Fun Facts

The life of a numismatist

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If your coins are just building up in your bedside locker and your mother/partner/housemate is constantly telling you to use those coins or they will take them off you, perhaps you should tell them you are an avid numismatist and that you wish to be left alone. The study of coins or numismatics has been growing in popularity since the Renaissance. 

Numismatists are those who study coins, analyze the material of the coin and determine the materials used and likely date of origin. They are able to provide scholarly reports on the worth based on their shape and origin as well as provide a meaningful history of how important some coins are. Historians then use these reports to piece together pieces of history where, very often, coins are the only clue. 

The Renaissance was a time when people started to appreciate arts and culture. It was also the first recognized time where people start to collect coins. Guillaume Baude wrote the first authoritative text on coins in the year 1514. Today there are now many institutes dedicated to the study of the coins who regularly publish on ancient discoveries and modern developments. In addition, almost every archaeological institution has a dedicated unit to the area of numismatics. 

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What was once known as the “hobby of the kings” continues to grow in popularity. Some rare coins can sell for millions of dollars at auction. So even if the general salary is not too incredible, the chance of finding a fortune does exist. So, if you have ever fancied yourself as a geeky version of Indiana Jones or just love money so much you want to look at it all day, then maybe the life of a numismatist is for you. While your local job recruiter will likely not know of any openings you could start by contacting your nearest archaeological society. Get digging.

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