by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Annika Backe
January 7, 2016 – Nothing is more revealing about the self-understanding of a country than the images, symbols and persons it choses as self-representation on coins. A coin’s path of development is likewise particularly important in this regard. It says a lot about the society and the image of women when – to mention an example from Swiss numismatics – a Federal Council can take exception to the frivolity of a forelock of Helvetia to the effect that the artist is forced to submit a defrivolitized version of his Helvetia.
Erwin Schäffer, Romania – Designs, Pattern Coins and Catalogue of Issued Coins. Vol II. Guttenbrunn 2015. 480 p., color illustrations throughout. Hardcover. Thread stitching. 21 x 30 cm. ISBN 978-973-0-19455-5. 65 euros.
This is why Erwin Schäffer’s catalog of Romanian coins, patterns and essays is considerably more than a simple price guide. It presents the material required to assess how much the self-understanding of Romania has changed after the abolition of communism, which people, events and images are deemed supportive of the state nowadays, thereby replacing the most favorite motif of the past, the oil refinery.
The work prepared by Schäffer is impressive. In format and numbering, it is a follow-up of the first volume about Romanian coinage that focused on the coins and essays between 1860 and 1989. This time, the catalog proper is preceded by an introduction into the monetary policy in post-communist Romania, written by Silviu Cerna. A contribution of Johann Jakob gives an outlook of Romania’s current position in the development towards the euro.
The catalog is next, divided into patterns and issued coins. Every piece has a thorough description, with mintage, as far as is known, and further specifics of numismatic importance. As for the pattern and commemorative coins, a price is given for the grade “proof” while the section on circulating coins states prices for up to five different grades. Design drawings, where available, have been incorporated into the pattern section.
Convenient, in terms of chronological overview, is a table that lists all coins with their specific issuing date.
Furthermore, the author has included both the coin sets and some private sets in his catalog.
Information about the national mint, artists and Romanian monetary acts conclude the new standard work of reference on present-day Romanian coinage.
You may place an order by emailing the author.