The world of coins is one filled with both collectors and students. Those who have a fascination with coins focus on either collecting them, studying them, or sometimes even both.
If you are just beginning your journey into the incredible world of coin collecting and numismatics, you are probably wondering — what is the difference? Which one can I consider myself to be?
While the terms “coin collector” and “numismatist” are very often used interchangeably, here at Preferred Coin Exchange, we want to clear a few matters up when it comes to what differentiates a coin collector from a numismatist.
By definition, a coin collector is one who searches for and gathers coins with the end intention being to complete sets of coins.
Coin collectors set their own goals and guidelines for what they would like their collection achievements to be. There are certainly coin collectors who collect certain coins that have sentimental or personal value rather than based off purely their rarity.
While they may share some common behaviors with traditional coin collectors, a numismatist is one who studies coins and currencies. They tend to approach the trade of coin collecting with a more historical, social, and artistic sense.
Numismatists are also known to specialize in a specific area of currency and coin collecting in the majority of cases. They spend hours upon hours researching whatever they can gather around a specific coin set or currency from a specific historical era and region.
Some of the more general but common areas of numismatic coin study are U.S. coins, world coins, and ancient coins. Most numismatists end up spending years focusing on specific coins such as Lincoln cents, Buffalo nickels, or Chinese Panda coins.
Many numismatists throughout history and even still today write books, documentaries, and websites about their numismatic coins while others simply read and study the multitude of numismatic publications available today.
Many numismatists do set personal goals for themselves, but apart from a traditional coin collector, they focus on obtaining certain grades of numismatic coins for studying or other design varieties. When they set out after a new numismatic coin to add to their personal collection, they do so after obtaining every aspect of historical information and knowledge about the coin as this is where the value truly lies to a numismatist — not simply in the monetary value of these rare coins.
Now that you have an idea of what each of these titles specifically refers to, you can probably ascertain what it entails to be both a coin collector as well as a numismatist.
Those that fall into this category are incredibly invested in the world of numismatic coins and currencies as they both study and collect. The reason that these two terms have become so interchangeable over the years is because those who begin dabbling in the hobby of coin collecting soon after begin venturing further into learning about their coins — the historical places in which they originate, the notable people that influenced them or once collected the coins themselves, and the impeccable designs and craftsmanship.
Are you ready to begin your journey into coin collecting and perhaps even becoming a numismatist?
Reach out to us at Preferred Coin Exchange for more information about how to successfully get started in this rewarding hobby.
Also be sure to check out our numismatic coins and currencies we have available to you online to help get your collection started off superbly.