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What are the KM numbers  

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United States
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 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.
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 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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 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
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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.

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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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