Ancient Coins and Legal Tender

Getting Started with the Hobby of Numismatics and Collecting Coins

What is Numismatics?

Numismatics – the very name sounds mysterious and evocative. In simple terms, numismatics covers the science and study of coins, cash, and other legal tender, as well as medals, tokens, and medallions. The collection of ancient, commemorative, and rare coins is a fun and exacting hobby, and opens up a realm of history that most people never get to see. A numismatist holds an ancient coin that has passed through dozens or hundreds of hands throughout the millennia. In medieval times, the collection of ancient coins was already popular, but it was known as a hobby for kings. Today, building a fascinating collection of coins does not have to be expensive, and everyone can participate in this exciting pastime.

How do I Start Collecting Coins and Legal Tender?

When deciding which coins to collect, you should consider your interests, your budget, and your return on investment.

The first step when building a collection of coins is to decide what category of legal tender interests you most. Some people like to focus their collections on specific precious metals, such as gold, silver, copper, or bronze coins. Others like to concentrate on a specific time or region, like ancient Roman coins. Commemorative coins are a popular form of collection, as are rare minted coins like those which had an error in their stamping. If a certain set of coins doesn’t interest you, it won’t be any fun at all to become a collector.

Another interesting choice for numismatists is a token collection. Tokens were historically used in place of legal tender, if coins of the right value were not available, or were not convenient. In the modern day, tokens are still used at gaming arcades and some vending machines. Tokens may not be as valuable as true moolah, but they are an interesting look at local history, and can be fun to collect.

The price of a rare coin depends on supply and demand. If only a few coins were made but there are tons of collectors, it will be very expensive to start that kind of collection. Ironically, ancient coins are some of the most inexpensive and most interesting coins to collect. Because of the large number of coins in circulation between 650 BC, when stamping coins became popular, to the fall of the Roman Empire in 450 AD, tons of coins were created, and more are being uncovered every day. Common bronze coins that were being used in the time of Archimedes can be bought for about $10 apiece.

The third, and probably least important thing to consider when starting your collection is the likelihood that your coins will increase in value. Coin collecting for investment purposes can be a tricky endeavor. There is always the possibility that the coins you buy will include counterfeits, and the coin market can fluctuate even more wildly than other kinds of investment. For these reasons, it is probably wiser for you to focus on building a collection of coins, tokens, or legal tender that you enjoy than to build your collection with an eye on getting a large return on investment. However, high-grade ancient coins, gold coins, Morgan dollars and Walking Liberty half dollars are among the kinds of collections that are most likely to increase in value over time.

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Why 80’s Arcade Games are the Best

Reminiscing the 80s would never be complete without mentioning about 80s arcade games. An arcade game is a coin-operated gaming machine that you would usually find in entertainment centers, video arcades, and even in restaurants. Popular arcade games are redemption games that give players rewards based on their score in the game; computer-controlled video games; and pinball games wherein the player manipulates one or more metal balls on a playfield.

Flashback

Arcade games began to be so popular in the early 70s. Nolan Bushnell and Ted Dabney made Atari that released the Pong video game (based on ping-pong or table tennis) that became almost everyone’s favorite. The success of the Pong video game spawned lots of imitations and created more and more avid video players. Eventually video game arcades abounded through the 80s. They can be found in the malls, department stores, bars and even in restaurants and movie houses. They’re everywhere in the United States

Popular 80s Arcade Games

In the 80s, arcade games became even more popular. Some of the most influential 80s arcade games were the following:

Space Invaders – This game, one of the predecessors of modern video games, was created by the Japanese Toshihiro Nishikado. It was first released in 1978 in Japan. This arcade game mimics a shooting gallery with a movable laser (resembling a cannon) placed below the video screen. There were video aliens that were designed to disrupt the game by passing across the screen and by raining bombs and rays that are deadly. The goal of the player is to avoid those deadly rays and bombs and shoot the aliens so that they won’t reach the bottom of the screen or else, he or she will lose in the game.

Pac-Man – This was created by Namco and was first distributed in 1980. It game remains to be popular today though it has already taken new forms. Compared to many 80s arcade games, Pac-Man was not violent, was easy to play and was enjoyable, which explains why it clicked both to young and old, girls and boys alike.

The yellow circle with a mouth called Pac-Man makes people remember this game so well through the years. The game is played by maneuvering Pac-Man through the maze, letting him eat small dots and different item prizes along the way. Ghosts named Blinky, Inky, Pinky and Clyde on the other hand chase Pac-Man.

Donkey Kong – Another video game that emerged so popular among other 80s arcade games was the Donkey Kong. It was made by Nintendo and was introduced in 1981. Basically the game is played by maneuvering the chief character, Mario (formerly Jumpman),across a series of platforms. As Mario goes through the platforms, he has to get rid of obstacles that prevent him from rescuing a damsel in distress from the hands of Donkey Kong.

The abovementioned are only some of the most popular 80s arcade games. There were also the Battlezone, Pengo, Tron, Tetris, Rubik’s cube and many others. The craze for 80s arcade games only began to subside in the late 80s when newer forms of entertainment were being introduced such as advanced home video game consoles but 80s arcade games didn’t totally die out until the coming of fighting games like the Street Fighter ll that required two players.

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