Reviews of Volume III
Reviewed in CoinsWeekly:
From the May 2016 issue of the German monthly magazine Münzen
& Sammeln (Coins & Collecting).
With this Volume 3 the author has now submitted the final
volume of his trilogy on the coins with depictions of ships
from around the world that were issued in the period referred
to in the title.
i.e. collectors of coins with depictions of ships, the three
volumes are a real treasure trove, for the author has designed
his volumes to be exhaustive, which has been achieved to a
considerable extent, so that collectors can use the volumes
also as inventory catalogs. To collectors of ship coins it
was actually clear already after the publication of the first
volume that a thorough manual is now available to them which
is superbly tailored to the field of their collection. For
each coin (a great many of which are depicted) the subject
of the issue and the basic numismatic data are given. In addition,
information is provided about the ship and her fate and on
the historical background of the occasion of the issue. Sometimes
one would have liked a little more background information,
e.g., when warships like the "HMS Hood", "Bismarck"
or "Yamato" are presented. But that would have exceeded
the character of this catalog. However, especially about the
"Bismarck" you will find further information also
elsewhere, e.g., under Solomon Islands, "HMS Dorsetshire".
Generally, it is amazing what abundance of relevant coins
the author has recorded in the catalog. The collectors of
this theme will be sure to discover information that was previously
unknown to them. Although the narratives are written in English,
one can orientate oneself even without perfect knowledge of
that language. Of course, German readers must take into account
the corresponding country names in English when they search
in book which is arranged alphabetically by states, e.g.,
Zambia instead of Sambia. The country name is repeated on
every page in the header, so that a quick search is guaranteed.
Also, the register of countries, ships and persons in each
volume is a useful tool to search for specific issues. Additions
and corrections to the first two volumes are presented at
the end of the volume. In the register the author has also
incorporated useful cross-references. In short, for collectors
of ship coins, these three volumes are an absolute must!
of books complete
Reviewed in Deutsches Münzen Magazin (German Coin
Recently the final volume of the three-part series in English
“Watercraft on World Coins” by Yossi Dotan has
been published. After the first two volumes “Europe
1800–2005” and “America and Asia
1800–2008” this volume completes the
series, focusing on the ship coins of Africa and Oceania 1800–2011.
As previously, the author presents for the maritime motifs
mostly extensive background information and omits market valuations.
The featured circulating and commemorative coins are listed
in alphabetical-chronological catalog form by country and
year of issue and most of them are depicted in black and white.
The fact that the third volume begins in 1800 corresponds
to the uniform design of the book series; however, the coins
from Africa and Oceania contained therein were issued almost
exclusively from the end of the 20th till the beginning of
the 21st century – for lack of older issues with maritime
motifs. However, this should not detract from the work of
the author, who has created in this form a unique compendium
Bookmarks by Janine K. Hall-Conrardy
This is the final volume in a trilogy about coins depicting
sea-going vessels. Written by a “numis-nautical”
researcher, the text is the first of its kind. This catalog
is arranged by country, then by the Krause-Mishler numbering
system used in the Standard Catalog of World Coins. The publication
presents historical background about the particular watercraft,
along with the associated sailors, admirals, explorers and
naval commanders. Nearly 1,000 narratives and 760 coin illustrations
Source: The Numismatist, May 2016, p. 94
Going through the book, it catches the eye with what great
accuracy the depicted ships are described, In a nutshell the
lifecycle of a ship is told. For some ships the historical
information could have been somewhat more extensive. It is
amazing how much relevant information about the images on
the coins has been included by the author in the catalog.
… Collectors of ships and nautical motifs on coins will have
much fun with these books.
Soource: Reviewed in the January 2017 issue of the Dutch monthly
numismatic magazine Muntkoerier
Following the volumes on Europe (2007) and America and Asia (2010), Yossi Dotan has now published the third volume of his work on the depiction of watercraft on coins, covering Africa and Oceania and completing the trilogy. The structure and design of the book, which is arranged as a quotable catalog which aims to capture all depictions of ships, whether as main or secondary design element of the coins, follow the two preceding volumes. Although the coins were issued mainly in the late 20th and early 21st century, most of which were no longer produced for monetary purposes, but target the coin collector, Dotan confines itself to those actually authorized as legal tender issues and does not include in his catalog the various “pseudo coins” and “medallic issues”.
