A coin is a small, round piece of metal or plastic used as a medium of exchange or legal tender. They are standardized in weight, produced in large quantities at a mint in order to facilitate trade, they are most issued by a government. Coins are metal or alloy, or sometimes made of synthetic materials, they are disc shaped. Coins made of valuable metal are stored in large quantities as bullion coins. Other coins are used as money in everyday transactions; the highest value coin in circulation is worth less than the lowest-value note. In the last hundred years, the face value of circulation coins has been lower than the value of the metal they contain, for example due to inflation. If the difference becomes significant, the issuing authority may decide to withdraw these coins from circulation issuing new equivalents with a different composition, or the public may decide to melt the coins down or hoard them. Exceptions to the rule of face value being higher than content value occur for some bullion coins made of copper, silver, or gold, intended for collectors or investors in precious metals.
Examples of modern gold collector/investor coins include the British sovereign minted by the United Kingdom, the American Gold Eagle minted by the United States, the Canadian Gold Maple Leaf minted by Canada, the Krugerrand, minted by South Africa. While the Eagle, Maple Leaf, Sovereign coins have nominal face values, the Krugerrand does not. A great quantity of coinage metals and other materials have been used to produce coins for circulation and metal investment: bullion coins serve as more convenient stores of assured metal quantity and purity than other bullion. Metal ingots, silver bullion or unmarked bars were in use for exchange among many of the civilizations that mastered metallurgy; the weight and purity of bullion would be the key determinant of value. In the Achaemenid Empire in the early 6th century BC, coinage was yet unknown, barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century BC.
Coins were an evolution of "currency" systems of the Late Bronze Age, where standard-sized ingots, tokens such as knife money, were used to store and transfer value. In the late Chinese Bronze Age, standardized cast tokens were made, such as those discovered in a tomb near Anyang; these were replicas in bronze of earlier Chinese currency, cowrie shells, so they were named Bronze Shell. The earliest coins are associated with Iron Age Anatolia of the late 7th century BC, with the kingdom of Lydia. Early electrum coins were not standardized in weight, in their earliest stage may have been ritual objects, such as badges or medals, issued by priests; the unpredictability of the composition of occurring electrum implied that it had a variable value, which hampered its development. Most of the early Lydian coins include no writing, only an image of a symbolic animal. Therefore, the dating of these coins relies on archaeological evidence, with the most cited evidence coming from excavations at the Temple of Artemis at Ephesus called the Ephesian Artemision, site of the earliest known deposit of electrum coins.
Because the oldest lion head "coins" were discovered in that temple, they do not appear to have been used in commerce, these objects may not have been coins but badges or medals issued by the priests of that temple. Anatolian Artemis was the Πὀτνια Θηρῶν, it took some time before ancient coins were used for trade. The smallest-denomination electrum coins worth about a day's subsistence, would have been too valuable for buying a loaf of bread; the first coins to be used for retailing on a large-scale basis were small silver fractions, Ancient Greek coinage minted by the Ionian Greeks in the late sixth century BC. Many early Lydian and Greek coins were minted under the authority of private individuals and are thus more akin to tokens or badges than to modern coins, though due to their numbers it is evident that some were official state issues; the earliest inscribed coins are those of Phanes, dated to 625–600 BC from Ephesus in Ionia, with the legend ΦΑΝΕΟΣ ΕΜΙ ΣΗΜΑ, or just bearing the name ΦΑΝΕΟΣ.
