Just What are Those KM Numbers?
March 02, 2010
I had a phone call. It was one I had been expecting for several years, but in that time it has hardly happened.
The question had to do with the Coin Market Price guide section.
What are those KM numbers and what do the letters stand for, I was asked?
Ever since my firm started applying the world coin numbering system to U.S. coinage I have been expecting questions.
KM stands for Chet Krause and Cliff Mishler who invented the numbering system that is used as a shorthand by the world’s collectors. Instead of giving long descriptions, all you need do is give country, date, denomination and the KM number and any collector with the Standard Catalog of World Coins can tell you what it is.
This shorthand is necessary for making concise price lists.
This kind of numbering system never caught on with U.S. collectors because there is much less to keep track of.
However, our computer system is such that it is easier to apply numbers to all coins than to try to go on listing U.S. coins without numbers.
The change made collectors of U.S. coins who live outside the United States very happy.
For American collectors, it was hardly noticed.
As I said, I was expecting this call for a very long time.
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