does anyone know the proper English word for a person who collects paper banknotes? (i.e. the word built from Greek roots)
Thanks for your help.
The term for the activity of collecting coins or banknotes is "numismatics" (as far as I know it is used for collecting both). The person who is involved in it is a "numismatist" (I have also encountered "numatist", but I am not sure if it is the same, and whether it is correct).
I think you are right, - in the current common usage the word numismatics pertains to collection of both coins and paper money (banknotes). Technically however numismatics is about collecting of coins only (from Greek nomisma, coin), and coin collector is a numismatist. The proper term for someone who collects banknotes is notaphilist.
Paul, I've just found a definition concerning the two terms:
"A collector of paper money, coins, tokens, and related objects is called a numismatist.
A collector of paper money is called a notaphilist." (source:
So I guess a notaphilist is a person who collects paper money only, but a numismatist can also be interested in paper money besides collecting coins.
Easterner, you are right. Notaphilist - what a stupid word - the hobby itself must called notaphilia (!), so notaphilist collects paper money while numismatist can collect anything - coins, tockens, bills/banknotes, paper securities. Normally though when one speaks of a numismatic collection in the general museum context, then that denotes a collection of coins. Possibly because numismatics - in the sense of coin collecting - is a very old hobby or even business while paper money collecting is a relatively recent phenomenon (at least in Europe it cannot be older than 200 years).
Excellent! Thank you for those replies.