Bogdan Stambuliu – Interview About Numismatics

Jack Prot

Mr. Bogdan Stambuliu, what is numismatics and numismatist?

Numismatics is the scientific analysis and study of money and the uses to which people have put money throughout history. When coin collectors use the word numismatics, though, they generally mean the study of coins in particular. A wider and more correct definition includes the study and collecting of all money-related items such as banknotes, tokens, medals, bullion rounds, etc. The word comes from the Greek word nomisma, which means money. This science has developed in the 14th century and today it is a widespread hobby, which also includes the collection and study of notes and coins. One of the first of systematic numismatist was the French Renaissance humanist Guillaume Bude.

A person who devotes his professional life to the study of coins is called a numismatist. Among coin collectors, the term numismatist is used to mean anybody who is really serious about their coin collecting, or who grades, catalogs, or sells coins for a living. I don’t know if you know but Numismatist is also the title of the monthly journal published by the American Numismatic Association.

Geoffrey Cope said once that Art in the form of coins is not only what we study but the emotion when we hold a piece of history“. Throughout its history, money itself has been made to be a scarce good, although it does not have to be. Many items have been used as money, from naturally scarce precious metals and cowry shells through cigarettes to entirely artificial money, called fiat money, such as banknotes. Many complementary currencies use time as a unit of measure, using mutual credit accounting that keeps the balance of money intact. Modern money (and most ancient money too) is essentially a token – an abstraction. Paper currency is perhaps the most common type of physical money today. However, goods such as gold or silver retain many of the essential properties of money.

When did you started to collect numismatics items?

I started to collect coins since I was a little boy and I received an old rusty coin from my grandfather. This was just a little stimulus, after that everything changed.

Mr. Bogdan Stambuliu, which is the most interesting coin that you collected over the time?

I have collected many coins over time and I can say that all are equally interesting. Today I would like to talk about the king Carol I’s pole. The gold coin was announcing the desire for independence of Romania. In 1868, Carol I was testing the reaction of the Great Powers about its projects in Romania, with a coin bearing his face. The inscription around the effigy – “Carol I Domnulu Romaniloru” – was a brave gesture, given that Austria-Hungary was ruling Transylvania and Ottoman territories that were unified by Alexandru Ioan Cuza. The Anti-Ottoman gestures of Carol were made in anticipation of good time.

Issued in only 100 or 200 copies, the pole of Carol I (6.45 g, gold 90%, copper 10%) was never circulated, but the Ottomans sent it to smelters. But coins have escaped this historical disposal are now a target for many collectors in the entire world.

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