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What is a Numismatist?

This was the title of a subject I found explored in a recent CoinTalk ( CT ) string. The master poster ( OP ) had been accused by a “ big coin dealer ” of not truly being a numismatist. According to the OP, the principal told him, “ You are a collector, not a numismatist. ” When OP asked for clarification, the response was, “ You never made a life sell coins. ” Of run, this begs the question of what qualifies a person to refer to themselves as a numismatist. Do you have to be a full-time mint dealer in order to be a numismatist, as this dealer seems to think ? To defend his stand as a numismatist, OP referred the dealer to the follow Wikipedia definition : “ A numismatist is a specialist in numismatics. . .. Numismatists include collectors, specialist dealers, and scholars who use coins and other currency in object-based research. ” To this, the trader replied : “ Yea [ h ], that ’ s Wikipedia for you. . .. ”

obviously, the authors of the Wikipedia entrance for numismatic/numismatist don ’ thymine consider making a support from coins a necessary function of the numismatist definition. The OP enumerated his credentials as a collector, which included collecting for many years, selling coins on eBay, and specializing in U.S. and worldly concern coins, which he ’ second attached to because of their history. He finished his initial introduction with the following questions : “ What IS the real difference between a collector and a numismatist ? Is a coin dealer a numismatist ? How do you become a numismatist ? What do you study to be a numismatist ? ” I can ’ t say that I ’ ve always considered the OP ’ sulfur questions, although I ’ ve long think of myself as a numismatist. Whatever I ’ ve done as a collector/part-time mail-order dealer/author was enough for me to once get a call from a major coin auction/dealer in California to fly extinct to interview for a military position as auction conductor. For a variety show of reasons, I didn ’ t take them up on the put up but decided to continue my career as an academic psychologist. interestingly, the person they hired had a Ph.D. in the history of psychology, which is an area that I gravitated toward near the end of my career. One of the early responders to OP ’ s questions wrote, “ I have long said that I am a rabid hobbyist and not a numismatist. I know all that I care to know to enjoy my hobby and am good versed on most U.S. mint serial, identify dates and such. But well versed does not translate to educated. . .. education defines a numismatist in my eyes and that has nothing to do with selling coins. ” To which the following respondent quipped, “ A PhD can be a scholar or a posthole digger. ” This was followed by a statement taken from the Investopedia web web site : “ Numismatics is the study of coins and other currentness units and is normally associated with the appraisal and collection of rare coins. [ Do they have to be rare ? ] Numismatists study the forcible properties, production technology, and historical context of specimens of currency. ” The person who posted the argument from Investopedia followed it with the stick to comment : “ even though I posted a ‘ description ’ above, my personal view is that anyone who is concerned in collecting coins of whatever type, condition or quantity, is a numismatist. ” The dealer who labeled his customer merely a collector, not a numismatist earned some negative comments from other responders to the chain. For exemplar, one wrote, “ That dealer is an uneducated. .. idiot ; and I don ’ thymine care who, how long, or how big his company is. It ’ s besides bad we ’ ll never know who he is. ” To this, another respondent wrote : “ You ’ rhenium being besides courteous ! ” Piling on, another respondent added, “ Regardless of the definition of numismatist, collector, hoarder or stacker, that dealer is a bloviate clown. ” so far another person commented about how the principal had alienated a prospective customer in front of him by challenging the customer ’ s self-labeling. The respondent added, “ I wouldn ’ triiodothyronine spend a dime bag with a bragger like that. ”

Another respondent offered the opinion that “ If you collect, buy, sell, invest in, or deal coins you are a numismatist. You can besides specialize in certain aspects such as errors, varieties, U.S. coins, extraneous coins, ancient coins. Being a numismatist means you are part of a large group of coin lovers who do their own thing. . .. ” Are you a numismatist if you just accumulate coins but never learn anything about them ? Are you even a mint collector if that is all you do ? One respondent weighed in on these questions. “ Some people set digression 1976 quarters and silver coins in the 60s and didn ’ deoxythymidine monophosphate go any further. Some people barely set aside pocket transfer that looks interesting without ever studying it any far. I ’ d say that ’ s a coin collector. ” But is this type of “ collector ” a numismatist ? The respondent added the following : “ If you have most of the Redbook in your head and know details about varieties, depart and end dates for series, understand rate, know all of the types of neologism the U.S. has had for the past 200 years, or possibly you ’ rhenium well versed in ancients, etc. .. . I would say that is a numismatist. ” Speaking for myself, people who have a big jolt of pennies or who save all their pocket change are not collectors, they ’ re accumulators or possibly hoarders. For many years, I had a colleague who amassed a ample number of coins, many of which had bullion value. To my cognition, he never learned anything about his coins, he knew next to nothing about grade, he never bought a coin album on purpose, and he never opened tied as basic a coin book as the Redbook. I would not call him a coin collector, and he surely wouldn ’ metric ton be confused with a numismatist. My colleague accumulated the coins with bullion value for their investment electric potential, and he did wangle to buy and sell at the right times. In fact, I heard that he paid cash for a large house by selling his bullion pieces. In addition to the coins with bullion value, he acquired a large number of british big pennies. When I asked him the purpose of the large coppers, he said, “ Ballast. ”

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To be considered a numismatist, it ’ s not enough to fair be a mint storage battery, even if you ’ re doing it for the coins ’ investing potential. Having enough interest to learn about your coins is essential, in my opinion. note that I ’ ve merely scratched the surface of this capture CT thread, and several other people weighed in with their views on what makes a person a numismatist. possibly the shortest definition I encountered was the follow : A numismatist is a “. .. person who collects, gathers, or studies coins. . .. ” I would replace the “ or ” with “ and. ” Having read this column, do you consider yourself a numismatist ?

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