I am sure many of you in the world of banknote collecting have seen or read articles about the sad situation with the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (SCWPM) and its many problems. I am not going to blog about its shortcomings, as I think these are well documented elsewhere. I do, however, have a lot of sympathy with collectors when it comes to the valuations in the SCWPM. Of course pricing is a very difficult and subjective part of banknote collecting. I know that the banknotes in my collection are worth a lot more than stated in the SCWPM. When it comes to buying, I can rarely find someone selling at the book price (I have taken up the suggestions of some dealers and contacted Krause to see if they will tell me who sells banknotes at some of these unrealistic low prices so I can buy them). However, when all is said and done, prices are a moving target and I have taken the stance that if you like the banknote and the price is what you consider reasonable, then I think it is worth buying. I used to waste precious time to save 50 cents on a banknote or buying from five different dealers only to find that when shipping was taken into consideration, I saved only a dollar.
I am not trying to promote my website but that said, I do try to offer a nice range of notes at the best price possible, and then make sure I ship orders safely and quickly. I hope this is something that many people appreciate.
Anyway, I say all this (yes, I know I am long winded) to let you know of a great alternative to the SCWPM: The Banknote Book. While still a work in progress, author Owen Linzmayer has published 205 chapters to date, with many pages coming online soon. Also worth checking out at Banknote News.
Owen has done a wonderful job with this site and is adding scans and posting updates in a more timely fashion than a printed book could ever allow. He is already showing the new (200 vatu polymer note – (scan below) on the Vanuatu page. These are real-time updates, and it could be years before we see this note in the SCWPM. In addition, all the images in The Banknote Book are in color. I think the future of banknote references is “virtually” here.
I have already done a couple of promotions with Owen, sponsoring the give away of country-specific chapters of the catalog, and am scheduled to sponsor the give-away of the Cambodia chapter on Friday, October 10, followed by Comoros on Friday, October 24. Be sure to visit Banknote News to discover the secret coupon code necessary to get your free copies, or sign up for Owen’s weekly newsletter so as not to miss out.