Philosophical nature towards the past
This blog contains a subject that can be seen as very theoretical. But I will try to doesn’t make it to theoretical and therefore boring for you to read.
This blog is about a part of the philosophical nature of collecting coins and banknotes. I will discuss how we treat the coins and banknotes as a medium towards the past.
I hope that in the end you will understand more clearly why you are collection coins and/or banknotes.
The big question is: why do all humans have a big interest In the past? This question cannot be answered very easy and it is a question philosophers of history think lot about. It seems at first sight an easy question but it is not. Because humans can have several relationships with the past. For this blog tree relationships are very important.
Epistemic relationship with the past
At first humans can have an epistemic(in relating to knowledge) relationship with the past. This means that we want to know more about the past. A coin can perfectly be used as medium for this relationship. For example, the coins of Alexander the Great. His coins are showing that Alexander conquered a big part of in that time known world to him. This coins show this because they are minted in many mints around Greece, the Levant, the ancient east and Egypt. We know this, again, because of the many mintmarks( monograms) on the coins. So you can collect coins and banknotes because you desire to know more about the period they were created in.
Tetradrachm Alexander III The Great
Weight: 17.04 g – Diameter: 24.00 mm
Uncertain Mint 336-323 BC.
Obverse: Head of Herakles right, wearing lion’s skin headdress.
Reverse: ALEXANDROY Zeus seated left holding eagle and scepter; EAR monogram left; monogram below throne.
Numismatic Notes: A very rare monogram! I could not find this monogram listed in Price (though my time with it was limited). A very unusual monogram of what is quite clearly EAR. Below the throne is another interesting, yet not unheard of monogram. The style on this type is exceptionally artistic, and all of it is preserved on this amazing specimen! A wonderful example of this classic numismatic art!
At second humans can have an aesthetic relationship with the past. This means that we want to enjoy the beauty of the past. And a lot of collectors see their coins as a piece of art. We can enjoy the beauty the past gave these coins on them with their aesthetic iconography. For example the banknotes of France. These banknotes have always interested me because of their artistic value. This type of beauty is a reason why a lot collectors collect what they collect. They love to look at their coins and banknotes.
5000 Francs 1947
Banknote, France, 5000 Francs, 5 000 F 1942-1947 ”Empire Français”, 1947,Signature J. Belin, P. Rousseau and P. Gargam. 20.3.1947-25.9.1947.,Allegory of France with three men (French colonies) at center.,Same woman alone, but with scenes from colonies.,Brown, red and multicolor.
5 Francs 1959 France Victor Hugo
VICTOR HUGO PANTHEON
Economic relationship with the past
The last relationship I shortly want to discuss is the economic relationship humans can have with the past. For some this the most superficial one but I think it is something we all have as goal in the end, some more than others of course. We can like artefacts from the past because of their value in money. And coins can have a great economic value. Those who buy gold coins buy them the first time maybe for other reasons then the economic one but later only for their economic value. They hope their prices will rise and sell them one day with profit.
20 dollar 1860 USA
Liberty – Double Eagle
25 Francs 1848 Belgium Leopold I.
Catalog: Fb. 405, Morin 1, Schl. 10
The first question can still not be answered completely because there are lot more relationships humans can have with the past. It should be noted that in most of the time we don’t have just one relationship with the past. Most of the time these relationships are combined with each other and we can love our coins for their artistic value while we hope their economic value will rise.
I hope, form this day on, you think more about why you like the coins and banknotes you like. Because in this way you can enjoy your passion more!
Written by Joël van Dam, Owner of Joëlnumismatics.
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