The first electrum coins issued by a monarch are those minted by king Alyattes of Lydia, for which reason this king is sometimes mentioned as the originator of coinage. The successor of Alyattes, king Croesus, became associated with great wealth in Greek historiography, he is credited with issuing the Croeseid, the first true gold coins with a standardised purity for general circulation. And the world's first bimetallic monetary system circa 550 BCE. Herodotus mentioned the innovation made by the Lydians: "So far as we have any knowledge, they were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins, the first who sold goods by retail" Coins spread in the 6th and 5th centuries BC, leading to the development of Ancient Greek coinage and Achaemenid coinage, further to Illyrian coinage. Standardized Roman currency
Coins of the Achaemenid Empire were issued from 520 BCE-450 BCE to 330 BCE. The Persian daric was the first gold coin which, along with a similar silver coin, the siglos, represented the bimetallic monetary standard of the Achaemenid Persian Empire which has continued till today, it seems that before a continuation of Lydian coinage under Persian rule was likely. Achaemenid coinage includes the official imperial issues, as well as coins issued by the Achaemenid governors, such as those stationed in ancient Asia Minor; when Cyrus the Great came to power, coinage was unfamiliar in his realm. Barter and to some extent silver bullion was used instead for trade; the practice of using silver bars for currency seems to have been current in Central Asia from the 6th century. Cyrus the Great introduced coins to the Persian Empire after 546 BC, following his conquest of Lydia and the defeat of its king Croesus, whose father Alyattes had put in place the first coinage in history. With his conquest of Lydia, Cyrus acquired a region in which coinage was invented, developed through advanced metallurgy, had been in circulation for about 50 years, making the Lydian Kingdom one of the leading trade powers of the time.
It seems Cyrus adopted the Lydian coinage as such, continued to strike Lydia's lion-and-bull croeseid coinage. The stater coins had a weight of 10.7 grams, a standard created by Croesus, adopted by the Persians and became known as the "Persic standard". The Persians minted posthumous Croeseid half-staters, with a weight of 5.35g, which would become the weight standard for the Sigloi, introduced at the end of the 6th century BCE. Soon after 546, Cyrus had full control of Asia Minor, including other kingdoms such Lycia, Caria or Ionia, following the conquests of his general Harpagus. With the conquest of Lydia and the adoption of Lydian coinage, the nascent Achaemenid Empire thus obtained access to the most modern coinage of its time and the economic power that goes with it; the mint was located in Sardis, now capital of all the Western Satrapies of the Achaemenid Empire, continued minted operation under Cyrus. This coinage would supply the western part of the Achaemenid Empire. Technically, these early coins used incuse punches on the reverse, while the obverse die would consist in some pictorial design.
The Lydian coins used double punches on the reserve, a technique which would be simplified in the time of Darius by using a single reverse punch on some coinage. Some of the earliest Lycian coins under the Achaemenids used an animal design on the obverse and incuse punches on the reverse, which developed into geometrical forms, such as two diagonals between projecting rectangular lugs; as late as the time of the foundation of the Apadana Palace in Persepolis, circa 515 BCE, it seems that the Achaemenid had not yet designed the Sigloi and Darics. This is known because no Darics or Sigloi were found in the Apadana hoard, under the Apadana foundation stones of the Apadana Palace in Persepolis, whereas the hoard contained several gold Croeseids of the light type from Sardis and several imported Archaic Greek silver staters; the coinage of the Achaemenid Empire started to move away from copying Lydian coinage to introducing changes with the reign of Darius I. Under Darius I, the minting of Croeseids in Sardis was progressively replaced by the minting of Darics and Sigloi.
From around 510-500 BC, Darius simplified the coining procedure by replacing the double reverse punch of Lydian coins, by a single, oblong reverse punch, he introduced the image of the Persian king in place of the lion and bull design. This is known because no Darics or Sigloi were found in the Apadana hoard, under the Apadana foundation stones of the Apadana Palace in Persepolis, whereas there were gold Croeseids of the light type and Greek silver staters. However, a clay tablet, issued in year 22 of the reign of Darius I, contained the impression on clay of two Type II Sigloi, showing that the new Sigloi had been issued by 500 BCE; because of these and other discoveries, the creation of the Darics and Sigloi is dated to the last decade of the 6th century BC, during the reign of Darius I. The new Achaemenid coins were only made in silver, the Lydian gold design of Croesus was maintained. Darius introduced his new design for gold coins as well, which came to be known as Darics, from Old Persian Daruiyaka, meaning "Golden".
