Volume 42, Number 4, April 2005
In the past few years the hobby of notaphily (or banknote collecting) has increased in popularity quite considerably. Where once you would have found only part-time banknote dealers or a few notes on the lists or tables of the full time coin dealers now more and more often we find that notaphilists are turning their hobby into a way to make a living- and are doing so very successfully. There is no doubt that the banknote hobby is the smaller, younger brother of the coin hobby – it really hasn’t been around that long at all – but there can also be no doubt that in this boom time it is growing at a rate even faster than it’s more established sibling with new collectors, and dealers joining the ranks all the time. That it is relatively new should come as no surprise, after all notes themselves haven’t been around for that long (roughly 200 years compared with the 2000 plus for coins!) and by their very nature they represented larger denominations and thus were more expensive to own. It’s easy to start collecting pennies of different reigns, far more expensive to set aside £5 notes bearing different signature! A million or more schoolboy coin collections were started off when some relative or other gave a half-crown as a gift, white fivers were less readily given; and that old stalwart of “bringing funny money back from abroad” that so epitomised the era of the package holiday and spawned a new generation of collectors in the 1960’s and 70’s didn’t often extend to notes as they were usually spent and even if they weren’t they could be exchanged back into sterling. So it is that banknote collecting took a while to take hold, but as people became wealthier, money, essentially, became worth less and travel became more widespread so notaphily began to grow. And it’s been growing ever since. The dedicated banknote section – Banknote News – within the pages of Coin News has steadily increased its readership and has grown accordingly; sales of the Krause (Pick) Standard catalogs are as strong as ever and if pre-publication orders are anything to go by our latest title promises to be a huge hit! I’m talking of course about the long awaited 4th Edition of the Banknote Yearbook, a book that has taken two years to produce but one which will, we are certain, take the banknote world by storm -and I make no apologies for shamelessly plugging it here! This Year’s book is 50% bigger than it’s predecessor at 456 pages rather than 304 (and yet the price remains unchanged at £14.95) and crucially there are some extremely important changes that make this, without a shadow of a doubt, the best book on British, Irish and Island Banknotes available today, indeed ever! Of course all the prices have been completely revised and updated but even that isn’t the most important feature of the new work – vital though it undoubtedly is. The first thing you’ll actually notice when you open up your nice shiny copy is that all of the illustrations are now in FULL COLOUR – so popular was the colour in the Scottish section in the last edition that we decided to extend that right across the board – and what a difference it makes. Suddenly the notes look like notes rather than just pictures, they’re vibrant, almost jumping off of the page at you – they make you want to collect them. If any non-collector sees this book I defy them not to want to go out there immediately and start acquiring notes, they say a picture speaks a thousand words – well in the case of these pictures even a thousand words could not describe how different they make the book look. Because we know this publication is bound to encourage those new collectors we have endeavoured to make their job a lot easier with the introduction of a new easy to use numbering system – absolutely essential for cataloguing and reference – no need for complicated long numbers, this new system is simplicity itself and will, we are certain become a firm favourite amongst collectors, dealers and auction houses alike. Of course as Editor of the book I am bound to sing its praises so don’t just take my word for how good it is, have a look for yourself. The book is being launched at the “Maastricht” show on April 9 and will be available from us and from good bookshops after that date. Order your copy today!
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