The main part of the catalog entries are the comments on iconography of the coins, which are the core of the book and also its actual content value. Knowledgeably (as far as can be judged by one who is not versed in ships) Dotan explains here, on one hand, the watercraft shown: Both specific ships in the whole range of well known examples à la Mayflower and Titanic as well as training, transport or war ships of different nations and periods which are barely known to the layman, up to general types of ships and boats. On the other hand, the author tells the historical events in connection with the respective ships. One will learn a lot about discovery and privateer voyages, spectacular accidents as well as sporting and military events. The design elements which are found on the coins in addition to the ships, such as persons, animals, plants, coats of arms, allegories and symbols, are explained in the comments throughout. Cross-references to parallel ship issues, both in the older volumes and in the present book, facilitate finding the information, e.g. concerning a particular ship. Thus the reading of the book turns into an interesting and quite enriching excursion into the nautical. Bernhard Prokisch, writing in Geldgeschichtliche Nachrichten, Heft 294
Reviews of Volume II
“The format is identical to Volume I, which I reviewed
in November 2007. Much of what I said then still applies to
I have to say this is probably one of the best books I've
ever seen on a topical numismatic subject. No mere catalog,
the book delves deeply into the background of each coin, providing
anywhere from a few sentences to a full page of information
about each coin, its history and design, and the history of
the watercraft depicted.
Krause–Mishler (KM) numbers are used, providing
easy cross-reference to the standard price catalogs. This
is ideal, for a topical book has a far longer shelf-life than
price catalogs, and had any prices been included they would
quickly become outdated.
QUICK QUIZ: which coins in the U.S. Statehood Quarter Dollar
series picture watercraft? They are all listed and pictured
here. How many other U.S. coins (including commemoratives)
picture watercraft? This chapter of the book would make a
great guide for building an interesting collection and exhibit
of U.S. coins.
There are quite a few coin designs that I really like. Some
of the U.S. design are among them, but I also like a 1964
25 fils coins from Yemen, picturing a traditional fishing
dhow (p. 331).
The volume passes my back-of-the-book test: there is a detailed
six-page index and an impressive five-page Select Bibliography.
Thoughtfully included is a section with additions and errata
to Volume I, Europe.” The E-Sylum, Numismatic Bibliomania
“The first thing I did when I got my hands on Dotan’s
Watercraft, Volume II, was to turn to the
section on Canada to see how he described our famous voyageur
silver dollar. He devotes a page and a half to our iconic
dollar coin, with detailed descriptions of the voyageur, the
aboriginal guide, the rays of the aurora borealis and the
rocky island in the background with the wind-swept pines.
(He even includes a footnote about the disappearance of the
voyageur dies that were supposed to have been used for the
aureate circulating dollar coin. The loss of these dies forced
the Royal Canadian Mint to use a backup design to produce
the dollar coin known as the ‘loonie.’)
Yossi Dotan is described as a numisnautical researcher. He
has collected ‘ship coins’ for over thirty years.
Since his retirement as an accountant he has done extensive
research on ships on coins and written the appropriate narratives.
Dotan’s attention to detail is evident in the descriptions
of nearly every coin in the book. For the numismatist, he
writes about the coin’s size, metallic content and year
(or years) of issue. For the mariner, he provides details
about the ship’s size, function, history, destination,
and, in some cases, the ultimate fate of the vessel. Even
if the ship is only a tiny part of the coin’s design,
we get a detailed description. For example, the Caribbean
island of Dominica has its coat of arms on the four dollar
coin dated 1970. In this case, the ship is a small native
craft in the lower left quadrant of the shield. You almost
have to look twice to find the ship.
All types of sailing vessels have been described on coins,
from Noah’s Ark (Israel) to the Titanic (North Korea),
from a rowboat (USA) to a large ocean liner (Bermuda), from
an Olympic catamaran (Aruba) to a threemaster in full sail
(China, among others).
