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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 30, July 23, 2000, Article 8

NUMISMATIC DICTIONARIES AND ENCYCLOPEDIAS 

   Dick Johnson writes:  "Your request for numismatic definitions 
   in the July E-Sylum deserves comment. 

   This need has existed since 1811.  The first numismatic dictionary 
    was published in Germany that year by author Carl Christian 
   Schmieder. (Clain-Stefanelli: 286)  Since then 45 numismatic 
   dictionaries and encyclopedias have been published worldwide: 
   18 in German, 12 in English, 3 in Italian, 2 in Spanish, 2 in 
   Japanese, 2 in Ukrainian, 1 each in Danish, Lithuanian, 
   Hungarian, Polish, Dutch and Latin. 

   Why is it you are still asking for "authoritative" definitions? 
   Could it be you are not satisfied with any existing definitions? 
   I have made a study of these 45 books (and Glossaries in 
   other numismatic works). Perhaps this could be the subject 
   for an Asylum article. 

   The three definitions you cited are "quickie" definitions not 
   necessarily intended for the serious numismatist.  Coin World 
   omits the concept of denomination each coin must have, for 
   example. 

   The answer to the origin of these definitions goes back to an 
   ANA committee in the sixties whose membership changed often 
   (I served on it the year Joseph Segel was lobbying for an 
   acceptable definition of "medal").  I believe the final chairperson 
   was Virginia Culver and the report was published 1968 
   (C-S 255).  It was abstracted by Howard Linecar in the Spink 
   reprint of Albert R. Frey's 1917 dictionary in 1973 (and 
   appended in blue pages). 

   Like every committee effort, however, it's a horse with multiple 
   humps." 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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