The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 9, March 3, 2013, Article 16


Our discusion on the number of countries in the world inspired David L. Ganz to submit this item on his travels and numismatic writings. Thanks! -Editor

The UN web site says "There are the 192 Member States of the United Nations with dates on which they joined the Organization, following the admission Montenegro on 28 June 2006." Wikipedia notes “The list contains 206 entries. The states are divided using two distinct methods:

1. The membership within the United Nations system column divides the states into two categories: 193 member states[1] and two observer states, and 11 other states.

2. The sovereignty disputes column divides the states into two categories: 16 states whose sovereignty is disputed and 190 other states.

Back in the day, around 1945, the world had probably (about) 75 countries, many of which were pink colored on the map (Great Britain influenced). There were also about 14 countries that whose existence was doubted by some one or the other – they existing ones are either League of Nations or United Nations members.

I remember when I started to travel internationally (about 1975) that I was pretty sure that it would be possible to go to most of the countries in the world, and that became a bucket list of sorts. Since then, my wife Kathy & I have had a wanderlust for travel and have visited all seven continents (we went to Antarctica before we made it to Australia); many of our friends (and a number of your readers) received copies of the travelogues that I still write when we travel. In a reduced and more numismatically focused way, they have mostly wound up in my "Under the Glass" column that has been running in Numismatic News since 1969 or so.

Anyhow, we now have visited more than 75 countries and hope to add a few more this year, including Ireland (which I visited as a result of a refueling stop coming back from Rome in 1975, where I attended law school (studying international law) for a semester, while also working for the Money Office of the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). We are hoping in November to add Morocco to our listing as well.

All this is good, because at 61, I am no longer a youngster, and am starting to run out of time to see them. I started serious writing in 1965 for the Coin Shopper (a Texas house organ), and then shifted over to the Lawrence Brothers' "The Coin Collector" which was published out of Anamosa, Iowa, My "Under the Glass" column ran in Numismatic News from 1969-1976, then moved to Coin World for 20 years (different column name) and since 1996 I have been writing the UTG column for Numismatic News, as well as a lot of books, some of which are coin related, some of which are law related, and one on African literature.

So, as 2013 starts, I have been writing about coins in the Sixties, Seventies, Eighties, Nineties, Oughts, Tens and the Teens, or over seven decades!

You know the coin books that I’ve written, but there are about a dozen book-length law-review articles that West (a leading legal publisher) has published and a few others that include coins [the Cleveland State Law Review published an article (page 175-257) on revising the minting and coinage laws] while the other legal include topics of 100 to 400 pages in length on civil rights laws, rent control, zoning, open public records act, and many other topics that I have been involved as a lawyer.

The book on African Literature is a critical guide to anthologies published prior to 1973, when it was still possible to say that you had read African literature in the way at the time of Shakespeare you could say that you had read English literature. I did an independent study project at Georgetown over a three year period (it was over my regular 120 credits) and the resulting project (appendix “o”) was published by the African Studies Association in 1973, as an academic work. (When I saw it on eBay in 2010, selling at around $98, I realized it was time to reprint it and offer it to any academic who had a genuine interest (at no charge).

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: HOW MANY COUNTRIES ARE THERE IN THE WORLD? (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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