We’ll never be able to say with absolute certainty when the hobby of coin collecting began, but historians agree that it began not long after the process of minting coins began, which was about 650 B.C.
Precious metals like gold and silver used to be carefully weighed and used to purchase goods. But barter is an unpredictable method of trade because unscrupulous individuals often try to pass off goods of lesser value or items made from lower quality metals. For this reason, barter was replaced by the use of coins that were made of standardized weights of pure gold. Coins rapidly gained acceptance as the most up-to-date method of paying for desired commodities.
During the fifth century, it was the Greeks who initiated the practice of producing coins adorned with imprints of faces and figures designed by commissioned artists. Common depictions include goddesses, gods, and mythical heroes. Alexander the Great originated the tradition of utilizing graphic designs as opposed to fantasy images.
The most famous coin collector was Francesco Petrarca. He was an Italian scholar and poet in the 14th century. He was called the father of the Renaissance, and he was the very first coin collector to draw attention to the hobby of coin collecting. Before long, popes of the Renaissance era became enamored of the hobby because of the beauty and value of the coins.
It quickly became a passion. In the olden days, Roman emperors were reported to have paid high prices for uncirculated coins. Renaissance nobility began to call collecting coins “The Hobby of Kings”. People have been avid coin collectors throughout history, and such people include kings such as Louis XIV of France, Ferdinand I, and Henry IV of France. The Berlin coin cabinet was started by Elector Joachim II of Bradenburg.
US coin history
After the passing of the Coinage Act in 1792, the US began official production of coins. The dollar was legalized as the official vehicle of monetary exchange in the US by this act. The United States silver dollar was the original coin minted in the US and the Philadelphia Mint was the original mint. The Denver Mint joined it in 1906. Both the San Francisco Mint and the mint at West Point mostly make proof sets and gold coins. You can tell which mint produced any US coin by looking for the letters P, D, S, or W. These letters identify the mint the coin came from.
Now, coin collecting is a popular hobby, and there are even museums that focus on particularly unique and valuable coin collections. Included in this list of institutions is the Smithsonian museum in Washington D.C. In 1891 the American Numismatic Society was established in New York City for the purpose of encouraging information and knowledge about coin collecting. Coin collectors love the coins for their innate historical and aesthetic value. Additionally, the thrilling possibility of finding a valuable and rare coin adds excitement to the hobby of coin collecting.