by Tom Michael
October 11, 2018 – When I first arrived at the Krause Publications offices in 1987, there was no Standard Catalog of World Coins covering 1601-1700. It took us almost ten years to get the first edition compiled, illustrated, priced and out the door. The magnitude of that task seems somewhat small off in the distance of time, but I remember vividly the long days, nights and weekends devoted to its achievement. Five more editions followed over the last twenty years, each with its own nuances. We added to the German and Italian States substantially through that period and kept adding illustrations and varieties as well as refining pricing structures throughout the catalog.
Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1601-1700, 7th Edition. Iola 2018. 1616 pp., fully illustrated in color. Paperback. 20,3 x 8,9 x 27,9 cm. ISBN: 978-1-440-24857-3. 90 USD.
The beauty of working on this new 7th edition was that I was able to concentrate on pushing us farther into the little nooks and crannies of collecting areas, having laid the massive groundwork through six editions of building the pricing structure and expanding the image base for all major collecting fields. In the Austrian Netherlands and Estonia you will find nice examples of this benefit as I was able to acquire several images of minor coins not often seen as I worked on restructuring their values.
Of course not all of the time I spent on this 7th edition was so pleasurable. As is often the case, I knew with this edition some hard changes were necessary. Working closely with two of my good friends and valued contributors, Al Boulanger and Paul Montz, the tough task of reducing values in the large German States listings and substantial Great Britain section were accomplished with meticulous care and restraint, allowing new structure to form and keeping scarcer types at their proper levels.
Some really fun pricing updates were turned up by Tom Galway in researching the Ireland types which have appeared at auction the last several years. Some of these were really eye opening and allowed us to advance the knowledge of structural value especially for those fascinating types issued during the Great Rebellion. The “Gun Money” of James II also received attention as Tom was able to add in some values based on sales of some of the rare proof strikes.
Perhaps the most engaging and difficult project for this edition can be seen in our complete revision of the Netherlands. Through the advice and assistance of my good friend Jacco Scheper and his colleague Marcel van der Beek, former curator of the Royal Dutch Money Museum, we set about establishing true denominations and organization for all of the Netherlands listings. At some time in the past a set of equivalency denominations was instituted for the SCWC Netherlands listings based on the Stuiver. The idea was to simplify the listings for the average user, but inaccurate equivalencies made these listings very difficult to follow. Though some of these coins do show Stuiver denominations, the Netherlands market recognizes their coins by a more sophisticated and proper convention, involving complex revaluations of specific denomination based names over time. Marcel very kindly and diligently laid all of this out for me, as well as moving some listings under new origins of issue based on current knowledge. The end result is quite stunning and a great advancement for the catalog.
If you have seen a copy of the new 7th edition, you will note that the cover features a large and beautiful Augsburg 2 ducat gold coin. This coin was used to pay homage to the fact that all the gold issues contained in this volume have been reviewed and carefully revised to current market values based on auctions and research done through the shared knowledge of our kind contributors. I found it truly fascinating the vast number of serious changes that were required to achieve an accurate reflection of the current market. For high grade examples of gold issues from this period the market has become advanced and extremely expensive.
So relax and have some fun exploring the new 7th edition of the Standard Catalog of World Coins 1601-1700. All the years of hard work have crystalized it into an exceptionally useful reference and one which I hope will remain vibrant for many years to come.
The book can be purchased on the ShopNumismaster website.