The technical term for a person that collects and studies coins is numismatist. The word was taken from the French word numismatiste, which means student of coin and coinage.
Apart from coin collection, numismatics also encompasses the collection of tokens, paper money, medals and other similar items. Numismatic value refers to the collectors price for a particular collectible currency that is above the actual value of the coin or money.
Coin collecting has been around since ancient history. Emperor Caesar Augustus was said to have given various coins as Saturnalia gifts. Petrach, an Italian poet who lived in the 1300s, is credited as being the first Renaissance numismatist. The poet wrote that he was often approached by people to sell him their coins, or to identify the ruler depicted on the coins.