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Author Topic: So what exactly do the numbers mean?  (Read 368 times)

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Offline David T7

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So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« on: November 27, 2021, 07:30:20 am »
I'm taking literally the comment that no question is too basic in this section!

What do the reference numbers in some coin descriptions actually mean? For example

"Vlasto 123 Historia Numorum Italy 1234 SNG ANS 1234."

I assume they are references to the previous sale of the coin in question in various guides. So do they refer to the actual coin in question, not just similar coins?

Thanks.

Dave

Offline Pekka K

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #1 on: November 27, 2021, 07:47:50 am »

The blue words on your post are links to NumisWiki,

eg: Vlasto -> https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=vlasto

Pekka K

Offline JamesC11

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #2 on: November 27, 2021, 08:43:35 am »
And these are general references to the TYPE of coin offered.  The provenance (history) of the individual coin offered appears just before the price, for example "Lot 63, CNG sale 542, ex Aaron Burr collection."  But you won't always see a provenance--some millionaires are shy.

Offline Heliodromus

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #3 on: November 27, 2021, 08:44:51 am »
You're going to see two types of numbers in coin descriptions.

1) One or more reference book numbers to the type of the coin (think of this as car model, not a specific car) (e.g. "Vlasto 123")

2) Sometimes also a sales history of the specific coin, giving an auction name and item number

How many reference numbers are given depend on the type of the coin. If there is a single authoritative reference book (eg. Roman Imperial Coins = RIC) that covers this type of coin, then maybe there'll only be one reference number. If there are multiple reference books (by different authors) that cover this type of coin, then you may see more than one reference quoted.

In your example, there are three reference books cited that include this type: Vlasto, HNI and SNG ANS. Each reference book is going to have it's own type numbering scheme, so if you had the references available and were to look up "Vlasto # 123", and "SNG ANS # 1234" you'd see them both describe the same type as the coin being referred to.

It should be obvious if a coin description is referring to a prior sale (giving the name of an auction house), or a reference book (giving the name of the reference). If in doubt FORVM's NumisWiki can help, as it should have entries for all the standard references. In this case if you look up "Vlasto" you'll see that its actually an author's name, but also used as shorthand to refer to a famous reference that he wrote.

https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Vlasto

Offline David T7

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #4 on: November 27, 2021, 08:54:06 am »
Thanks for those helpful replies. I'm learning all the time.

Offline Virgil H

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #5 on: November 27, 2021, 11:08:48 am »
You will also often find different references for different coins, as well as specialized references that cover a small subset of coins within a wider area. Also, the same coin often has multiple references available. Often Greek and Roman coins have separate reference works, as already mentioned, such as RIC (Roman Imperial Coins in multiple volumes). There is RPC for Roman Provincial Coins. The one that confused me the most at first was SNG XXX (Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum), which has many volumes and lists Greek coins in museums all over the world. SNG Cop is coins in the Danish museum in Copenhagen, for example. Here is a Nusmiwiki page for SNG: https://www.forumancientcoins.com/numiswiki/view.asp?key=Sylloge%20Nummorum%20Graecorum

Then there are many specialized reference works, such as Price for The Coinage of "in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus." (London, 1991) and many others. Take a look at one of the pages on Wildwinds and you will usually see multiple references down the far left side.

The world of coin references is quite interesting and has a learning curve for sure.

Regards,
Virgil

Offline Joe Sermarini

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Re: So what exactly do the numbers mean?
« Reply #6 on: December 13, 2021, 11:33:30 pm »
On the bottom of most FORVM shop pages you can find a list of references applicable to the types of coins on the page.
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