What is a Numismatist?

This was the title of a subject I found explored in a holocene CoinTalk ( CT ) thread. The original poster ( OP ) had been accused by a “ large coin trader ” of not truly being a numismatist. According to the OP, the dealer told him, “ You are a collector, not a numismatist. ” When OP asked for clarification, the answer was, “ You never made a living sell coins. ” Of course, this begs the question of what qualifies a person to refer to themselves as a numismatist. Do you have to be a full-time coin dealer in order to be a numismatist, as this trader seems to think ? To defend his stand as a numismatist, OP referred the dealer to the play along Wikipedia definition : “ A numismatist is a specialist in numismatics. . .. Numismatists include collectors, specialist dealers, and scholars who use coins and early currency in object-based research. ” To this, the dealer replied : “ Yea [ heat content ], that ’ s Wikipedia for you. . .. ”

obviously, the authors of the Wikipedia entrance for numismatic/numismatist don ’ t consider making a survive from coins a necessary separate of the numismatist definition. The OP enumerated his credentials as a collector, which included collecting for many years, selling coins on eBay, and specializing in U.S. and universe coins, which he ’ second attached to because of their history. He finished his initial introduction with the follow questions : “ What IS the very deviation between a collector and a numismatist ? Is a coin dealer a numismatist ? How do you become a numismatist ? What do you study to be a numismatist ? ” I can ’ t say that I ’ ve ever considered the OP ’ randomness questions, although I ’ ve retentive idea of myself as a numismatist. Whatever I ’ ve done as a collector/part-time mail-order dealer/author was adequate for me to once get a call from a major coin auction/dealer in California to fly knocked out to consultation for a position as auction director. For a variety of reasons, I didn ’ t take them up on the volunteer but decided to continue my career as an academic psychologist. interestingly, the person they hired had a Ph.D. in the history of psychology, which is an area that I gravitated toward near the conclusion of my career. One of the early responders to OP ’ mho questions wrote, “ I have long said that I am a fanatic hobbyist and not a numismatist. I know all that I care to know to enjoy my hobby and am well versed on most U.S. mint series, key dates and such. But well versed does not translate to educated. . .. education defines a numismatist in my eyes and that has nothing to do with market coins. ” To which the next respondent quipped, “ A PhD can be a scholar or a posthole digger. ” This was followed by a instruction taken from the Investopedia web locate : “ Numismatics is the cogitation of coins and early currency units and is normally associated with the appraisal and collection of rare coins. [ Do they have to be rare ? ] Numismatists study the physical properties, product technology, and diachronic context of specimens of currency. ” The person who posted the statement from Investopedia followed it with the follow gloss : “ even though I posted a ‘ description ’ above, my personal opinion is that anyone who is concerned in collecting coins of whatever character, discipline or measure, is a numismatist. ” The principal who labeled his customer merely a collector, not a numismatist earned some negative comments from early responders to the string. For exercise, one wrote, “ That principal is an uneducated. .. idiot ; and I don ’ thymine wish who, how long, or how big his ship’s company is. It ’ s besides bad we ’ ll never know who he is. ” To this, another respondent wrote : “ You ’ re being excessively dainty ! ” Piling on, another respondent added, “ Regardless of the definition of numismatist, collector, hoarder or stacker, that dealer is a bloviate clown. ” yet another person commented about how the principal had alienated a prospective customer in front of him by challenging the customer ’ s self-labeling. The respondent added, “ I wouldn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate spend a dime bag with a bragger like that. ”

Another respondent offered the opinion that “ If you collect, buy, sell, invest in, or trade coins you are a numismatist. You can besides specialize in certain aspects such as errors, varieties, U.S. coins, foreign coins, ancient coins. Being a numismatist means you are function of a large group of mint lovers who do their own thing. . .. ” Are you a numismatist if you merely accumulate coins but never learn anything about them ? Are you even a coin collector if that is all you do ? One respondent weighed in on these questions. “ Some people set aside 1976 quarters and silver medal coins in the 60s and didn ’ metric ton go any far. Some people equitable set aside scoop change that looks interesting without ever studying it any far. I ’ d say that ’ s a mint collector. ” But is this type of “ collector ” a numismatist ? The respondent added the postdate : “ If you have most of the Redbook in your head and know details about varieties, starting signal and end dates for series, understand grade, know all of the types of neologism the U.S. has had for the past 200 years, or possibly you ’ ra well versed in ancients, etc. .. . I would say that is a numismatist. ” Speaking for myself, people who have a boastfully jar of pennies or who save all their pocket change are not collectors, they ’ rhenium accumulators or possibly hoarders. For many years, I had a colleague who amassed a goodly number of coins, many of which had bullion prize. To my cognition, he never learned anything about his coins, he knew adjacent to nothing about scaling, he never bought a coin album on purpose, and he never opened even as basic a coin book as the Redbook. I would not call him a coin collector, and he surely wouldn ’ t be confused with a numismatist. My colleague accumulated the coins with bullion value for their investment potential, and he did wield to buy and sell at the right times. In fact, I heard that he paid cash for a bombastic house by selling his bullion pieces. In addition to the coins with bullion value, he acquired a big number of british big pennies. When I asked him the determination of the big coppers, he said, “ Ballast. ”

To be considered a numismatist, it ’ s not enough to good be a mint collector, even if you ’ rhenium doing it for the coins ’ investment electric potential. Having enough pastime to learn about your coins is all-important, in my opinion. note that I ’ ve merely scratched the surface of this absorbing CT thread, and respective other people weighed in with their views on what makes a person a numismatist. possibly the shortest definition I encountered was the watch : A numismatist is a “. .. person who collects, gathers, or studies coins. . .. ” I would replace the “ or ” with “ and. ” Having read this column, do you consider yourself a numismatist ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.