NUMISMATICSHow to proncounce Numismatics

Numismatics: 90% of native English speakers polled did not know, nor had ever heard of Numismatics.

Numismatics however, is an important academic discipline that includes the study of money (currency, coins, etc.) as methods of payment for goods and services. It is the study (and often collection) of currency (most commonly the collection of coins).

Collectors rely on the “numismatic value” to set selling prices and valuations of specific coins and currency units in their collections. This “value” is defined as the difference between the stated “monetary” value of the item and the inherent or “market” value of the items.

Initially, money had “value” by the type of material used. Gold and Silver coins were not just a “representation” of money, but had value in and of themselves. Today’s money however, has lost the “backing” of material, and is a representative item, or “token” of the value. Value is set by external sources and not by the material of the item.

As collectors, Numismatics usually refers to the collection of coins, while “notaphily” is used to describe the collection of paper money or “banknotes”. Academic studies do not differentiate between the two, as the study of Numismatics is more aimed at learning about the money types, the economy behind the issuance of money, and the overall historical context of the money being studied.

The American Numismatic Society is a museum and research institute that was created and tasked with the study of coins from all time periods and cultures in history. It is located in New York. Over the years, the database of coins in the collection has grown to over 600,000 “objects of money”.

The Central Asia study of numismatics is quite interesting because the interactions or “use of money and payments” has been made among different ethnic groups, cultures, and religions. The coins found and studied through Central Asia have been among some of the most interesting!

And that is where the “Central Asian Numismatic Institute” or “CANI” comes into play. CANI was established to standardize the research and data collection occurring in Central Asia, and to assist with pulling together researchers, students and scientists focusing on the Central Asia region and its very unique Numismatic history.

The founding members of CANI believe that setting the focus on Central Asia only will allow quicker results in the assimilation of Numismatic information including the location of public and private collections and allow faster cataloguing and eventually the inclusion in an online researchable database of all that was discovered.

Proud to be a part of Cambridge University!


The people who make it all work:

Board of Trustees

· Dr. Adi Popescu (chairman)

· Dr. Allison Ohta (secretary)

· Prof. Nicholas Sims-Williams

· Dr. Fatemah Jazayeri – London

· Dr. Alexander Kamyshev — Bishkek

· Dr. Nasim Khan – Peshawar

· Dr. Vladimir Nastich — Moscow

· Dr. Robert Wicks – Oxford (Ohio)


· Dr. Judith Kolbas



(Background image is from the coins of Skandagupta, AD 456-467)