The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 34, August 24, 2008, Article 6


Lane Small Silver Coins Roger deWardt Lane forwarded the press release for the newest edition of his book on small silver coins. He writes:
You ran a long item in October 2007 when I posted my e-book free on the Internet for the numismatic community. I thank you. Using print-on-demand and the Internet plus my experience with Adobe software, I have just printed my Encyclopedia Small Silver Coins in both hardcover and softcover editions with I have pre-sold a dozen copies of the Hard Cover Edition to my club friends and presented the first good 'Proof' copy to my numismatic friend Steve Schor, who spent hundreds of hours editing this edition, after the 'first bad proof' showed them up. The experience of do-it-yourself publishing has been quite an adventure. I may write an article on the subject.

The author Roger deWardt Lane, has published Encyclopedia of Small Silver Coins in two-printed versions, hardbound and soft cover. This anthology and catalog of Modern Dime Size Silver Coins of the World with Footnotes to History has been in preparation for many years. This publication has expanded many details of the limited series of small silver coins of the world from Queen Victoria to 1970. There are interesting small stories, to place these miniature pieces of art into historical context. Over 1000 coin illustrations have been enlarged four times for ease of viewing.

These coins had a monetary value of less than ten cents, when the value of silver was for a hundred years about fifty cents to the ounce. Many empires and nations issued on an annual basis millions of these little miniature silver pieces as subsidiary coinage for their population. Except during times of crisis or war, when species stopped being struck or were hoarded, everywhere people traveled they received these coins in change. Many found their way to the States, only to be saved as mementos or souvenirs of the trip and miss the melting pot. Some eventually reached the numismatic market place. These factors have combined to make these coins available in our time at reasonable prices, rare types excepted.

When this work was first started, the only date listings originally available were in national coin catalogs of the major countries - United States, England and British Colonies, France, Austria, Russia and China and a few others. Around the time of the first drafts, many small country listings and catalogs were issued. In the early 1960-70s, they became the date checklist for the coins added to the collection of the author.

It took many years to research, to transcribe the inscriptions, translate the initials of names, titles, mintmarks, assay initials or marks, and foreign legends, then to find their English translations and expand the text with historical footnotes.

Coin prices are not included, since world economic and political conditions as well as collector interest constantly change the values. The easiest way to find a value of a coin in several condition grades is to make use of the Standard Catalog Series, issued by Krause Publications.

In the mid-1960s computer technology became available on small PCs; so the coin images were scanned in grayscale [looks like silver] with the files stored on removable disks. The software used progressed from Apple to IBM, WordStar to MS-Word. The early printed pages were produced in Adobe PageMaker, later to be exported to Acrobat, which has been uploaded to the printer for these editions.

This current version, 600 pages, b & w, organized in 101 country chapters has over a thousand coin pictures and a like number of century old clip art taken from original history and travel books, which fill the pages with related photos, from Afghanistan to Yemen.

As the old saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, look at the preview pages offered on the publishers site and remember the other famous numismatic quote Buy the book before the coin. Both editions are available thru the Internet and the softcover edition may be ordered through Amazon or your local favorite bookshop.

The 600-page 8.5" x 11", softcover version is $50. The 8.25" x 10.75" casewrapped hardcover version is $100. -Editor
For more information, or to order a copy, see: To read the complete article, see: SOFTCOVER: Encyclopedia Small Silver Coins by Roger deWardt Lane ( HARDCOVER: Encyclopedia Small Silver Coins by Roger deWardt Lane (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2008 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster