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Numismatic Art: Adding an Appreciation for the Art of a Coin

Numismatic Art: Adding an Appreciation for the Art of a Coin
A hand-drawn and watercolor numismatic artwork piece by Keith Dewald featuring a Guatemala (1893) ¼ Real design next to TruView of a coin bearing the same design. Image: PCGS / CoinWeek.

By Jay Turner for PCGS ……
There has always been a bond between numismatics and art. This connection is an appreciation for the design of the coin, often with a small canvas, which conveys that design throughout time and across the world and beyond. While the coins themselves are each a unique piece of artwork, there are artists now who are creating their own numismatic art of works based on their appreciation for coins.

Line drawing, a method of duplicating the basic design of coinage for publication in books and other works, is an artform that today has mostly disappeared with the advent of photography. One up-and-coming artist, Keith Dewald, who has been producing numismatic artwork for eight years, has taken this method to a higher, more detailed and personal level for his artwork. Frequently working on commissions, Keith will hand draw the requested coin or medal focusing on capturing each detail of the coin in ink. Often watercolor is added by the artist to match the toning on the coin making the artwork even more unique to that numismatic item. Now working as an art director at PCGS, Keith will also take the time to film his art being created and post videos of such work on social media showing some of the hundreds of hours he can put into each piece.

Below is an example of Keith Dewald’s work:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Keith Dewald (@keithdewald.art)

Another form of numismatic artwork is numismatic photography. Anyone who has taken a photo of a coin can understand the incredible difficulty and skill in capturing that coin. PCGS Photographer Phil Arnold, who helped launch the PCGS TrueView program, revolutionized how incredible numismatic photography could be. With PCGS, he set an industry standard that is unrivaled. Phil is just one of many numismatic photographers with some incredible mastery in capturing a coin with absolute realism that, just a few years ago, wouldn’t have been possible. These artistic photos are now popping up on Instagram and other social media platforms and are redefining what is capable with numismatic photography.

An example of Phil Arnold’s photography can be appreciated below:


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Phil Arnold (@philarnoldphoto)

While Keith Dewald and Phil Arnold are just two numismatic artists covered here, there are countless individuals who are creating numismatic artwork in many other forms. From classical forms, such as paintings, to new concepts that include digital art and NFTs (non-fungible tokens). These works are being displayed and promoted on social media and, in turn, promote the concepts of design and numismatics.

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