DEFINITION of 'Numismatics'

The study of the physical embodiment of various payment media (i.e. currencies). The study of numismatics as it applies to coins, is often in the research of the production and use of the coins to determine their rarity. Numismatics has many subfields, including but not limited to:

  • Notaphily - the study of paper money (i.e. bank notes)
  • Exonumia - the study of coin like items such as medals used in place of currency
  • Scripophily - the study of securities (i.e. stocks and bonds)

BREAKING DOWN 'Numismatics'

Numismatics differs from historical and economic studies of money. Numismatists study the physical attributes of the payment media rather than the use and development.

Numismatics also differs from coin collecting due to the scientific research involved. It could be said that all numismatists are coin collectors, but not all coin collectors are numismatists.