Dotan has incorporated several improvements in Volume II.
There are about 500 coin photos, more than twice as many as
in Volume I. He has three pages of ‘Additions and Corrections’
to Volume I. Also there is an extensive index and bibliography.
The only typos that eluded his proofreaders were his description
of coins from the British Antarctic Territory. These coins
mark the 100st (sic) Anniversary of the Declaration of British
Sovereignty in the area.
This book will appeal to the casual topical collector, to
the dedicated numismatist and to the naval historian. I look
forward to Dotan’s Volume III, Africa and Oceania, 1800–2011,
which is in preparation.” Review by Marvin Kay,
past president of the Canadian Numismatic Association, in
the North York Coin Club Bulletin and The Canadian
“Author Yossi Dotan, who calls himself a ‘numisnautical
researcher,’ has produced Watercraft on World Coins,
Vol. II: America and Asia, 1800–2008, the second
of a trilogy. The book is organized as a catalog of “ship
coins” according to the Krause–Mishler
numbering system from Standard Catalog of World Coins
by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler.
Dotan, a retired certified public accountant, is a contributor
to the Krause–Mishler catalogs. The listings
are presented geographically, and then organized chronologically,
oldest-to-newest. Dotan’s research is detailed and his
narratives about ships are aimed at all students of naval
warfare, shipping and numismatics. Each narrative provides
the historical background and watercraft experience and circumstance
of the military personnel, admirals and generals, explorers,
naval commanders and fishermen, among others, that have earned
a place in the historical record and that have been featured
on coins in their honor.
Coins that have a common design are grouped under separate
headings. Also included are both circulating coins and collector-oriented
commemoratives. More than 500 coin images featured throughout
represent the many different ways in which ships are depicted
on coins. The second volume features more than 600 narratives
in its 360 pages, and follows the publication in 2007 of Volume
I, which covers European issues from 1800 to 2005. An addendum
and errata for volume I appears with volume II. The final
volume, presenting ship coins issued by nations in Africa
and Oceania through 2011, is planned for publication in 2013.”
“Before me lies the second volume of the planned three-volume
work, and where hardly any improvement seemed possible, here
it is done: All good qualities are preserved, but the number
of illustrations has increased, for more than 600 coin descriptions
there are now more than 500 illustrations, all in crown-size!
… The description begins with the KM-number, the value, the
year of issue, the coinage metal and the indication of the
fineness of the metal. … This information is followed by the
coin descriptions with names and, where necessary, the explanation
of abbreviations, and the shipyard at which the ship was built.
Dotan specifies the dimensions of the ship in feet and meters,
the speed which the (auxiliary) machine can achieve, the meaning
of her name and the number and destinations of their journeys.
Finally, the fate of the ship is mentioned. These data are
of course only as complete if they were accessible to the
author. … Finally, there is a list of references, corrections
to Volume I and a detailed index. Heart, what more do you
want! A great work! Muuuch success!” Numisnautik
“Those interested in coins with ships or other nautical
motifs will derive lots of reading and collecting pleasure
from purchasing this book.” Dutch coin monthly magazine,
Reviews of Volume I
Tijdschrift voor Zeegeschiedenis has a full review
of Volume I in Dutch in its Autumn 2008 publication.
“In this 276-page volume, Dotan describes
205 years of European coins portraying every imaginable type
of ship. He describes various types of watercraft, from an
ancient trireme (about 500 BC) to World War II battleships.
His work covers every European country from Albania to Yugoslavia.
Each coin is identified by its Krause–Mischler World
Coin Catalogue (KM) number, its denomination, date of issue
and metallic composition. A high quality black and white image
accompanies many of the descriptions. For each coin listed
there is a detailed description of the ship depicted on the
coin – its length, tonnage, launch date, speed, its
place in history and, in some cases, its ultimate demise.”
