Philip Grierson

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How did money originate? What do the various inscriptions mean? How are coins classified? Most important, how are coins studied and what can the numismatist hope to find out from them? Grierson traces the history of coinage from its invention in the 7th century B.C. in Asia Minor and independently in China and India. He explains the main features of coin types, introducing some fundamental numismatic terminology, and describing coining methods and the recently developed techniques for ascertaining the chemical composition and theoretical weight of coins and even the probable number issued. He discusses coin finds and their interpretation and preservation. The book includes a chapter on tokens, jettons, medals, and other coin-like objects, and concludes with a review of the current state of numismatic scholarship and collecting. A valuable reference work for the student and collector, this book also makes fascinating reading for anyone who wants to learn more about the inherently intriguing substance he or she uses every day: money.

Philip Grierson (1910-2006) was a British historian and numismatist, emeritus professor of numismatics at Cambridge and a fellow of Gonville and Caius College for over 70 years. During his long and prolific academic career, he built the world’s foremost collection of medieval coins, published extensively, brought it to much wider attention in the historical community and filled curatorial and teaching posts in Cambridge, Brussels and Washington, D.C.

1985. 211 pages, illustrated.