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What is a Numismatist?

The Differences Between Coin Collectors and Numismatists

When it comes to coin collecting, the word “numismatist” is often used. A numismatist is defined as a person who studies coins, and in many cases, collects coins. Numismatists can extend their study and collection to other forms of currency such as traded and bartered goods, paper currency or jewelry.

Are Numismatists and Coin Collectors the Same?

This question is posed frequently among collectors and even those outside the realm of numismatics. Coin collectors and numismatists can be the same, but depending on their area of specialty, they may not be. There are some people that simply collect coins. There are other people who not only collect coins but study them as well. A coin collector can be a numismatist. A coin collector can also just be a coin collector.

Coin collectors gather and collect coins, sometimes attempting to complete sets or achieve a goal of having certain types of coins. Sometimes, those coin collectors can gather these coins without paying attention to the date, country of origin and in some cases, denomination. A numismatist, on the other hand, can also collect and complete coin sets, but they have a historical approach to those coins.

Numismatists can work to complete sets, but it is a safe bet a numismatist knows the time period of the coin, the history behind it and the mint from which it originated. There is a detailed sense in which the knowledge behind the coin is exposed, making the collecting a little more scientific.

The scope of a numismatist can extend to many forms of currency, including paper money and bullion. A numismatist’s role is based on their reasons for collecting or studying the coin. There are organizations that devote themselves to numismatics and collecting where valuable information about rare coins and collectible coins are dispersed. There are also trade shows that expand the knowledge of a numismatist.

There are benefits to both numismatics and regular coin collecting, but they play an important role in advancing the knowledge of coins and currency throughout the world.

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