The CN Journal, the official publication of the Canadian Numismatic
“With Yossi Dotan’s work there is finally a new
manual of numisnautics, which will be a valuable aid for many
collectors. .. The book is obviously directed in the first
place to U.S. collectors. Thus, following each country name,
there is a short indication where the state is located in
Europe. But as soon as the two other volumes for America and
Asia (Vol. II) and for Africa and Oceania (Vol. III) will
be available, many European collectors will find the data
useful with respect to countries there. The outstanding characteristic
of the book is its user friendliness. … This work is
an all-round success, filling a painfully felt gap. Without
it, numisnautists would be much poorer in the future.”
“This is probably one of the best books
I’ve ever seen on a topical numismatic subject. No mere
catalog, the book delves deeply into the background of each
coin, providing anywhere from a few sentences to a full page
of information about each coin, its history and design, and
the history of the watercraft depicted.” The E-Sylum,
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
“In the realm of coins there are two major hobbyists,
the collector and the numismatist. The former merely amasses
coins for the pleasure of having them while the latter goes
much further. The numismatist strives to uncover the history
including every fascinating detail associated with each coin.
Mr. Yossi Dotan is definitely a numismatist and in the field
of coins depicting watercraft is one of its foremost authorities.
In fact it is highly doubtful that any person exceeds his
knowledge of SHIP COINS. His book shares this learning of
many decades; it is a most needed tool for collectors, numismatists,
and historians.” Dr. Lloryel W. Antoine, Ed.D, CPO
USN (retired), of Florida, USA wrote a monthly column on "ship
coins" in World Coin News for five years in the 1990s,
and is the author of the book Nautical Numismatics
“Yossi Dotan’s Watercraft on World Coins:
Volume I – Europe 1800-2005 will long be the standard
of numismatic topical descriptions. His research is richly
detailed and the narratives of ships – particularly
fighting ships, but also cargo carriers – of
the last two centuries is not only amazingly accurate but
also extremely interesting reading for all students of naval
warfare, shipping, and of course, numismatics. I highly recommend
this book for the library of any numismatist as well as anyone
interested in naval history.” Mr. Charles R. Hosch
of Georgia, USA is the author of Heraldic Coats of Arms on
Coins of the World, 1700–1998: Complete Descriptions
(1998) and World Gold Proof Sets Since 1900 – Complete
“Thanks to Yossi Dotan's research journey, the
Watercraft on World Coins series is unique. These
coins form the basis for exciting and intriguing tales.”
Cees van Romburgh, Maritime Historian, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
“With thoughtful story-lines, excellent research and superb illustrations,
this book is an exciting literary journey to hundreds of distant
and exotic shores. This comprehensive study of watercraft depicted
on coins will be of interest not only to maritime history enthusiasts,
but also to coin collectors and numismatists.” Cecilia
Meir, Curator of the Kadman Numismatic Pavilion, Eretz Israel
Museum, Tel Aviv
“This volume, with its presentation
of comprehensive data for each ship, fills a long-existing
gap. The book raises high
expectations for the next two volumes and may even give rise
to a sequel that will narrate coins (and perhaps even tokens)
of the 17th and 18th centuries.” Harm-Henning Kuhlmann,
editor of Numisnautik
“‘Ship coins’ have fascinated
Dotan for more than 30 years. Extensive research has taken
him to libraries in three continents. He lectures on the subject
and has published articles and numismatic periodicals in Canada,
Germany and the United States. Dotan’s research is detailed
and his narratives about ships are aimed at all students of
naval warfare, shipping and numismatics.
Each narrative provides the historical background and watercraft
experience and circumstance of the soldiers, sailors, admirals
and generals, exploring the naval commanders and fishermen
that have earned a place in the historical record and that
have been featured on coins in their honor.
According to the publisher, this book is the first ever to
narrate history through the medium of ships featured on coins.
Each entry contains the available information about the ships,
when possible including length, beam, depth and tonnage.
The book constitutes a catalog of ship coins organized according
to the popular Krause-Mishler numbering system (from Standard
Catalog of World Coins by Chester Krause and Clifford Mishler),
with groupings under separate headings where coins have a
ship design in common. The coin images represent the many
different ways in which the ships are depicted. Each volume
contains a select bibliography and an index listing the ships,
persons and other major topics covered in the narratives.”