Welcome to the Mansfield Numismatic Society Website
Numismatics is the scientific study of money and its history in all its varied forms. While numismatists are often characterized as studying coins, the discipline also includes a much larger study of payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods. Lacking a structured monetary system, people in the past as well as some today, lived in a barter society and used locally found items of inherent or implied value.
Early money used by primitive people is referred to as "Odd and Curious," but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency (e.g. prison cigarettes). For instance, the Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins. The lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, the horse is not.
Many objects have been used for centuries, such as conch shells, precious metals and gems. Today, most transactions take place by a form of payment with either inherent, standardized or credit value. Numismatic value may be used to refer to the value in excess of the monetary value conferred by law. This is also known as the collectors value.
Exonumia is the study of coin-like objects such as token coins and medals, and other items used in place of legal currency or for commemoration. This includes elongated coins, encased coins, souvenir medallions, tags, badges, counterstamped coins, wooden nickels, credit cards, and other similar items. It is related to numismatics proper (concerned with coins which have been legal tender), and many coin collectors are also exonumists.
Notaphily is the study of paper money or banknotes. It is believed that people have been collecting paper money for as long as it has been in use. However, people only started collecting paper money systematically in the 1960s but the turning point occurred in 1970s, when notaphily was established as a separate area by collectors. At the same time, some developed countries such as the USA, Germany and France began publishing their respective national catalogues of paper money, which represented major points of reference literature.
Scripophily is the study and collection of stocks and Bonds. It is an interesting area of collecting due to both the inherent beauty of some historical documents as well as the interesting historical context of each document. Some stock certificates are excellent examples of engraving. Occasionally, an old stock document will be found that still has value as a stock in a successor company.
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