A Dictionary of Numismatics Names

Albert R. Frey, Bharatiya Kala Prakashan, 2001, xv, 312 p, ISBN : 8186050817, $28.00 (Includes free airmail shipping)

A Dictionary of Numismatics Names/Albert R. Frey

Contents: Introduction. List of the Principal authorities cites. Abbreviations. 1. Dictionary. 2. Geographical index. 3. Paper money index.

"The purport of the present book is a twofold one. The beginner will find in it definitions of such terms as he will encounter during his perusal of numismatic works in both English and foreign languages. The advanced student and collector will have his labors facilitated by the large number of citations of authorities which have been consulted in the preparation of this volume. The author has frequently had the experience of discovering that the same coin is alluded to by one or more writers under entirely different names, and what is still more perplexing is the fact that these designations naturally fall far apart in any alphabetical arrangement.

The divisions and multiples of a standard are usually to be found under the name of the particular coin which constitutes the monetary unit; the only exceptions to this rule are where the larger or smaller denomination has so incorporated itself into numismatic history as to merit a separate description. Thus the terms Quarter Dollar, Medio Real, etc., are to be found under the substantive and not the adjective, whereas in the case of Tetradrachm. Quadrupla, etc., the opposite rule has been adopted, and these names are retained.

This is not a work on the metrology of coins, and weights are only introduced where they affect the name of a denomination due to its enlarged or reduced size. Many of the Oriental monetary systems are based on the weights and quantities of certain seeds, and to cite these moneys of account would exceed the scope of the present volume. The ancient Indian weights for gold and silver are described in detail by Prinsep, in his Useful Tables (i, 212); R.C. Temple has enumerated the Malayan weights in the Indian Antiquary (April, 1913); the Chinese metrology is treated by J.A. Decourdemanche, in the Traite des Monnaies, Mesures et Poids ancients et modernes de l’Inde et de la Chine, Paris, 1913; and the Greek and Roman standards comprise pages 222 to 225 inclusive of G.F. Hill’s Handbook of Greek and Roman Coins.

The popular slang names, as well as the unusual substances employed in coinage have been enumerated; these features, will be of special interest to the beginner.

The difficulties attending the execution of a work of this magnitude are enormous, hence, its imperfections will not, it is to be hoped, be judged too severely. A French author has said : "La numismatique est une maitresse dangereuse pour l’amateur, et toujours adoree, bien que cruelle, pour see fervents disciples;" and if the present volume will make the numismatic paths more accessible, and the stepping-stones somewhat easier, the writer will feel that his labor has not been in vain." (jacket)

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