The South African Mint would like to wish you a safe, happy and prosperous 2021. We hope that you are well rested and ready to tackle the year ahead, despite the pandemic and restrictions we continue to face. In this first edition for the new year, we go all the way to the beginning as we tell the story of the origins of coin collecting and explain how you and/or the novices in your life can begin this rewarding hobby. One of the best things about coin collecting is that it is a wonderful way to learn new facts about the history and culture of a country.
Coin collecting, or numismatics, was regarded as the hobby of kings because ancient coins were so valuable that only kings were capable of collecting them. This started in ancient Greece, where Caesar Augustus, who was considered the first Roman emperor, pioneered the trend by giving old and exotic coins to friends and courtiers as gifts.
Later, Italian poet Petrarch presented a collection of Roman coins to Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV. Caesar is also considered the world’s first numismatic, and the practice seemed to diminish when he died in 14 AD.
The interest in the art of ancient Greece and Rome was revived during the Renaissance when coins were coveted by Europe’s royal elite. This is how the popularity of coin collecting among popes, royalty, and nobility earned numismatics the nickname ‘hobby of kings.’
Throughout the years, up until the 18th century, numismatics remained the exclusive domain of leisurely European elites with the means to acquire and trade rare coins.
This practice is fortunately not reserved exclusively for kings and royalty anymore. Now anyone can begin their collection and experience the regal feeling of owning their very own limited edition treasures.
The South African Mint proudly mints these pristine legal tender coins that speak to the hearts of many of our local as well as international customers in different ways. Whether you are an avid collector, or you’re inspired to start your collection, see our range and place your order now.
Now that you know that the ‘hobby of kings’ is not limited to royalty or the rich, look out for our next newsletter which will further move you to fall in love with the hobby of coin collecting.