Although the Achaemenids had developed their own currency, they still accepted local monetary production including civic issues, throughout the land under their control, in particular in Western Asia. Minting activity Although the Achaemenids exploited and developed coinage production from Western Asia, it seems the barter economy remained quite important in the Iranian heartland throughout the Achaemenid period, the Achaemenids did not develop their own mints in Iran: minting coinage in Iran would only start from circa 330 BCE under Alexander the Great and the Seleucid Empire; the circulation of the Daric was confined to the Western part of the Achaemenid Empire. It seems that all the minting activity for the Darics and the Sigloi for the whole Empire was centralized in one mint, or two mints at Sardis in Lycia. Sardis remained the central mint for the Persian Darics and Sigloi of Achaemenid coinage, there is no evidence of other mints for the new Achaemenid coins during the whole time of the Ac
A gold coin is a coin, made or of gold. Most gold coins minted since 1800 are 90–92% gold, while most of today's gold bullion coins are pure gold, such as the Britannia, Canadian Maple Leaf, American Buffalo. Alloyed gold coins, like the American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand, are 91.7% gold by weight, with the remainder being silver and copper. Traditionally, gold coins have been circulation coins, including coin-like dinars. Since recent decades, gold coins are produced as bullion coins to investors and as commemorative coins to collectors. While modern gold coins are legal tender, they are not observed in everyday financial transactions, as the metal value exceeds the nominal value. For example, the American Gold Eagle, given a denomination of 50 USD, has a metal value of more than $1,200 USD; the gold reserves of central banks are dominated by gold bars, but gold coins may contribute. Gold has been used as money for many reasons, it is fungible, with a low spread between the prices to sell.
Gold is easily transportable, as it has a high value to weight ratio, compared to other commodities, such as silver. Gold can be re-coined, divided into smaller units, or re-melted into larger units such as gold bars, without destroying its metal value; the density of gold is higher than most other metals. Additionally, gold is unreactive, hence it does not tarnish or corrode over time. Gold was used in commerce in the Ancient Near East since the Bronze Age, but coins proper originated much during the 6th century BC, in Anatolia; the name of king Croesus of Lydia remains associated with the invention. In 546 BC, Croesus was captured by the Persians; the most valuable of all Persian minted coinage still remains the gold drams, minted in 1 AD as a gift by the Persian King Vonones Hebrew Bible new testament. Ancient Greek coinage contained a number of gold coins issued by the various city states; the Ying yuan is an early gold coin minted in ancient China. The oldest ones known are from about the 5th or 6th century BC.
Larger units such as the various talent measures were used for high value exchanges. The German gold mark was introduced in 1873 in the German Empire, replacing the various local Gulden coins of the Holy Roman Empire. Gold coins had a long period as a primary form of money, only falling into disuse in the early 20th century. Most of the world stopped making gold coins as currency by 1933, as countries switched from the gold standard due to hoarding during the worldwide economic crisis of the Great Depression. In the United States, 1933's Executive Order 6102 forbade the hoarding of gold and was followed by a devaluation of the dollar relative to gold, although the United States did not uncouple the dollar from the value of gold until 1971. Gold-colored coins have made a comeback in many currencies. However, "gold coin" always refers to a coin, made of gold, does not include coins made of manganese brass or other alloys. Furthermore, many countries continue to make legal tender gold coins, but these are meant for collectors and investment purposes and are not meant for circulation.
Many factors determine the value of a gold coin, such as its rarity, age and the number minted. Most gold coins minted since the late 19th century are worth more than spot price, but many are worth more. Gold coins coveted by collectors include the Aureus and Spur Ryal. In July 2002, a rare $20 1933 Double Eagle gold coin sold for a record $7,590,020 at Sotheby's, making it by far the most valuable coin sold up to that time. In early 1933, more than 445,000 Double Eagle coins were struck by the U. S. Mint, but most of these were surrendered and melted down following Executive Order 6102. Only a few coins survived. In 2007 the Royal Canadian Mint produced a 100 kilograms gold coin with a face value of $1,000,000, though the gold content was worth over $2 million at the time, it is 3 centimetres thick. It was intended as a one-off to promote a new line of Canadian Gold Maple Leaf coins, but after several interested buyers came forward the mint announced it would manufacture them as ordered and sell them for between $2.5 million and $3 million.
