The Banknote Book chapters now include Revisions list

As of 1 January 2019, all chapters of The Banknote Book now include a Revisions list at the end of the document. The list of revisions includes all significant changes to each chapter from July 2015 onward (the date when numbering was simplified).

30% off select chapters of The Banknote Book in print

In response to customer demand, 26 of the largest chapters of The Banknote Book are now available in print.

The following chapters can now be ordered in print directly from or Amazon:

Dominican Republic
Northern Ireland

Prices range from US$24.99 to US$39.99, depending upon length, and all are professionally printed in full color on 80-pound glossy paper as perfect-bound paperback books.

Anyone purchasing from is entitled to a coupon code good for a free download of the PDF version of the chapter (US$9.99 value).

Use coupon code CYBERMONDAY30 when ordering on Lulu to get 15% off the list price for orders placed before midnight 3 December 2019.

Check Lulu's home page for discount codes on books and shipping.

Simplified numbering for The Banknote Book

The Banknote Book just got a lot better. In response to requests from collectors for a simplified number system, each country's type notes are now referenced with unique 3- or 4-digit numbers prefixed by the letter B (for example, Fiji B123). Already a must-have numismatic reference for its unparalleled content, this move will accelerate the adoption of The Banknote Book numbering throughout our hobby.

The printed edition just got a lot better, too. Anyone who buys, or has bought, a complete three-volume set direct from Spink is entitled to a free 6-month subscription (a US$59 value) to the online edition, giving you the best of both worlds: Printed books for quick reference; downloaded PDFs for all the latest.

Full details of the print+online bundle, number simplification, and spreadsheet with cross-references are available online.

The Banknote Book awarded IBNS 2014 Book of the Year Honorable Mention

IBNS 2014 Book of the Year - Honorable Mention certificate
The International Bank Note Society has announced the winners of the 2014 Book of the Year awards, and has bestowed Honorable Mention upon The Banknote Book for "significant contribution to the advancement of numismatic knowledge."

I humbly thank the IBNS for this honor, which I share with my contributors, collaborators, and publishing partners at Spink Books.

The Banknote Book reviewed in CoinsWeekly

I'm very pleased to see that Ursula Kampmann reviewed The Banknote Book in CoinsWeekly on 8 January 2015. Read the full review in translated English or in the original German.

Coin Week interview regarding The Banknote Book

Coin Week has posted a number of short videos taken during the Memphis International Paper Money Show during 13-16 June 2013, including the one below featuring yours truly talking about The Banknote Book.

IBNS Banknote of 2011 voting open until 18 March 2012

Members of the International Bank Note Society (IBNS) are reminded to cast their votes for Banknote of 2011 prior to 18 March 2012.

The Nominations are:

  • Costa Rica's 1,000 Colones Note
  • South Sudan 100 Pound Note
  • Peru 200 Nuevo Soles Note
  • Kazakhstan 10,000 Tenge Note
  • Canada 100 Dollar Note
  • Bank of England 50 Pound Note
  • Denmark 500 Kroner Note
  • Sri Lanka Rupees 1000 Note
  • Brunei 10 Dollar (Ringgit) Note
  • Tunisia 20 Dollar Note
  • Cayman Islands 50 Dollar Note
  • Gibraltar's 100 Pound note

Click here to see images of the nominated notes and to cast your vote.

While everyone is welcome to view the nominees, only IBNS members may vote.

If you are not yet an IBNS member, I strongly suggest joining today. It’s a great organization and the subscription to the quarterly IBNS Journal alone is well worth the modest membership dues.

LANSA web site has been revamped

The Latin American Paper Money Society was established in 1973 and is popularly known as LANSA. Current president Arthur C. Matz recently sent me this announcement which I am happy to share with visitors to

“Since 1973, LANSA has been dedicated to the enjoyment of collecting the paper money of Latin America. Please visit our new web site at You will see a totally new look. Thanks to our webmaster, Garry Saint, we now have a web site that will prove enjoyable and worthwhile to visit often. Click the Login link in the upper right corner of the home page, then click the Register link to create a free account which will grant you access to the entire site and all the features offered. There are no membership dues or fees of any kind. Just log in and enjoy!”

Justine Smith uses banknotes to create art

Check out “The Money Sculptures of Justine Smith” on OddityCentral for a fascinating look at how artist Justine Smith is using real banknotes to create interesting art. Did you recognize the banknotes of Myanmar on the pistol above?

Krause publishes SCWPM: General Issues Volume II, 13th Edition

Krause Publications has released a new 13th edition of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, General Issues, 1368-1960. I haven’t gotten a copy yet, but according to the press release, key features of the book include:

• 25,100 bank note varieties with current values in three condition grades.
• Enhanced note and color descriptions, allowing users to quickly identify varieties.
• More than 8,000 quality photographs to assist with identification.
• Historical details, grading definitions and numeral charts.

Like it or not, the SCWPM remains "the bible" for our hobby because its Pick numbers are almost universally used to identify notes. If you intend to get a copy despite its flaws, please support this site by buying the latest edition using this link.

Check out other book reviews and news on the Books page of this site.

Scan modern notes without CDS problems

Recently more and more collectors have reported problems attempting to scan modern banknotes. The problem is caused by newer hardware and software that contains built-in Counterfeit Deterrence System (CDS) technology foisted upon the public by the Central Bank Counterfeit Deterrence Group (CBCDG), a group of 31 central banks and note-printing authorities. Attempts to scan some modern notes using most newer scanners results in an error message like the one shown above.

I sympathize with the desire to reduce counterfeiting, but limiting the capabilities of new consumer devices punishes everyone while doing nothing to discourage determined counterfeiters. Anyone wishing to scan banknotes can easily do so simply by avoiding the latest generation in computer equipment. Instead of buying a cheap new scanner that performs poorly and is likely hobbled by CDS, buy an older used scanner that works on everything you throw at it. I highly recommend the Epson Perfection 2450 PHOTO which cost $400 when it was brand new, but now routinely sells for around $50 on eBay. This scanner is fast, has excellent color fidelity, and can even scan watermarks and security threads when used in film/slide mode.

If you already have a scanner that you like, but which refuses to scan some modern notes, you can likely replace the manufacturer's provided scanning software with VueScan. This third-party scanning program works with almost all scanners and doesn't prevent you from scanning troublesome notes. It costs $40, but you can try before you buy to ensure it meets your needs.