The release of a new reference book is always exciting, and the publishing of the new edition of Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues, 1961-Present, is no exception. As with all our catalogs, the 24th edition of the book reflects the input and guidance of many informed voices.
You’ll see many updates and revisions to countries, big and small, including the Faeroe Islands, a self-governing community within the kingdom of Denmark in the North Atlantic. It was great to work on these changes with new contributors, such as Petr Dviš, Mike Teseling and Håkon Meidell-Pritzier Hagelund. I also enjoyed the opportunity to work with existing longtime contributors including, Flemming Lyngbeck Hansen, Miloš Kudweis, Arnoldo Efron, Ludek Vostal, Francisco Orozco Icaza and Thomas Augustsson. Mohamed Ibrahim helped me revise the India section, updating many plate letter/signature combinations.
The assistance of fellow members from IBNS was extremely helpful. There were some great suggestions that made the catalog better, so I thank you. I am looking forward to adding even more new bank notes to the catalog next year.
The evolution of security devices and their integration into currency systems is an interesting thing to watch. The growth of polymer and hybrid notes allows for different presentations than what is possible with paper. Some of these features seem to hold up better in circulation than others. It is great to follow via social media as folks explore the pros and cons of these new mediums.
At times, the curiosity of people becomes like a science lesson in bank notes. Folks discussed how the polymer notes held up and how the ink held up on the polymer. How germy were bank notes to handle over time? Fun stuff.
Other perennial conversations continued over how to best store bank notes. What types of magnification are best? How to keep fraud out of the marketplace and debates about the quality of grading services and catalogs were also prevalent. The ones pertaining to the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money were duly noted, and you will see some of these suggestions implemented in this print edition.
Bank notes are interesting representations of art. Some of the artistic notes that stood out to me while working on the catalog were notes from Switzerland, Scotland, Fiji, Norway, Great Britain, Argentina and Djibouti. There were lots of the usual themes of animals, architecture, birds, historical figures, landscapes, leaders, nautical and writers. What impressed me was while notes are thematically similar, each is strikingly different.
I believe that as collectors it is important to consider each bank note on its merits, politics and economic value aside. It is important to look at what a note represents and how it functions.
We all have our personal favorites, notes that for whatever reason please us. For me, the Russia 2,000 ruble note featuring the Russky Bridge and the rocket on the launch pad is a really interesting note. I also like the notes from the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu. My favorite Vanuatu note is the 2017 500 Vatu with the sand drawing depiction.
I enjoy bank notes that inspire me to research what is depicted and how that content impacts the country of origin. Bank note collecting to me involves aspects of history, art and culture. Those are the things that keep me interested. What are the things that you like about bank notes?
Please share your thoughts with me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope you enjoy the new edition as much as we have in putting it together.
• With over 25,000 listings and 15,500 illustrations, the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, Modern Issues is your go-to guide for modern bank notes.
• The Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money is the only annual guide that provides complete coverage of U.S. currency with today’s market prices.