Author Yossi Dotan forwarded these details about the third and final volume in his set on Watercraft on World Coins, Vol. III: Africa
and Oceania, 1800-2011. Congratulations! -Editor
Watercraft on World Coins is a three-volume catalog that narrates all modern "ship coins" issued from 1800. The first
volume (287 pages, published in 2007) includes the coins issued by European countries up to and including 2005; the second volume (359 pages,
published in 2010) presents the coins of nations in the Americas and Asia until 2008; Volume III (460 pages, available in the United States early
2016) narrates the coins of countries in Africa and Oceania to 2011.
Within each continent, the coins are arranged alphabetically per country, and within each country they are presented according to the
sequence of their KM-numbers. This arrangement facilitates looking up current values of the coins in the latest edition of Krause
Mishler's Standard Catalog of World Coins. It is interesting to note, however, that 22% of the designs narrated in the new
volume are not yet listed in the Standard Catalog.
Within a country, all coins with a common ship design are grouped under one heading. This applies, for example, to South African pennies
and halfpennies, with legends in English or Afrikaans, which were issued by different British monarchs prior to independence. All of them
depict the flagship of the Dutchman who established the trading and victualing station at the Cape of Good Hope that grew into the city of
Cape Town. A general catalog treats all these coins as different types, while for a topical collector they constitute just one type. He or
she can decide to collect all the coins grouped together or just one of the type.
Black-and-white illustrations are presented in the catalog for about 80 per cent of the designs. The illustrations are all crown sized,
most of them having been enlarged so that the designs appear to full advantage. The actual diameter of the coin is stated near the
Each listing is followed by a narrative, commencing with a detailed description of the design beyond the basics such as the country name
and denomination. The side of the coin that depicts the watercraft is presented first.
The description is followed by vital statistics of the ship, her history and her fate; background information about the persons depicted
and their relevance to the ship; and particulars about the event commemorated by the coin. Other aspects of the design, such as bridges,
buildings, aircraft, masks, and sculptures shown on the coins, are described as well, and the edge inscription is stated. Where available,
the painting or lithograph is named after which the design was modeled.
These narratives, often more than 400 words long, are what sets the book apart from other catalogs and makes the book attractive to the
collector who wants to understand the design of the coin and its historical relevance. I am not aware of any other catalog that goes into
so much detail when describing a coin.
Finding all such information has been a challenge, even in this age of Internet, text and image search machines, and translation tools.
Information found in press releases by the central banks and mints that market the coins, or in numismatic periodicals in English, German,
and Dutch, is limited and had to be supplemented by research in specialized libraries, creative thinking, and assistance by persons in
countries far away, such as a ship coin collector in Russia or a ship stamp collector in New Zealand.
While I have researched ship coins for forty years, writing of the book began when I retired at the age of 65. Now at the age of 81 I
feel very fortunate to have been able to bring this work to fruition and I am happy to share the results of my research with fellow
numisnautists and other interested collectors.
Ship coins are one of the most popular collecting themes. No wonder that mints flood the market with new issues. To illustrate the
volume of new issues: of the 955 designs narrated in the third volume, 35% relate to issues of the last 6 years (2006-2011). The remaining
65% relate to issues of the preceding 206 years (1800-2005).
The book is published in England by The Alpha Press. Their web page for the book is http://www.sussex-academic.com/sa/titles/alpha_press/dotan.htm. The
page includes reviews for the first two volumes and presents a Google preview of some of the pages of the book. Volume III has 460 pages
and 770 coin images. The list price is $79.95 and the ISBN 978-1-898595-51-9.
I hope that fellow ship coin collectors will enjoy this unique source of knowledge to enhance their collecting experience. And after
taking the book in hand, other readers as well may be attracted to this fascinating subject and start their own collection of ship
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
REVIEW: WATERCRAFT ON WORLD COINS, VOLUME I BY YOSSI DOTAN
BOOK REVIEW: DOTAN, WATERCRAFT ON WORLD COINS VOLUME II
Wayne Homren, Editor
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