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    The True Value of Money and the True Value of Coins

    What is the true value of money and the true value of coins? For some, it indicates success, while for others it lends a sense of security. Some people strive their whole lives just to achieve that label, ‘millionaire’, while others are content to earn what little they need to survive and instead enjoy the simple things in life. Money just seems to stick to some people, while others seem cursed to lose every penny they earn. You have misers who hoard their earnings out of fear or greed, while spendthrifts blow it all on acts of generosity – or foolishness. Money starts wars and ends marriages, topples governments and saves lives. Didn’t somebody once sing something about how money makes the world go around?

    The True Value of Money and the True Value of Coins
    The true value of coins? For other people, however, the concept of money is not so interesting as the cultural artifact itself: coins and banknotes, gold, silver, copper, and nickel. Money’s centrality to our society ensures that it also tells our history, whether the coins are decorated with the faces of queens or presidents, if they’re buried by vagabonds or defaced by anarchists. We carry these odd little trinkets in our pockets and purses our whole lives, without ever really thinking much about them. There’s a name for someone who has an active interest in coins: he or she is a numismatist.

    And so it may be that a numismatist may be more likely to know the true value of money than a millionaire, a hoarder, or a pauper – because a numismatist might take the time to figure out the actual cost of the metal from which coins are made. It is a fascinating subject, not least because the price of metal changes all the time, meaning that some coins even become more valuable for their metal than for what you can buy with them. It remains illegal in the United States and most other places to melt down your coins, which is probably just as well – the United States nickel, for example, has a face value of 5 cents but is worth over 7 cents in terms of metal, and it would be bad for the environment and the economy if everyone started melting theirs down!

    If you’re curious as to just how much coins from other places in the world cost to make, you’ll love this new visual guide from 911 Metallurgist. Just remember, while you can put a price on metal and even on the hours in a day, you can’t put a price on love and generosity.

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