Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Coins Collecting

I think after book reading and stamp collecting, collecting coins is one of the most liked and loved hobby around the world. The hobby not only entails collecting rare and precious coins, but also its trading as well as it is also has its own monetary value.  Normally people erroneously relate coin collecting with Numismatics. Although related with coins, Numismatics basically deals with systematic study of currency, which may also include coins. Thus a Numismatist may not necessarily be a coin collector. The differentiation between a coin collector and a numismatist has therefore clarified right here in the opening, so that no ambiguity persists in a reader’s mind about the two terminologies.
Coins have always attracted the attention of the people, collectors and the numismatics since time immemorial, mainly for the reason that paper money is the invention of a much later period of history. Since coins were the first to appear to replace the barter system, the clamouring and shinning attracted all and sundry.  But its collection initially meant as wealth and not a hobby or for the fun of collecting it. We have often seen kings throwing away small cloth sacks full of gold coins to a joker or anyone who made the king laugh or made him wiser in the films and old paintings.
However, the coin collecting as hobby came much later when people started to count on the rare coins they had in their vaults. It was then the face value of the coins also started to rise. Some claim the trend of really collecting stamps came somewhere in the 14th century. It started off with the royalty and the nobility who started collecting rare and ancient coins to impress upon others their prized treasure. It was for this reason, the coin collecting became to be known as the Hobby of the Kings, not the King of the Hobbies as some put it to elevate this hobby over others.
However as time passed, the middle class also joined in the game and started collecting coins as a hobby and pastime. This came about generally in the 18th century and also prompted the systematic approach to study the coin history and other attributes associated with it. Thus Numismatics was born and has since then been wrongly associated with the hobby co collecting stamps. By 19th century, the scope of coins collecting had expanded and markets and vendors appeared in every country trading the coins and also earning money out of it.
The recognition to coin collecting as a hobby came in 1962, when the first international convention for coin collectors was held in Detroit, USA. The convention was sponsored by the numismatic associations of USA and Canada.
I will add more to coin collecting in my subsequent posts.


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