What is a numismatic coin?

Posted by Oliver Eckl on

A characterization of numismatic coins (also called collector coins) helps to understand the differences in the production and marketing of investment coins.

Numismatists do more than just collect coins. They actively study currencies, including coins and paper money, as well as related items such as souvenirs and medals. She is particularly interested in historical, social and artistic significance.

Rightly or wrongly, the term "numismatic" is used by many to describe modern commemorative coins with design themes for collectors that are not intended for circulation.

These numismatic editions, produced by many mints around the world with bullion coin programs, feature an exceptional design. Unlike circulating coins, they have a highly polished surface (i.e. proof) that acts like a mirror, as well as exceptional clarity and definition of the raised, matte elements (relief).

Proofs were originally test coins that were struck by hand at the beginning of coinage to detect and eliminate any errors. They then became special specimens, retained as examples of each coinage. Today they are considered numismatic coins and are of interest to collectors. Image source: Perth Mint

Modern numismatic coins demonstrate the fine art of coinage through, among other things, elaborate coloring, gilding and an artistic patina. Not only are they beautifully crafted, but they are also typified by a strictly limited embossing and feature a numbered certificate of authenticity and decorative packaging.

The motivation for purchasing such coins is often complex. For many, this is driven by a strong desire to own something rare and inherently valuable with an aesthetically pleasing design that reflects their personal interests.