Numismatics on your mind?

February 6, 2013 in Coins, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, Nickel Coins, Numismatica, Numismatics, Paper Money, Silver, Silver Coins, USA Coins

February 5, 2013 by Bob Schreiner ( (University of North Carolina)

North Carolina Miscellany.

It’s not often that a story about numismatics makes the front page of the News and Observer, but it happened recently in the article “Humble Nickel from 1913 Likely to Fetch Millions.”

What’s numismatics, you ask? You aren’t the only one! It’s the collecting and study of coins and other types of money. What’s so interesting about money, other than nagging questions about whether one has enough of it? The N & O article is about a “trophy” coin: rare and highly desired by collectors with deep — very deep — pockets. Part of the appeal of this 1913 nickel is the mystery of how it was produced, the story of the North Carolinian who once owned it and then lost it, and of course its very high value.

But many pieces of currency have interesting stories to tell. Did you know that during the Civil War the State of North Carolina produced hundreds of varieties of paper money, denominated from five cents through $100? These are not the better-known paper money issued by the Confederacy. Both Confederate and state currencies confusingly circulated together to provide North Carolinians a medium of exchange. But the effort was not entirely successful. The paper money had no intrinsic value and was subject to counterfeiting, inflation, and discounting.

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