Numismatics is important for the reconstruction of history. Coins provide solid evidence for the evaluation of history. People can manipulate documents, but coins cannot be changed or manipulated.
Numismatics is an ancillary science to history. Numismatics helps to analyze history more effectively and get evidence of the evaluated history.
But before we continue, we need to know the meaning of numismatics.
What is Numismatics?
Numismatics is the study of currency including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects. The word numismatics comes from the adjective numismatic, meaning “of coins”.
A coin is a small, round, and flat piece of metal that is used as a medium for exchange.
History of Numismatics
Numismatics or coin collecting is also known as the “Hobby of Kings“. In ancient times, some rulers like Caesar Augustus collected coins and money from different kingdoms. These were usually given as gifts to rulers of foreign countries to help facilitate a trade agreement.
Importance of Numismatics
Every archeologist expects one thing while digging is a coin. The reason is, it provides some date for the layer they are digging. Coins are important source of Ancient Indian History
Coins also provide information for trade, economy, social organization, beliefs, personages, military, mythology, leadership, and other important things.
Numismatics reveals facts and customs of the period of that coin. Every dynasty and every ruler tried to develop their style of coinage. The style of their coinage tells us about their beliefs, religion, and reveals traits of their personality.
The presence of many rulers and dynasties in India was revealed by the in-depth study of coinage.
Coins also help us to understand the art of that period. When we see the old coins, we can say it is an art piece used for transactions.
It helps us to track the knowledge and technology they have by seeing these coins. For example, between the 7th-6th centuries BC and the 1st century AD, all the coins were punch-marked coins(coins made by punching). After that coins were started making by molding.
Sometimes, archeologists found coins from different kingdoms. It helps us understand the trade relations and communication between kingdoms.
In the early periods, coins played the role of the newspaper. Romans used coins to announce new emperors, winning battles, holiday celebrations, even charitable events.
Contribution of Coin in Indian History
Coins helped in the decipherment of the alphabets of our Ancient Indian scripts- Brahmi and Kharosthi. These scripts were deciphered by Prinsep, Norris, Lassen, and Cunningham on the basis of Indo-Greek bilingual coins.
On the observe side of the coin, there was a Greek legend and its Prakrit translation scripts on the reverse side. This decipherment helped in understanding a large number of inscriptions.
Numismatics as an ancillary science
Numismatics is an ancillary science to history. It seeks to identify the place, date, and government of the issue of the coin. After identifying these things, it helps to use features of coins, as evidence of political, economic, social, and cultural history.
Nearly all coins were inscribed with their city and date of issue and usually did not have images. This left space for long inscriptions, including the names and titles of the rulers under whom they were issued and something of their religious beliefs.