin and the various coins that have been made over the years.

Naturally the study of the Lira happens through different canons that allow not only to understand those that are the principal characteristics of the single coin, but also to be able to estimate a value of it.

In fact, each coin has a different value that is sanctioned primarily by its state of preservation. The highest quality state is Fdc (Brilliant Uncirculated). There are many intermediate grades such as Splendid, Beautiful, Very Beautiful, Beautiful and Discreet.

In addition, each coin, based on its rarity, may have different values. Much sought after are also the errors of minting. They are those specific coins that have errors in the production phase and, therefore, are incredibly rare.

The numismatic lire and in general the study of the Lira in any case is very specific and includes a large amount of different coins which have as many peculiarities. For this reason, collectors are constantly looking for new rare specimens.

Numismatic of Euro Coins

The Numismatics of the Euro is instead the branch of this discipline that deals with the study of euro coins. Specifically, we are talking also in this case about a large number of coins for which there are many peculiarities and different characteristics to look for.

With the entry into force of the euro, fans of numismatics have also been able to take advantage of introductory kits to the new coin to begin their numismatic Euro coins collection.

numismatics group of  euro coins
Numismatics: Collections of Euro Coins

It should also be noted that in addition to the state of preservation and the errors of minting, particularly with regard to the 2 € coins are also available the so-called commemorative editions and they are called: 2 euro commemorative coins.

These are special coins minted during important events in a particular country.

The euro numismatics, i.e. the research and study of euro coins also in this case is based on what are the characteristics of the individual piece. For example, the materials, the year of production, the country of origin and many other aspects will be taken into consideration.

Numismatic auctions

Numismatic Auctions are special events in which coins are dealt with. In particular, these events can be of two types which naturally have different characteristics.

Online Auctions are events organised on the web within the sector’s Websites, which make the platform available. To participate, you must register within the permitted limits and wait for the start time of the auction. It is also possible to bid for the various coins online and try to win them.

A good example of an online numismatic auction is the one explained on this page, where you can create lots of coins to sell or bid to buy, all with the support of experts in the field.

numismatics auctions

In Numismatic Auctions you can sell and buy coins or entire collections.

Physical numismatic auctions, on the other hand, are much more characteristic events. In this case we are talking about days organized and dedicated to this type of activity. During these days you can meet experts in Numismatics, collectors and enthusiasts from all over Italy or the world.

Also in this case it is possible to make offers and try to win the various coins available.

In the numismatic auctions you can participate either as a buyer, i.e. with the methods seen above, or as a seller. In the second case you can auction your own coins. In this way it is sold to the highest bidder actually verifying what is the real value of these pieces.

Numismatic catalogue

A catalogue of Numismatics is a very useful tool that every collector and enthusiast who respects himself cannot help but have.

The quantity of coins in circulation if we consider the ancient ones (Greek, Roman and Byzantine), the medieval ones and the contemporary ones, is in fact incredibly high.

Even for the most precise it is therefore difficult to remember the name and characteristics of each coin. Browse through a catalog of numismatics can be a great way to immediately identify the coin that interests us.

In fact, numismatics catalogues are diversified according to the type of coin you want to analyze (Lire, Euro, etc.). They faithfully report a front and back image of the coin with characteristics, year of production, curiosity and value.

A very useful tool that allows you to speed up activities otherwise much longer and tedious.

You can find the main catalogues in the page of our shop.

Numismatics shop

As far as the Numismatic shops are concerned, on the other hand, they represent an excellent “place” where you can buy and evaluate different types of coins. These shops can also be both physical (much rarer) and virtual in this case, then allocated to online sites dedicated to the sector just the subject.

A numismatic shop naturally includes a real list of the various coins available. They also have precise cards and catalogs such as those seen above.

Thanks to these, you can carefully evaluate the characteristics of the coins and compare different models to get a much more precise idea.

Of course also in this case you can not only visit the various shops as a buyer but also propose their own coins. Before doing so, however, it is good to make sure, by consulting cards and catalogs, that the coins you have available actually have a value.

In addition, it is advisable for the sale to always turn to collectors who buy in most cases for pure passion.


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Autore dell'articolo

Marco Salvatori
Marco Salvatori

I don't like to call myself a Numismatic but rather a passionate collector of italian lira, modern and even ancient coins. I love studying the history of our country through coins and each piece tells me its story.

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