The Complete Illustrated Guide to Stamps and Coins

Hermes House
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      Collecting stamps and coins - known to the world as philately and numismatics - are among the most enduring hobbies of all time, and this superbly comprehensive guide helps to explain why. It is both a stunning visual compendium that illustrates how these collectables have evolved and transformed, country-by-country, from their origins to present day, as well as being a practical guide to identification, categorization, care and determining value.

     Adhesive stamps originated as part of a reform movement to bring the advantages of mail to the masses. Since the birth of the iconic Penny Black some two centuries ago, stamps have charted the history of the modern world. Some of the most rare, valuable and poignant issues are here, chronicling life in Communist Europe or the struggle for identity of emerging African nations. All stamps have a story to tell, not just in their pictorial themes and inscriptions, but also in the various marks and flaws that perhaps record a long sea voyage, or the invasion of one country by another. In addition to becoming more intricate in their design, stamps have long been wielded as a means of raising awareness of political or environmental issues, and continue to do so. Many charity seals and special issues today concern themselves with the conservation of wildlife or other issues of national concern, whilst past issues recorded political disputes, resistance to invasions and even calls to arms.

     The origins of coins are steeped in the electrum beds of ancient Turkey, yet other advanced cultures in China and India were simultaneously developing ornate metal instruments to trade. Expert advice shows how understanding the finer points of coin inscription - which often transcends linguistic knowledge - such as security features, mint-marks, symbols and non-figural motifs, will not only help the reader to 'grade' their coins but can also form the nucleus of a collection. From the denominations struck to Greek standards in ancient Carthage, the iconic issues marking the death of Julius Caesar, or the influential Islamic dinars and bezants traded by nomadic tribes and warlords, many of the imperial and religious conflicts of the ancient world are captured in coins. Later medieval times saw the staggeringly beautiful thalers of central Europe rise to prominence and become traded as 'dollars' overseas, the gradual colonization of African territories, and revolutionary coinages charting turbulent times in America from the United States Civil War to the rich metals milled and later debased at mints in Potosi and Mexico. This fascinating insight into unique and far-reaching developments, plus the issues born of base metals and alloys that have powered mass production, covers all the major denominations of the coin-issuing world.

   This full global treatment is further boosted by expert practical advice on identifying key features, determining condition and value, understanding anomalies such as bogus issues, errors, misstrikes and mistakes, plus guidelines on competitive exhibiting or on-line trading. Illustrated throughout with 6000 glorious images to pore over and use to plan new purchases, it is an inspirational and essential companion for every keen collector and enthusiast.

Nr. pagini: 512

ISBN: 9781846812439

Format: 22x17 cm

An aparitie: 2008

Limba: Engleza

Autori: James A. Mackay

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