Polymer Bank Notes of the World
Stane Straus, Donald Ludwig, Marian Meyer, and Tigerson, 144 pages, soft cover, 297 x 212 mm, color illustrations, English, ISBN 9789619365908, €20 (plus shipping), email@example.com
Reviewed by Owen W. Linzmayer
Polymer Bank Notes of the World is the definitive guide to one of the hottest numismatic fields: non-paper notes, be they Tyvek, polymer, or hybrid (combinations of paper and polymer). The new 2014 edition uses larger format pages than the preceding 2012 edition, and has expanded from 122 pages to 144 pages, with coverage of an additional 285 entries of both issued and promotional/test notes (created by security printing firms to show off their prowess and new anti-counterfeiting features).
Each note is illustrated in color, front and back. Below the illustrations are descriptions with some historical background about the vignettes on the notes, as well as detailed variety listings, each assigned their own unique Straus number (for example: Australia S1R3a), along with cross-references to Pick and The Banknote Book catalog numbers. Pricing in euros is given for uncirculated notes, and lesser grades in the few cases where pristine notes aren’t readily available.
The lines devoted to describing the variations are somewhat dense and deciphering the frequent abbreviations requires a bit of mental gymnastics, but as a fellow cataloger with an interest in collecting these notes, I appreciate the authors’ attention to details, accuracy, and specificity. Also well received are all the footnotes below the variety listings which provide additional information about the notes, helping put them into context and enhancing their appeal.
If you’re one of the many people with a penchant for polymer, this catalog belongs in your reference library (it’s a bargain at only 20 euros), and the accompanying web site (http://www.polymernotes.org) should be a frequent stop as you browse the web for the latest information.