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Numismatic Catalogs: The best coin catalog, the one you need.

By rcintas on the

This week we are leave the coins aside in order to bring a new post with some information that every coin collector should know about: Coin Catalogues.

World coin catalogs

It is important to know how to clean or preserver our coin collection, it not less important to have a good catalog to get to know the different mints as well as the versions that exist in order to maintain an ordered and organized collection.

There are all kinds of catalogs, specified by kind of coin, the ones edited by the mints, the ones that just focus on one country, etc. Thanks to them we are able to know when the new Euro French coins will be minted, how many versions of the 25 pesetas Spanish coin are there or which was the series of the 1 dollar Sacagawea coin.

The Standard Catalog of World Coins

The most complete coin catalog, country after country, with the complete illustrated listing of coins from the XX and XXI centuries, used as circulating coins. The majority of private collections and familiar accumulations are made of circulating coins, so this catalog becomes the most correct and easy to use reference tool. Summing up, the book is perfect for collectors, from simple amateurs up to numismatic experts interested in circulating coins around the whole world.

The beginning of this publication could not be more humble, Chet Krause, a coin collector, published the first number of "Numismatic News" on October 13th 1952, getting around 1000 readers. This was the origin of the current Krause Publications. With its headquarters in lola, Wisconsin, United States, it is the world biggest publishing house for leisure magazines and fire weapons and knifes, cars, hunt and construction collection books, with more than 500 employees.

Among these huge number of publications it also has a big number of numismatic and notaphily related catalogs. The most noted ones are the ones dedicated to the world coins "Standard Catalog of World Coins" and among these ones the ones specific of the XX and XXI centuries. Until 2006 they only had one catalog with all the mints since 1900, but due to the high number of yearly mintages they decided to divided in the current two catalogs:

The one dedicated to the XX century: “016 Standard Catalog of World Coins 1901-200” already on its edition number 43.

World Coin catalog

And the one specific to the XXI century: “2016 Standard Catalog of World Coins 2001-Date” with its correspondent tenth edition.

Krause World Coins XXI century

You can see a list of all the editions with its publishing date here.

The Catalog Features

For each of the coins showed in the catalog it includes a large description of the obverse and reverse coin minted designs as well as an explanation on the kind of edge of the coin along with its correspondent images. Also, it contains information regarding the minting years of each of the coins and an estimation of the market value in their different conservation states. A very detailed information that makes the last version of the XX century catalog contain more than 60000 images and one million market values in its more than 2400 pages.

Krause catalog sample

Its differentiating characteristic is that it assigns an identification to each of the coins that appears on it. This way, when classifying a coin, a number with the initials KM# is assigned to it. These initials correspond to its first two authors: Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler.

The applied numbering is not global, but it is assigned by countries, this means that all coins in a certain country will start numbering from KM#1 so, in order to completely identify a coin the country and correspondent KM# both together are needed. Also, this reference number is not assigned by year of mintage but for its type, this means taking into account the design and characteristics of the coin. This way, countries with a wide story in coin mintage such as Austria have more than 3200 different denominations.

While the first values of a country like Croatia are just from the last century:

But the coin mintage carried by countries do not always follow strict rules, so small variations on the used material or some details modification as: the ceca mark location, type or size of letter usually comes up when the issue of a coin is prolonged in time. Many collectors treat this different versions as new designs, but can also be treated as a simple variation or you can even not take them into account.

Assigning a new KM# comes with heavy discussion, existing several variations that are not gathered in the catalog or just classified as variation while a lot of people might consider them new designs. Of course this also occurs the other way around. In any case, inside the catalog the variants are classified with the addition of a letter, number or a mix of them.

As a curiosity we should say that not all the coins that appear in the catalog have a KM# identification number, and for some countries the Y# is used instead. This change is due to the use of the reference number from the R. S. Yeoman catalog. In a less significant way, among the Krause catalogs, there are some other initials: The C# assigned for William D. Craig in his catalog “Coins of the World (1750-1850 period)”, FR# from the catalog “Gold Coins of the World” de Robert Friedberg o the P# from the major Fred Pridmore in “British colonial coinage” among others. However, some of these references are being replaced by KM numbers when the original reference is not complete enough.

On top of the mentioned catalogs this publisher has some other ones:

For those that would rather have an online version of the catalog instead of paper, Krause has one available at the webiste: http://www.numismaster.com/. Free and without registration you can access the search in the catalog, however in order to visualize the images, check the market value, the mintage volume or some other data an account is needed.

What about you? What is your reference coin catalog?

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