As of May 3, 2007, there were five orders. One of these coins has been stolen. Austria had produced a 37 centimetres diameter 31 kg Philharmonic gold coin with a face value of €100,000. On October 4, 2007, David Albanese stated that a $10, 1804-dated eagle coin was sold to an anonymous private collector for $5 million. In 2012 the Royal Canadian Mint produced the world first gold coin with a 0.11–0.14ct diamond. The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee coin has been crafted in 99.999% pure gold with a face value of $300. Precious metals in bulk form are known as bullion, are traded on commodity markets. Bullion metals may be minted into coins; the defining attribute of bullion is that it is valued by its mass and purity rather than by a face value as money. While obsolete gold coins are collected for their numismatic value, gold bull
A market is one of the many varieties of systems, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers, it can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets facilitate enable the distribution and resource allocation in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be priced. A market emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets supplant gift economies and are held in place through rules and customs, such as a booth fee, competitive pricing, source of goods for sale. Markets can differ by products or factors sold, product differentiation, place in which exchanges are carried, buyers targeted, selling process, government regulation, subsidies, minimum wages, price ceilings, legality of exchange, intensity of speculation, concentration, exchange asymmetry, relative prices and geographic extension.
The geographic boundaries of a market may vary for example the food market in a single building, the real estate market in a local city, the consumer market in an entire country, or the economy of an international trade bloc where the same rules apply throughout. Markets can be worldwide, see for example the global diamond trade. National economies can be classified as developed markets or developing markets. In mainstream economics, the concept of a market is any structure that allows buyers and sellers to exchange any type of goods and information; the exchange of goods or services, with or without money, is a transaction. Market participants consist of all the buyers and sellers of a good who influence its price, a major topic of study of economics and has given rise to several theories and models concerning the basic market forces of supply and demand. A major topic of debate is how much a given market can be considered to be a "free market", free from government intervention. Microeconomics traditionally focuses on the study of market structure and the efficiency of market equilibrium.
However, it is not always clear how the allocation of resources can be improved since there is always the possibility of government failure. A market is one of the many varieties of systems, procedures, social relations and infrastructures whereby parties engage in exchange. While parties may exchange goods and services by barter, most markets rely on sellers offering their goods or services in exchange for money from buyers, it can be said that a market is the process by which the prices of goods and services are established. Markets enables the distribution and allocation of resources in a society. Markets allow any trade-able item to be priced. A market sometimes emerges more or less spontaneously or may be constructed deliberately by human interaction in order to enable the exchange of rights of services and goods. Markets of varying types can spontaneously arise whenever a party has interest in a good or service that some other party can provide. Hence there can be a market for cigarettes in correctional facilities, another for chewing gum in a playground, yet another for contracts for the future delivery of a commodity.
There can be black markets, where a good is exchanged illegally, for example markets for goods under a command economy despite pressure to repress them and virtual markets, such as eBay, in which buyers and sellers do not physically interact during negotiation. A market can be organized as an auction, as a private electronic market, as a commodity wholesale market, as a shopping center, as a complex institution such as a stock market and as an informal discussion between two individuals. Markets vary in form, scale and types of participants as well as the types of goods and services traded; the following is a non exhaustive list: Food retail markets: farmers' markets, fish markets, wet markets and grocery stores Retail marketplaces: public markets, market squares, Main Streets, High Streets, souqs, night markets, shopping strip malls and shopping malls Big-box stores: supermarkets and discount stores Ad hoc auction markets: process of buying and selling goods or services by offering them up for bid, taking bids and selling the item to the highest bidder Used goods markets such as flea markets Temporary markets such as fairs Physical wholesale markets: sale of goods or merchandise to retailers.
Byzantine currency, money used in the Eastern Roman Empire after the fall of the West, consisted of two types of coins: the gold solidus and a variety of valued bronze coins. By the end of the empire the currency was issued only in silver stavrata and minor copper coins with no gold issue; the East Roman or Byzantine Empire operated several mints throughout its history. Aside from the main metropolitan mint in the capital, Constantinople, a varying number of provincial mints were established in other urban centres during the 6th century. Most provincial mints except for Syracuse were lost to invasions by the mid-7th century. After the loss of Syracuse in 878, Constantinople became the sole mint for gold and silver coinage until the late 11th century, when major provincial mints began to re-appear. Many mints, both imperial and, as the Byzantine world fragmented, belonging to autonomous local rulers, were operated in the 12th to 14th centuries. Constantinople and Trebizond, the seat of the independent Empire of Trebizond, survived until their conquest by the Ottoman Turks in the mid-15th century.
