Compact training: Strategic tips for coin collectors and their successors

Part 11: Paper Money & Exonumia

  1. Introduction to collecting paper money (notaphil)
  2. Exonumia: Understanding Coins, Medals, and Other Numismatic Items
  3. FAQ on the topics: Paper money and Exonumia

Paper Money and Exonumia: Beyond Traditional Coin Collecting

In the diverse world of numismatics, coins are often the first thing that comes to mind, but there is a broader spectrum waiting to be explored: paper money and exonumia. These elements introduce collectors to a rich tapestry of history, culture and artistry that is distinct from the world of coins.

Introduction to collecting paper money (Notaphily)

Notaphilia, the collecting of paper money, is becoming increasingly important. Paper money shows unique stories and highlights key historical, cultural or personal moments. It offers insights into economic, political and technological developments.

Unlike coins, which are often valued based on metal content and rarity, the value of paper money depends on historical significance, design and condition. For collectors, it is a tangible piece of history with detailed designs and watermarks that reflect the trends of the period of issue.

Exonumia: Dive into coins, medals and more

Exonumia expands the horizons of numismatics even further. The term refers to numismatic items that are not traditional coins, banknotes, or legal tender, but are related to money in some way. This broad category includes tokens, medals, badges and even certain forms of cash.

  • Tokens : Coins are often produced as a replacement for official money and can be found in various contexts. They can be used for public transportation, arcades, casinos, or even as trademarks that serve as promissory notes or promotional items.
  • Medals : Medals are usually commemorative or celebratory coins. They can be awarded for achievements, commemorate significant events or honor notable people. Medals often provide a direct connection to historical events and can be incredibly detailed.
  • Other numismatically relevant items : The world of Exonumia is vast. It includes coins issued by military units, badges worn by members of specific organizations, and even wooden nickels and love tokens that have their own stories to tell.


In this part we dive into collecting paper money and exonumia in numismatics. Even though many collectors prefer coins, paper money and exonumia offer exciting insights into the world of monetary history and culture.

Notaphilia describes the active collection of paper money and is steadily gaining in popularity. Paper money gives us deep insights into the history, culture and technology of countries, and each piece reflects the era of its production with its designs and watermarks. While many collectors value coins based on their metal content, when it comes to paper money they value historical significance, design, rarity and condition.

At Exonumia we expand our numismatic collection with special items that, although not traditional coins or banknotes, still have a connection to money. These include tokens that people often use instead of real money, or medals that they mint on special occasions. Exonumia’s spectrum is vast: it includes everything from military coins to wooden nickels and love tokens, and each item tells its own story.

Further materials :

What are Exonumia and how is collecting Exonumia different from numismatic items?