Coins and Banknotes of Yugoslavia, Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia

by Zlatko Viščević, Rijeka, 2011 Second Edition ISBN 978-953-56890-0-3

This book is written in Croatian with an English translation throughout and contains comprehensive sections on all former Yugoslavia countries for both coins and banknotes. It is offered at 40 Euros, a very reasonable price considering the level of content throughout. My first impression was Wow! - this looks different. The size is unique at 190mm x 120mm (7.5" x 4.7") but 60mm (2.5") thick. Done obviously to incorporate both coins and banknotes for those collectors who specialize in both and perhaps to save on printing costs?. Since my interest switched from coins to banknotes a long time ago I will only provide my impressions of the banknote portion by numismatist Zlatko Viščević.

The banknotes section contains 535 pages, while the page size is unique the main content is very familiar, but with some unique features. This being the second edition it is obvious that Zlatko put a lot of effort into refining each section with signature charts, his own unique numbering system, along with other reference cataloging numbering systems. The irregular section is impressive as it contains info on describing errors, proofs, private and unissued banknotes. I also appreciate the formal name progression of each country as they have gone through the many changes of government structure in this highly volatile region of Europe.

Each banknote has a black and white image for both front and back, something that is not usually done as rigorously in other publications. I particularly like the inclusion of recent auction results as well as pricing in Euros for four grades. Pricing is always an area that draws a lot of comments from readers as buyers want to see it low and sellers want the opposite. Many authors solicit contributors to their books from specialists who often have their own pricing agenda. The inclusion of recent auction prices tends to add a dose of reality to this controversial areas of numismatics. I was particularly impressed by the comment in the foreword "All items in this catalog are presented in good faith..."

As with any comprehensive catalog of this type, errors or omissions can occur. Recognizing this point, Zlatko has notes throughout the book with his email address and phone number for readers to submit comments or corrections to him! Throughout the book, a personal touch is found where the author injects detail comments, like "two different types of Specimens exist....while authenticity of the second type is not confirmed" another nice touch.

My recommendations for future editions would be to use a larger format with less pages and split up coins from banknotes into separate catalogs. Also, Zlatko did an excellent piece of work to add signature charts, however, adding an identifier to each signature and referencing that identifier to specific banknotes would also be helpful. The English translation uses some unfamiliar grammar in places but is understandable. I would also suggest that anyone writing a numismatic catalog consider using the International Esperanto-System for banknote cataloging developed by Dmitriy Litvak. And, of course, adding colour images would be great as these are a very colourful series of banknotes - something I believe Zlatko is considering for the future.

All in all, this is probably the most comprehensive catalog of this type published to date and I recommend it. It is useful for anyone who is considering collecting the former Yugoslavia countries or for those who already specialize in them. This book will satisfy both ends of the collecting spectrum. Great job Zlatko!

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