Early Byzantine coins continue the late Roman conventions: on the obverse the head of the Emperor, now full face rather than in profile, on the reverse a Christian symbol such as the cross, or a Victory or an angel. The gold coins of Justinian II departed from these stable conventions by putting a bust of Christ on the obverse, a half or full-length portrait of the Emperor on the reverse; these innovations incidentally had the effect of leading the Islamic Caliph Abd al-Malik, who had copied Byzantine styles but replacing Christian symbols with Islamic equivalents to develop a distinctive Islamic style, with only lettering on both sides. This was used on nearly all Islamic coinage until the modern period; the type of Justinian II was revived after the end of Iconoclasm, with variations remained the norm until the end of the Empire. In the 10th century, so-called "anonymous folles" were struck instead of the earlier coins depicting the emperor; the anonymous folles featured the bust of Jesus on the obverse and the inscription "XRISTUS/bASILEU/bASILE", which translates to "Christ, Emperor of Emperors" Byzantine coins followed, took to the furthest extreme, the tendency of precious metal coinage to get thinner and wider as time goes on.
Late Byzantine gold coins became thin wafers. The Byzantine coinage had a prestige. European rulers, once they again started issuing their own coins, tended to follow a simplified version of Byzantine patterns, with full face ruler portraits on the obverse; the start of what is viewed as Byzantine currency by numismatics began with the monetary reform of Anastasius in 498, who reformed the late Roman Empire coinage system which consisted of the gold solidus and the bronze nummi. The nummus was an small bronze coin, at about 8–10 mm, weight of 0.56 g making it at 576 to the Roman pound, inconvenient because a large number of them were required for small transactions. New bronze coins, multiples of the nummus were introduced, such as the 40 nummi, 20 nummi, 10 nummi, 5 nummi coins; the obverse of these coins featured a stylized portrait of the emperor while the reverse featured the value of the denomination represented according to the Greek numbering system. Silver coins were produced; the only issued silver coin was the Hexagram first issued by Heraclius in 615 which lasted until the end of the 7th century, minted in varying fineness with a weight between 7.5 and 8.5 grams.
It was succeeded by the ceremonial miliaresion established by Leo III the Isaurian in ca. 720, which became standard issue from ca. 830 on and until the late 11th century, when it was discontinued after being debased. Small transactions were conducted with bronze coinage throughout this period; the gold solidus or nomisma remained a standard of international commerce until the 11th century, when it began to be debased under successive emperors beginning in the 1030s under the emperor Romanos Argyros. Until that time, the fineness of the gold remained consistent at about 0.955–0.980. The Byzantine monetary system changed during the 7th century when the 40 nummi, now smaller, became the only bronze coin to be issued. Although Justinian II attempted a restoration of the follis size of Justinian I, the follis continued to decrease in size. In the early 9th century, a three-fourths-weight solidus was issued in parallel with a full-weight solidus, both preserving the standard of fineness, under a failed plan to force the market to accept the underweight coins at the value of the full weight coins.
The 11⁄12 weight coin was called a tetarteron, the full weight solidus was called the histamenon. The tetarteron was only sporadically reissued during the 10th century; the full weight solidus was struck at 72 to the Roman pound 4.48 grams in weight. There were solidi of weight reduced by one siliqua issued for trade with the Near East; these reduced solidi, with a star both on obverse and reverse, weighed about 4.25 g. The Byzantine solidus was valued in Western Europe, where it became known as the bezant, a corruption of Byzantium; the term bezant became the name for the heraldic symbol of a roundel, tincture or - i.e. a gold disc. Former money changer Michael IV the Paphlagonian assumed
Coinage of India
Coinage of India, issued by imperial dynasties and middle kingdoms, began anywhere between the 1st millennium BCE to the 6th century BCE, consisted of copper and silver coins in its initial stage. Scholars remain divided over the origins of Indian coinage. Cowry shells was first used in India as commodity money; the Indus Valley Civilization dates back between 3300 BCE and 1750 BCE. What is known, however, is that metal currency was minted in India well before the Mauryan Empire, as radio carbon dating indicates, before the 5th century BCE; the practice of minted coins spread to the Indo-Gangetic Plain from West Asia. The coins of this period were called Karshapanas or Pana; these earliest Indian coins, are unlike those circulated in West Asia, were not disk-shaped but rather stamped bars of metal, suggesting that the innovation of stamped currency was added to a pre-existing form of token currency, present in the Mahajanapada kingdoms of the Indian Iron Age. Mahajanapadas that minted their own coins included Gandhara, Kuru, Shakya and Surashtra.
