Portal:Numismatics

The Numismatics Portal

Electrum coin from Ephesus, 520-500 BCE. Obverse: Forepart of stag. Reverse: Square incuse punch

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals and related objects.

Specialists, known as numismatists, are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, but the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other means of payment used to resolve debts and exchange goods.

The earliest forms of money used by peoples 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). As an example, 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. (Full article...)

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Banknotes with a face value of 5000 in different currencies. (United States dollar, CFA franc, Japanese yen, Italian lira, and French franc)

A banknote—also called a bill (North American English), paper money, or simply a note—is a type of negotiable promissory note, made by a bank or other licensed authority, payable to the bearer on demand. Banknotes were originally issued by commercial banks, which were legally required to redeem the notes for legal tender (usually gold or silver coin) when presented to the chief cashier of the originating bank. These commercial banknotes only traded at face value in the market served by the issuing bank. Commercial banknotes have primarily been replaced by national banknotes issued by central banks or monetary authorities.

National banknotes are often – but not always – legal tender, meaning that courts of law are required to recognize them as satisfactory payment of money debts. Historically, banks sought to ensure that they could always pay customers in coins when they presented banknotes for payment. This practice of "backing" notes with something of substance is the basis for the history of central banks backing their currencies in gold or silver. Today, most national currencies have no backing in precious metals or commodities and have value only by fiat. With the exception of non-circulating high-value or precious metal issues, coins are used for lower valued monetary units, while banknotes are used for higher values. (Full article...)
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Coin of King Ebana of Aksum.

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Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

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Type IIIb Achaemenid Daric, c. 420 BC.

The Persian daric was a gold coin which, along with a similar silver coin, the siglos, represented the bimetallic monetary standard of the Achaemenid Persian Empire.

Cyrus the Great (550–530 BC) introduced coins to the Persian Empire after 546 BC, following his conquest of Lydia and the defeat of its king Croesus, who had put in place the first coinage in history. It seems Cyrus initially adopted the Lydian coinage as such, and continued to strike Lydia's lion-and-bull coinage. (Full article...)

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US $2 1896 SC.jpg
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Face of the famous 1896 $2 "Educational Series" silver certificate.

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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 topics


List articles

Central banks • Currencies • Circulating currencies • Historical currencies • US community currencies • Canadian community currencies • Mints • Motifs on banknotes • Most expensive coins

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Most traded currencies

Most traded currencies by value
Currency distribution of global foreign exchange market turnover[1]
Rank Currency ISO 4217 code
(symbol)
% of daily trades
(bought or sold)
(April 2019)
1
United States dollar
USD (US$)
88.3%
2
Euro
EUR (€)
32.3%
3
Japanese yen
JPY (¥)
16.8%
4
Pound sterling
GBP (£)
12.8%
5
Australian dollar
AUD (A$)
6.8%
6
Canadian dollar
CAD (C$)
5.0%
7
Swiss franc
CHF (CHF)
5.0%
8
Renminbi
CNY (元 / ¥)
4.3%
9
Hong Kong dollar
HKD (HK$)
3.5%
10
New Zealand dollar
NZD (NZ$)
2.1%
11
Swedish krona
SEK (kr)
2.0%
12
South Korean won
KRW (₩)
2.0%
13
Singapore dollar
SGD (S$)
1.8%
14
Norwegian krone
NOK (kr)
1.8%
15
Mexican peso
MXN ($)
1.7%
16
Indian rupee
INR (₹)
1.7%
17
Russian ruble
RUB (₽)
1.1%
18
South African rand
ZAR (R)
1.1%
19
Turkish lira
TRY (₺)
1.1%
20
Brazilian real
BRL (R$)
1.1%
21
New Taiwan dollar
TWD (NT$)
0.9%
22
Danish krone
DKK (kr)
0.6%
23
Polish złoty
PLN (zł)
0.6%
24
Thai baht
THB (฿)
0.5%
25
Indonesian rupiah
IDR (Rp)
0.4%
26
Hungarian forint
HUF (Ft)
0.4%
27
Czech koruna
CZK (Kč)
0.4%
28
Israeli new shekel
ILS (₪)
0.3%
29
Chilean peso
CLP (CLP$)
0.3%
30
Philippine peso
PHP (₱)
0.3%
31
UAE dirham
AED (د.إ)
0.2%
32
Colombian peso
COP (COL$)
0.2%
33
Saudi riyal
SAR (﷼)
0.2%
34
Malaysian ringgit
MYR (RM)
0.1%
35
Romanian leu
RON (L)
0.1%
Other 2.2%
Total[note 1] 200.0%

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  1. ^ The total sum is 200% because each currency trade always involves a currency pair; one currency is sold (e.g. US$) and another bought (€). Therefore each trade is counted twice, once under the sold currency ($) and once under the bought currency (€). The percentages above are the percent of trades involving that currency regardless of whether it is bought or sold, e.g. the U.S. Dollar is bought or sold in 88% of all trades, whereas the Euro is bought or sold 32% of the time.
  1. ^ "Triennial Central Bank Survey Foreign exchange turnover in April 2019" (PDF). Bank for International Settlements. 16 September 2019. p. 10. Retrieved 2019-09-16.

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