As mentioned in the section on collector’s value, the rarity has an impact on the value of a coin. Therefore, it is very important to assess the rarity as precisely as possible. To that end, in our family we have been maintaining a card-based system since 1880 where we note down things like the number of specimens we have come across per piece and their quality. Another guideline for the rarity is the number of coins that were produced of a particular type, which is why I have indicated the mintage for each coin wherever possible. That figure may differ from the one shown in the KNM reports because they show the mintage per calendar year, without taking account of the year actually shown on the coins. Sometimes, and especially around the start of a new year, a mint will continue to use the old dies, perhaps because the mintage target has not yet been reached or because the new dies showing the new year are not yet ready.
This database uses the following method (which is generally accepted worldwide) to indicate the rarity of coins (whether they are in public collections or not):
In some international catalogues and also in this database you may come across the designations R1, R2, R3 or R4 instead of the letters shown above.
If a coin has no designation, it is not rare. However, this does not mean that it will always be easy to find these coins through collectors or the coin trade!
© Laurens Schulman B.V. 2023