The tradition of Indian coinage was further influenced by the coming of Turkic and Mughal invaders in India. The East India Company introduced uniform coinage in the 19th century CE, these coins were imitated by the modern nation states of Republic of India, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh. Numismatics plays a valuable role in determining certain period of Indian history. There is evidence of countable units of precious metal being used for exchange from the Vedic period onwards. A term Nishka appears in this sense in the Rigveda. Texts speak of cows given as gifts being adorned with pādas of gold. A pāda a quarter, would have been a quarter of some standard weight. A unit called Śatamāna a'hundred standard', representing 100 krishnalas is mentioned in Satapatha Brahmana. A commentary on Katyayana Srautasutra explains that a Śatamāna could be 100 rattis. All these units referred to gold currency in some form but they were adopted to silver currency. Panini's grammar text indicates, he mentions that something worth a nishka is called naishka and something worth a Śatamāna is called a Śatamānam etc.
The units were used to represent the assets of individuals, naishka‐śatika or naishka‐sahasrika. Panini uses the term rūpa to mean a piece of precious metal used as a coin, a rūpya to mean a stamped piece of metal, a coin in the modern sense; the term rūpya continues into the modern usage as the rupee. Some scholars state; the gold to silver ratio in India was 10 to 1 or 8 to 1. In contrast, in the neighbouring Persia, it was 13 to 1; this value differential would have incentivised the exchange of gold for silver, resulting in an increasing supply of silver in India. India developed some of the world's first coins, but scholars debate which coin was first and when. Sometime around 600BC in the lower Ganges valley in eastern India a coin called a punchmarked Karshapana was created. According to Hardaker, T. R. the origin of Indian coins can be placed at 575 BCE and according to P. L. Gupta in the seventh century BCE. According to Page. E, Kasi and Magadha coins can be the oldest ones from the Indian Subcontinent dating back to 7th century BC and kosambi findings indicate coin circulation towards the end of 7th century BC.
It is noted that some of the Janapadas like shakiya during Buddha's time were minting coins both made of silver and copper with their own marks on them. Punch-marked coins were a type of early Coinage of India, dating to between about the 6th and 2nd centuries BCE. There are vast uncertainties regarding the actual time punch-marked coinage started in India, with proposal ranging from 1000 BCE to 500 BCE. However, the study of the relative chronology of these coins has established that the first punch-marked coins only had one or two punches, with the number of punches increasing over time; the first coins in India may have been minted around the 6th century BCE by the Mahajanapadas of the Indo-Gangetic Plain, The coins of this period were punch-marked coins called Puranas, Karshapanas or Pana. Several of these coins had a single symbol, for example, Saurashtra had a humped bull, Dakshin Panchala had a Swastika, like Magadha, had several symbols; these coins were made with an irregular shape.
