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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 41, October 8, 2006, Article 14

NUMISMATICS AND THE POLITICS OF SEPARATIST STATES

Concerning the collision of numismatics and politics discussed in
last week's E-Sylum, Ralf W. Boepple of Stuttgart, Germany writes:
"I think where Garry Saint's problem stems from is the fact that
on the "catalog Index" page of his website, he lists all entries
without making a difference between official countries, fantasy
states, political entities that no longer exist, or, as in the
cases discussed, separatist entities.

Entries are in alphabetical order, and he even assigns them flags,
where possible. On first sight, this can easily be mistaken as
recognition of the entities in question as independent countries,
or at least as a strong support for their cause.

To come back to one of the examples, Abkhasia, it would be better
to list it under the entry for Georgia, along with a short explanation
of its international status and the history that led to the printing
of the notes.
Should independence be recognized, at one point in the future, the
new country would then get its separate entry.

There is no doubt that such issues should be included in the list,
especially if there is proof that they served, or serve, as means
of payment to some extent. Even if they were only printed as
"commemorative" pieces, I would see a case, at least more than
with the abundant fantasy issues by pseudo-states. However, not
only to avoid "political" problems, but also for the sake of
correctness, completeness, and to enhance the usefulness of the
website as a research tool, it should be clear for each entry from
the beginning, that is, from the catalog index page on, what its
exact status under international law is.

Great homepage, by the way! I'm not a paper money collector, but
it is definitely something I will frequently come back to for some
interesting reading.

Two more short comments: the province of Katanga did not break away
from Nigeria, but from what was then the Belgian Congo, later Zaire,
now the Democratic Republic of Congo. And Greece did not protest
against Macedonian banknotes as such, but against the country calling
itself "Macedonia" (which the Greek say is a province within their
own territory). For that reason, Macedonia the country is officially
called "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", or FYROM.

On another discussion that has been held here in the E-Sylum, I can
say that I am perfectly fine with the term "paper money", even if a
note is not made of paper in the strict sense of the word. If you tell
me "paper money", I know exactly what you mean. If you told me
"printed money", I would actually rather think of cheques or bonds!"

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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