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Portal:Numismatics

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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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In economics, fiat currency or fiat money is money whose purchasing power derives from a declaratory fiat or an authoritative order of the government issuing it. It is often associated with paper money unbacked by fixed assets, issued without the promise of redemption in some other form, and accepted by tradition or social convention. Fiat money is called fiduciary money in many languages.

The widespread acceptance of a fiat currency is enhanced by a central authority mandating its acceptance under penalty of law and demanding it in payment of taxes or tribute. Fiat money can be contrasted with alternative forms of currency such as commodity money and private currency. Most currencies in the world have been fiat money since the end of the international gold standard of the Bretton Woods system in 1971.

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Zamek Dolny w Wilnie.jpg

Credit: Poznaniak

The Lituanian 1 litas commemorative coin was released into circulation in 2005 to promote reconstruction of the royal palace.

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Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

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The 2000 Library of Congress bimetallic ten dollar coin is a modern U.S. commemorative coin issued in a ten dollar denomination. It is the first gold and platinum bimetallic coin to be issued by the United States Mint. It was issued in proof and business strike qualities.

The issue price was $425 for the proof version and $405 for the uncirculated (business strike) version. The bimetallic coin design was inspired by the graceful architecture of the library's Jefferson Building.

Banknotes

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Credit: commons:User:Schutz.
A 1000 Swiss franc note, the fourth highest non-commemorative banknote in the world.

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, 2008 Venezuela 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 bolívar fuerte or "strong bolívar". Officials also say it is part of a broader effort to contain rising prices and strengthen the economy. 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 Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee. More...



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