Coin collecting

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Coin collecting is the collecting or trading of coins or other forms of minted legal tender.

Coins of interest to collectors often include those that circulated for only a brief time, coins with mint errors and especially beautiful or historically significant pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics in that the latter is the systematic study of currency. Though closely related, the two disciplines are not necessarily the same. A numismatist may or may not be a coin collector and vice versa.



People have hoarded coins for their bullion value for as long as coins have been minted.[1] However, the collection of coins for their artistic value was a later development. There is evidence from the archaeological and historical record of Ancient Rome and medieval Mesopotamia[2] that coins were collected and catalogued by scholars and state treasuries. It also seems probable that individual citizens collected old, exotic or commemorative coins as an affordable, portable form of art.[3] According to Suetonius in his De vita Caesarum (The Lives of the Twelve Caesars), written in the first century CE, the emperor Augustus would sometimes present old and exotic coins to friends and courtiers during festivals and other special occasions.[4]

Contemporary coin collecting and appreciation began around the fourteenth century. During the Renaissance coin collecting became a fad among some members of the privileged classes. The Italian scholar and poet Petrarch is credited with being the pursuit's first and most famous aficionado. Following his lead, many European kings, princes, and other nobility kept collections of ancient coins. Some of notable collectors were Pope Boniface VIII, Emperor Maximilian[disambiguation needed] of the Holy Roman Empire, Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand I, Henry IV of France and Elector Joachim II of Brandenburg, who started the Berlin Coin Cabinet (German: M├╝nzkabinett Berlin). Perhaps because only the very wealthy could afford the pursuit, in Renaissance times coin collecting became known as the "Hobby of Kings."[5][6][7]

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