The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 17, April 26, 2009, Article 10


The publisher forwarded this release about the new 50th anniversary Eighth Edition of Friedberg's Gold Coins of the World, to be published on May 1. -Editor
Friedberg Gold Coins World 8th ed Gold, the most precious and fabled metal, the oldest form of coinage, and always an economic refuge in times of crisis, stands virtually alone today as the one investment not to have been buffeted by economic turmoil. Instead, its price has risen to new heights, surpassing even the record $850 an ounce recorded in January 1980.

The eighth edition of Gold Coins of the World, by Arthur and Ira Friedberg, based on the original work by the late Robert Friedberg goes far beyond gold as a commodity. It shows that even more remarkable than the rise in the gold price is the dramatic and unparalleled increase in the value of numismatic gold coins.

Collectors, as well as investors now realize the relative rarity of coins compared not only to other forms of art and antiques, but also to some other numismatic categories. So broad is the increase that it is difficult to single out any country or region.

Traditional collecting countries such as those in Western Europe have seen many prices at least double in just five years. In Eastern Europe, some Russian, Polish and Hungarian coins have increased by a factor of ten or more. The coinage of India and the Islamic Empires, long dismissed by western collectors as difficult to decipher, unimportant, and lacking in value, is now the subject of intense interest, so much so that the “Arabian Empires” section is expanded more than tenfold to accommodate the amount of information demanded by contemporary collectors.

The gold coins of the ancients, too, have risen dramatically, especially those in higher quality. In fact, as collectors recognized the scarcity of coins in the highest states of preservation, the premium for such coins relative to lower-graded ones escalated beyond traditional proportions.

When the first edition of Gold Coins of the World made its debut in 1958, it forever changed the way gold coins were collected, cataloged, traded, and priced. For the first time, one book provided a reliable guide for a subject which previously required an often expensive investment in multiple volumes of literature, some of it rare and antique, and much of it badly out-of-date.

With the publication of this pioneering work, Robert Friedberg (1912-1963) established himself as an international icon in the field of numismatic literature. The 'Friedberg Numbering System' he developed became then, and remains today, the internationally-recognized standard for systematically identifying any gold coin ever made.

From just 384 pages in 1958, Gold Coins of the World has expanded to the extent that it now contains more than triple the information of its ancestor. It still stands alone as the first and only book to describe, catalog and price two millennia of gold, platinum, and palladium coin issues from across the globe. From the first coins of the ancient Greeks to the most recently-issued modern commemoratives, the book contains an astonishing collection of more than 21,000 individual coin listings accompanied by over 8,000 actual-size photographs, some of which are only otherwise found in rare, out-of-print books.

The prices, usually in the two most commonly-encountered states of preservation, have been fully updated, for the most part raised substantially, to reflect the dynamics of today's market. Illustrations have been added or improved, and hundreds of new discoveries and recent issues are included for the first time.

Contemporary (post-1950) gold coins, which used to form their own section, are now integrated in alphabetical order with all other issues beginning in AD 600. A chart listing weights and precious metal content is included with the coins of each country.

Arthur Friedberg, recently named Honorary President of the International Association of Professional Numismatists, and Ira Friedberg, have completely revised and expanded their late father's work. They have been fortunate to have had the valuable assistance and cooperation of a who's who of the leading numismatists on every continent in bringing this edition to fruition.

For the numismatist, banker, economist, historian, or institution of higher learning, the eighth edition of Gold Coins of the World (ISBN 978-0-87184-308-1) is a book for every library, public and private. It will be available at the end of April 2009. The 11¾ by 8¼ inch (A4) hard-bound book has 800 pages and a list price of U.S.$89.95 (€75 ex VAT).

It is available from book stores, coin dealers, and from Internet book sellers. The book is also available on CD for $74.95. (ISBN: 978-087184-908-3). To order direct from the publisher (only in North America) or for more information, contact The Coin & Currency Institute, Inc. at P.O. Box 1057, Clifton, NJ 07014. Toll-free1-888-471-1441. Fax 973-471-1062. E-mail: Ordering information and sample pages from the book are found on the book's web site, .

Kolbe 2009 April 26

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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