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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.
The New Orleans Mint has been designated a National Historic Landmark, and is currently the oldest surviving structure to have served as a U.S. Mint. Along with the Charlotte Mint, it is one of two former mint facilities in the United States to house an art gallery.
The British decimal Two Pence (2p) coin was issued by the Royal Mint on 15 February 1971, the day the British currency was decimalised. In practice it had been available from banks in bags of £1 for some weeks previously.
The coin was initially minted from bronze, but since 1992 it has been minted in copper-plated steel except for a few months in 1998 when bronze was used again. As copper-plated steel is less dense than bronze, post-1992 coins have been slightly thicker. The coin weighs 7.1 grams and has a diameter of 25.9 millimetres.
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.
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
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...