Numismatics is the study or collection of coins, paper currency, and medals.

“Numismatics has been called the grammar of art, and there are writers on ancient history who say that not only the art but also the history of antiquity must learn its letters, must lay its foundations, in numismatics.”
– Ralph Van Deman Magoffin (1914)[1, p.64]

I strongly disagree with Magoffin’s quote. I think the strongest foundation for history (especially that of antiquity) is chronology. Chronology is that fundamental study which allows us to make sense of numismatical information. An example of chronology’s necessity can be seen in the Numismatic Chronicle‘s article title Magoffin shares later in the same paragraph, “chronology of the…”.

Numismatics Definitions

Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines numismatics as:[2]
“The science of coins and medals.”

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary defined it as:[3]
“the study or collection of coins, tokens, and paper money and sometimes related objects (such as medals)” defined it as:[4]
“the study or collecting of coins, medals, paper money, etc.”

Lexico defined it as:[5]
“The study or collection of coins, banknotes, and medals.”

Numismatics Etymology

1790 – Allegedly the earliest known use of the word “numismatics”.[3]

1820-1830 – “see origin at numismatic, -ics”. The origin given at numismatic is:
“1785–95; <New Latin numismaticus<Greek nomismat- (stem of nómisma) currency + Latin -icus-ic; akin to Greek nómos usage, law”[4]

Ctruth Numismatics Articles

List of Numismatists Born Before 1900:

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[1] – Ralph Van Deman Magoffin. “The Modern Making of Ancient History.” The Classical Journal, vol. 10, no. 2, 1914, pp. 63–71. JSTOR, Accessed 4 Oct. 2020.

[2] – Accessed 8 Oct. 2020.

[3] – Accessed 8 Oct. 2020.

[4] – Accessed 8 Oct. 2020.

[5] – Accessed 8 Oct. 2020.

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