Geek Trivia

Numismatics Is The Study Of?

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Answer: Currency

Numismatics is a bit of an arcane word that doesn’t get a whole lot of daily use, and when it does, it’s often used in reference to coin collectors—numismatist is a rather fancy way of referring to someone with a keen interest in coins.

But it’s not just coin collecting that falls under the umbrella of the term, but the much broader (and academic) discipline of studying currency itself, including coins as well as paper money, tokens, and other objects used like money (such as the trading of animal skins by tribal peoples).

Although the history of currency is a long one and the study of ancient monies and economic structures isn’t neglected, as you can imagine, the majority of numismatic study is focused on the modern era—which, in the field, is considered to start around the time when machine struck coins were introduced in the mid-17th century.