This was gained by cutting up silver bars and making the correct weight by cutting the edges of the coin. They are mentioned in the Manu and Buddhist Jataka stories and lasted three centuries longer in the south than the north. Shurasena SurashtraEarly coins of India were made of silver and copper, bore animal and plant symbols on them. Saurashtra Janapada coins are the earliest die-struck figurative coins from ancient India from 450-300 BCE which are perhaps the earliest source of Hindu representational forms. Most coins from Surashtra are 1g in weight. Rajgor believes they are therefore 0.93 gm. Mashakas of 2 rattis and double mashakas of 4 rattis are known; the coins appear to be uniface. However, most of the coins appear to be overstruck over other Surashtra coins and thus there is the remnant of a previous symbol on the reverse, as well as sometimes under the obverse symbol as well. Coin finds in the Chaman Hazouri hoard in Kabul or the Shaikhan Dehri hoard in Pushkalavati have revealed numerous Achaemeni
Coin collecting is the collecting of coins or other forms of minted legal tender. Coins of interest to collectors include those that circulated for only a brief time, coins with mint errors and beautiful or significant pieces. Coin collecting can be differentiated from numismatics, in that the latter is the systematic study of currency. A coin's grade is a main determinant of its value. For a tiered fee, a third party certification service like PCGS or NGC will grade, authenticate and encapsulate most U. S. and foreign coins. Over 80 million coins have been certified by the four largest services. People have hoarded coins for their bullion value for as long. However, the collection of coins for their artistic value was a development. Evidence from the archaeological and historical record of Ancient Rome and medieval Mesopotamia indicates that coins were collected and catalogued by scholars and state treasuries, it seems probable that individual citizens collected old, exotic or commemorative coins as an affordable, portable form of art.
According to Suetonius in his De vita Caesarum, written in the first century CE, the emperor Augustus sometimes presented old and exotic coins to friends and courtiers during festivals and other special occasions. Contemporary coin collecting and appreciation began around the fourteenth century. During the Renaissance, it became a fad among some members of the privileged classes kings and queens; the Italian scholar and poet Petrarch is credited with being the pursuit's first and most famous aficionado. Following his lead, many European kings and other nobility kept collections of ancient coins; some notable collectors were Pope Boniface VIII, Emperor Maximilian I 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. Because only the wealthy could afford the pursuit, in Renaissance times coin collecting became known as the "Hobby of Kings."During the 17th and 18th centuries coin collecting remained a pursuit of the well-to-do.
But rational, Enlightenment thinking led to a more systematic approach to study. Numismatics as an academic discipline emerged in these centuries at the same time as coin collecting became a leisure pursuit of a growing middle class, eager to prove their wealth and sophistication. During the 19th and 20th centuries, coin collecting increased further in popularity; the market for coins expanded to include not only antique coins, but foreign or otherwise exotic currency. Coin shows, trade associations, regulatory bodies emerged during these decades; the first international convention for coin collectors was held 15–18 August 1962, in Detroit and was sponsored by the American Numismatic Association and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. Attendance was estimated at 40,000; as one of the oldest and most popular world pastimes, coin collecting is now referred to as the "King of Hobbies". The motivations for collecting vary from one person to another; the most common type of collectors are the hobbyists, who amass a collection purely for the pleasure of it with no real expectation of profit.
Another frequent reason for purchasing coins is as an investment. As with stamps, precious metals or other commodities, coin prices are periodical based on supply and demand. Prices drop for coins that are not in long-term demand, increase along with a coin's perceived or intrinsic value. Investors buy with the expectation that the value of their purchase will increase over the long term; as with all types of investment, the principle of caveat emptor applies and study is recommended before buying. As with most collectibles, a coin collection does not produce income until it is sold, may incur costs in the interim. Coin hoarders may be similar to investors in the sense that they accumulate coins for potential long-term profit. However, unlike investors, they do not take into account aesthetic considerations; this is most common with coins. Speculators, be they amateurs or commercial buyers purchase coins in bulk and act with the expectation of short-term profit, they may wish to take advantage of a spike in demand for a particular coin.
The speculator might hope to sell at profit within weeks or months. Speculators may buy common circulation coins for their intrinsic metal value. Coins without collectible value may be melted down or distributed as bullion for commercial purposes, they purchase coins that are composed of rare or precious metals, or coins that have a high purity of a specific metal. A final type of collector is the inheritor, an accidental collector who acquires coins from another person as part of an inheritance; the inheritor type may not have an interest in or know anything about numismatics at the time of the acquisition. Casual coin collectors begin the hobby by saving notable coins found by chance; these coins may be pocket change left from an international trip or an old coin found in circulation. If the enthusiasm of the novice increases over time, random coins found in circulation are not enough to satisfy their interest; the hobbyist may trade coins in a coin club or buy coins from dealers or mints. Their collection takes on a more specific focus.
Some enthusiasts become generalists and accumulate