The Numismatics Portal

Electrum coin from Ephesus, 520-500 BCE. Obverse: Forepart of stag. Reverse: Square incuse punch

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals and related objects.

Specialists, known as numismatists, are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, but the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other means of payment used to resolve debts and exchange goods.

The earliest forms of money used by people are categorised by collectors as "odd and curious", but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency (e.g., cigarettes or instant noodles in prison). As an example, the Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit, and gave small change in lambskins; the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horses are not.[dubious ] Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, cocoa beans, large stones, and gems. (Full article...)

Cscr-featured.png Featured article - load more articles

This is a featured article, which represents some of the best content on English Wikipedia..

Selected article - show another

Gilbert Kenneth Jenkins (2 July 1918 – 22 May 2005) was a leading figure in 20th-century numismatics. He was the post-war generation's most important expert in the study of Greek coins and medals and would become Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum in 1965.

Jenkins was born in Bristol, England and educated at Bloxham School and Oxford University. Jenkins's introduction to numismatics came during his time at Oxford, while he was studying Classics at Corpus Christi in the late 1930s. He attended the Heberden Coin Room in the Ashmolean Museum and was introduced to the subject under the guidance of Edward Robinson and Humphrey Sutherland. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War, during which he served as an officer in the Royal Artillery, from 1944 to 1946 flying as a reconnaissance pilot in South East Asia. He returned to Oxford to graduate in 1946, before starting work at the British Museum. (Full article...)
List of selected articles

Selected image

Credit: Okerele

The 2 euro coin of the Finnish euro coins depicts cloudberry, the golden berry of northern Finland.

Did you know...

Newfoundland 2 dollar coin

Related portals

Selected coin - show another

Paolo 1540.jpg
Farnese coat of arms inside rococo frame surmounted by decussate keys and tiara. Around PAVLVS•III• •PONT•MAX•
The Paolo or Paulo was a pontifical coin; this name was given to the giulio by 2 grossi when in 1540 Pope Paul III (hence its name) made it increase its silver content to 3.85 g. The first minting of Paul III bore the papal arms on the obverse and St. Paul on the reverse. At the time of the arrival of the French revolutionaries, a paolo was valued on the Milanese market with the value of 14 soldi. In Rome in the nineteenth century it was the popular name of the 10 baiocchi coin. The names of paolo and giulio remained in use in Rome until the pontificate of Pius IX, even when these coins were no longer in circulation, to indicate the 10 baiocchi coin. The same name took coins from other Italian states. In the Grand Duchy of Tuscany circulated the paolo of 8 crazie. (Full article...)

Selected banknote image - show another

General images - load new batch

The following are images from various numismatics-related articles on Wikipedia.

Numismatic terminology

  • Bullion – Precious metals (platinum, gold and silver) in the form of bars, ingots or plate.
  • Error – Usually a mis-made coin not intended for circulation, but can also refer to an engraving or die-cutting error not discovered until the coins are released to circulation. This may result is two or more varieties of the coin in the same year.
  • Exonumia – The study of coin-like objects such as token coins and medals, and other items used in place of legal currency or for commemoration.
  • Fineness – Purity of precious metal content expressed in terms of one thousand parts. 90% is expressed as .900 fine.
  • Notaphily – The study of paper money or banknotes.
  • Scripophily – The study and collection of stocks and Bonds.


Numismatic topics

List articles

Central banks • Currencies • Circulating currencies • Historical currencies • US community currencies • Canadian community currencies • Mints • Motifs on banknotes • Most expensive coins


Category puzzle
Select [►] to view subcategories

Most traded currencies

Most traded currencies by value
Currency distribution of global foreign exchange market turnover[1]
Rank Currency ISO 4217
Symbol or
Proportion of daily volume
April 2019 April 2022
1 U.S. dollar USD US$ 88.3% 88.5%
2 Euro EUR 32.3% 30.5%
3 Japanese yen JPY ¥ / 円 16.8% 16.7%
4 Sterling GBP £ 12.8% 12.9%
5 Renminbi CNY ¥ / 元 4.3% 7.0%
6 Australian dollar AUD A$ 6.8% 6.4%
7 Canadian dollar CAD C$ 5.0% 6.2%
8 Swiss franc CHF CHF 4.9% 5.2%
9 Hong Kong dollar HKD HK$ 3.5% 2.6%
10 Singapore dollar SGD S$ 1.8% 2.4%
11 Swedish krona SEK kr 2.0% 2.2%
12 South Korean won KRW ₩ / 원 2.0% 1.9%
13 Norwegian krone NOK kr 1.8% 1.7%
14 New Zealand dollar NZD NZ$ 2.1% 1.7%
15 Indian rupee INR 1.7% 1.6%
16 Mexican peso MXN $ 1.7% 1.5%
17 New Taiwan dollar TWD NT$ 0.9% 1.1%
18 South African rand ZAR R 1.1% 1.0%
19 Brazilian real BRL R$ 1.1% 0.9%
20 Danish krone DKK kr 0.6% 0.7%
21 Polish złoty PLN 0.6% 0.7%
22 Thai baht THB ฿ 0.5% 0.4%
23 Israeli new shekel ILS 0.3% 0.4%
24 Indonesian rupiah IDR Rp 0.4% 0.4%
25 Czech koruna CZK 0.4% 0.4%
26 UAE dirham AED د.إ 0.2% 0.4%
27 Turkish lira TRY 1.1% 0.4%
28 Hungarian forint HUF Ft 0.4% 0.3%
29 Chilean peso CLP CLP$ 0.3% 0.3%
30 Saudi riyal SAR 0.2% 0.2%
31 Philippine peso PHP 0.3% 0.2%
32 Malaysian ringgit MYR RM 0.2% 0.2%
33 Colombian peso COP COL$ 0.2% 0.2%
34 Russian ruble RUB 1.1% 0.2%
35 Romanian leu RON L 0.1% 0.1%
36 Peruvian sol PEN S/ 0.1% 0.1%
37 Bahraini dinar BHD .د.ب 0.0% 0.0%
38 Bulgarian lev BGN BGN 0.0% 0.0%
39 Argentine peso ARS ARG$ 0.1% 0.0%
Other 1.8% 2.3%
Total[note 1] 200.0% 200.0%

Web resources

Things you can do

Here are some tasks awaiting attention:

Associated Wikimedia

The following Wikimedia Foundation sister projects provide more on this subject:


  1. ^ The total sum is 200% because each currency trade always involves a currency pair; one currency is sold (e.g. US$) and another bought (e.g. €). Therefore each trade is counted twice, once under the currency sold ($) and once under the currency bought (€). The percentages above are the percent of trades involving that currency regardless of whether it is bought or sold, e.g. the US dollar is bought or sold in 88% of all trades, whereas the euro is bought or sold in 31% of them.
  1. ^ "Triennial Central Bank Survey Foreign exchange turnover in April 2022" (PDF). Bank for International Settlements. 27 October 2022. p. 12. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2022-10-27. Retrieved 2022-10-29.
Discover Wikipedia using portals