In recent years, the amount of publications on Swedish coins and medals that are also geared to collectors has virtually exploded. Catalogues for a variety of fields have been and are being published at such a high pace that we at CoinsWeekly can hardly keep up with presenting them to you. An important milestone is the new edition of the comprehensive catalogue of Swedish coinage from 1521 to today, which was published in the fall of 2022. The authors in charge of this completely revised edition of Sveriges Mynt are Dan Carlberg, Bengt Hemmingsson and Magnus Wijk. Dan Carlberg is the CEO of Myntauktioner i Sverige AB, an auction house founded in 2009 to continue the Swedish Numismatic Society’s long-standing tradition of holding auction sales for the benefit of research. Anyone who deals with coins of Northern Europe is certainly familiar with the name of Bengt Hemmingsson. After all, he already worked on the first version of Sveriges Mynt and has authored other coin catalogues since then. Magnus Wijk has also a lot of experience when it comes to book projects. Working together, and in record time, the three of them have created a book that will define the collecting lives of an entire generation of Swedish coin enthusiasts.
A Heavyweight for Swedish Coins
In 1977, the comprehensive catalogue entitled Sveriges Mynt was published for the first time, covering all coins of Swedish rulers starting with the time when Gustav Vasa assumed the title of Protector of the Realm in 1521. It had long been out of print and could only be bought for a lot of money at antiquarian bookshops. Now, almost half a century later, it is available in a completely revised edition. And it is a heavyweight – both in terms of content and literally speaking. You would be wrong to assume that you might bring this catalogue to a coin fair to tick a box after making a purchase. The work is so heavy that you can just about hold it with one hand, but not for long.
That is no surprise as the book is printed on the best, i.e. the heaviest paper out there to depict the photos in the best way possible. It is rare to see illustrations of such a high quality – not only in terms of photographic technique. The authors spared no effort to provide their readers with the best-preserved specimen of every issue. Only those who wrote a catalogue themselves can understand how much time and effort went into selecting these perfect pictures! Sveriges Mynt set a new benchmark for what is possible in terms of illustrations today.
A Type Catalogue with Prices for Pieces on the Market
The authors’ goal was to create a type catalogue of all Swedish coins with up-to-date attributions and appraisals. No more and no less. If you look for information on biographies or monetary history, you will do so in vain. They also did not include a detailed description of the motif; basic statements must suffice. Instead, the different types are carefully documented with pictures and differences are indicated visually. In other words: the catalogue rather uses images than words.
This means that anyone can use the catalogue, regardless of what language they speak (or rather do not speak). In line with this spirit, the authors decided to print all texts in three languages: Swedish / English / German.
To give appraisals, the information about every coin type includes a price in Swedish krona for every variety and every year. However, this price is only given if a piece of that quality has ever been sold on the market. Especially regarding top quality specimens, the price is often missing.
The authors chose to go with the European system to describe a coin’s quality, i.e. they used terms such as “extremely fine”, “very fine” and “fine”. In this way, they take into account that the market for Swedish coins is (so far?) characterised by collectors, not by investors.
As mentioned above, less is more with this book. The entry for a coin only provides for basic information. But the authors give additional material in an appendix. There is a list of all Swedish mints and the period in which they were active, as well as a comprehensive list of mint masters and engravers in chronological order for the different mints. Moreover, the authors provide their readers with an overview of mintage figures of the various denominations and years, the average weight and precious metal content – as far as they know. The book ends with comprehensive information regarding photo credits and a bibliography.
The authors created a website where you can order Sveriges Mynt. And you definitely need to do so if you deal with Swedish coins in any way. Sveriges Mynt is the new standard reference and will probably hold this status for half a century once again.