Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
History of coins
The history of coins extends from ancient times to the present. Coins are still widely used for monetary and other purposes. Any history of coins is going to be very incomplete, money being a central theme in human history since its invention. One could approach the history of minting technologies, the history shown by the images on coins, the history of economics, the history of coin collecting or collectors, or many other topics. A recently published history of the greatest treasures and hoards ever found is fascinating reading. Many histories have been published of the politics around the creation of a single coin, notably the crime of 1873 and its connection to silver coinage of the United States. The history of mining, and various gold and silver rushes and their associated pioneer coining efforts are also extremely interesting reading. Even something as lowly as the history of counterfieting leads one in a thousand interesting directions. Numismatics is, by its very nature, the study of history. Coins have often been referred to as "History in Your Hands."
All histories of coins begin with their invention between 643 and 630 B.C. in Lydia. Since that time, coins have been the most universal embodiment of money. These first coins were made of electrum, a naturally occurring pale yellow mixture of gold and silver.
Ancient coins were produced through a process of hitting a hammer positioned over an anvil. The Chinese produced primarily cast coinage . Relatively few non Chinese cast coins were produced by governments, however it was a common practice amongst counterfieters. Since the early 1700s, presses have been used, beginning with screw presses and progressing in the 1800s towards steam driven presses. Recently modern minting techniques involving electric and hydraulic presses have been more commonly employed.
- Coin collecting
- Coinage Metals
- British coinage
- United States coinage
- Euro coinage
- Roman currency
- List of coins
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