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What are the KM numbers

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United States
142 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2008  04:40 am Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add dcv to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

I have noticed that often, many world coins are accompanied by a KM## number. I assume it is some sort of standardized system of identification.

Is that correct?
Is there a master list anywhere?
Or a website that explains the system?
Is there some organization that was responsible for creating it?

I have about 150 World coins (not including Canada/US) that I am identifying and labeling. I am thinking that it might make sense to include this number on my 2X2 labels for any future reference or research.

Any info appreciated.

Pillar of the Community
United States
651 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2008  05:20 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ken_3567 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It's the cataloging system used by Krause and Mishler (KM) for coins from a given country. They are listed in the Krause prices guides such as Standard World Coins 1901 to 2006.

As far as I know there is no master list of KM#'s as unto themselves they are not unique. You can have several different coins and each can have a KM#1 designation. What does make it unique is when you add the country name to it, United States KM#1, Ghana KM#1, etc...

If you are curious as to how the number system works it's really quite simple. You start off with a country or political state and their first year of coinage and the number begins from the lowest denomination to the largest based on a coin type and new numbers are added sequentially each year a new coin type is issued.

Let's use a modern version of this with Botswana. Botswana's first year of coinage was 1966 and they issued the following coins from lowest to highest: 50 cents & 10 thebe. This makes them KM#1 50 cents and KM#2 10 thebe. In 1976, new coin types were issued as follows: 1 thebe, 5 thebe, 10 thebe, 25 thebe, 50 thebe, 1 pula and 5 pula. So the new KM#'s became KM#3 1 thebe, KM#4 5 thebe, KM#5 10 thebe, KM#6 25 thebe, KM#7 50 thebe, KM#8 1 pula, and KM#9 5 pula.

If two varieties of a same coin type were issued then the number system changes by designating the varieties with a decimal point. If you look back at the Botswana example, we have a 1976 KM#4 5 thebe coin. As it turns out, those coins were issued with a reeded edge and plain edge (two varieties of the same coin type). To differentiate these, a decimal system is used so now we have a KM#4.1 5 thebe reeded and a KM#4.2 5 thebe plain.

Recording the KM# on your 2x2 is not a bad idea. KM#'s and Krause catalogs are one of the key reference points for world coin collectors.

Here is a good site that has quite a few modern KM#'s that may help http://(131231) Not Allowed - Auto-Removed /

If buying a price guide sounds like an unpleasant alternative then look in your local library one or buy an older used guide from Amazon, E-bay, B&N for a few $$.

- Ken
Edited by Ken_3567
06/11/2008 05:56 am
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Australia
11222 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2008  07:43 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
KM numbers generally don't change, but occasionally, Krause will do a renumbering of a country. This normally only happens to "old countries" whenever Krause decides to print a new volume pushing the timeline back a further century.

There are also some countries which haven't yet been allocated Krause numbers (China is one example I can think of). In such instances, the numbering system of another catalogue is used; this is distinguished by referring to "KM/Y numbers" or "KM/C" numbers. The "Y" refers to the book "Modern World Coins" by R.S. Yeoman; the "C" refers to "Coins of the World 1750-1850" by W.D. Craig. Y and C numbers are gradually being replaced by KM numbers, but this is another means by which "Krause numbers" can change.

Krause has a website, NumisMaster, kind of like an online version of the catalogues. You have to register with them (for free) to look up Krause numbers, and you have to pay a monthly or annual subscription fee to look up mintages and catalogue values.

There's also DVD versions of the catalogues. But watch out for bootlegged Russian copies on CD/DVD; the quality is allegedly quite good, but they're still illegal.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Valued Member
United States
142 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2008  12:13 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add dcv to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Ken...Sap...Those 2 answers were more complete and perfect than I could have hoped for. You nailed it! Also, I just checked out both sites you recommended...Exactly what I wanted! The lookups and picture IDs are outstanding. I already have half my world coins identified and labeled and only stopped to come here and leave this post. GREAT INFORMATION! Thanks so much for your time and info.

Doug
Pillar of the Community
United States
651 Posts
 Posted 06/11/2008  10:50 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Ken_3567 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Glad to help
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