Watercraft on World Coins

Watercraft on World Coins
Volume I: Europe, 1800–2005
Volume II: America and Asia, 1800–2008
Volume III: Africa and Oceania, 1800–2011

Yossi Dotan is a numisnautical researcher, a recognized expert in modern coins depicting watercraft. Since retirement after a 46-year career with a major firm of certified public accountants, he has devoted himself to researching ships and coins, and writing the narratives for this book. He is a contributor to the Standard Catalog of World Coins. In recognition of his non-numismatic volunteer service, Queen Beatrix of The Netherlands has made him a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau.

The three volumes are organized as a catalog of “ship coins” according to the popular KM-numbering system. Coins that have a common design are grouped under separate headings. Included are both circulating coins and collector oriented commemoratives. The coin images represent the many different ways in which the ships are depicted. Volume III includes more than nine hundred narratives, and follows on from the publication of Volume I, Europe, 1800–2005 (2007), and Volume II, America and Asia, 1800–2008 (2010), acclaimed as a book that should be owned or at least read by every collector of world ship coins. Volume III will be released in December 2015.

About Volumes I, II and III

Fram, Golden Hind, Santa Maria, Vasa, and H.M.S. Victory are names of famous ships that have played a part in Europe’s maritime history. The stories associated with these and many other ships are told in this book of “ship coins”. Each narrative provides the historical background and watercraft experience and circumstance of the soldiers, sailors, admirals and generals, explorers, naval commanders and fishermen who sometimes through bravery and sometimes through human error have merited a place in the historical record, and are associated with particular vessels that have merited the striking of a coin in record and remembrance.

The three-volume set is the first ever to narrate the history through the medium of ships featured on coins. Each entry contains information on the ships, wherever available (length, beam, depth and tonnage). Each volume contains a select bibliography and an index listing the ships, persons and other major topics covered in the narratives.

Vol I Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-49-6
Paperback Price: £35.00 / $55.00
Release Date: June 2007
Page Extent / Format: 272 pp./ 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: with 200 coin illustrations
Vol II Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-50-2
Paperback Price: £49.50 / $79.95
Release Date: June 2010
Page Extent / Format: 340 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: with 500 coin illustrations
Vol III Paperback ISBN: 978-1-898595-51-9
Paperback Price: £49.50 / $79.95
Release Date: December 2015
Page Extent / Format: 464 pp. / 246 x 171 mm
Illustrated: with 770 coin illustrations


Contents to Volume I


Czech Republic
German Democratic Republic
German States / Bavaria
German States / Frankfurt
Great Britain
Isle of Man
San Marino

Selected Bibliography

Contents to Volume II


Antigua and Barbuda
British Antarctic Territory
British Caribbean Territories see East Caribbean States
British Virgin Islands
Cayman Islands
Costa Rica
Danish West Indies
Dominican Republic
East Caribbean States
East Caribbean Territories see East Caribbean States
El Salvador
Falkland Islands
Netherlands Antilles
New Brunswick
Peru-South Nevis
Saint Christopher and Nevis see Saint Kitts and
Saint Christopher-Nevis-Anguilla see Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Lucia
Saint Pierre and Miquelon
Salvador, El see El Salvador
South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
South Peru see Peru-South
Trinidad and Tobago
Turks and Caicos Islands
United States of America

British North Borneo
Brunei Darussalam
East Timor – see Timor-Leste
Fujairah, Al
Hong Kong
Muscat and Oman – see Oman
Netherlands East Indies
North Korea – see Korea-North
South Arabia – see Yemen
South Korea – see Korea-South
Sri Lanka
United Arab Emirates
Yemen 331

Select Bibliography
Additions and corrections to Volume I: Europe, 1800–2005

Contents to Volume III


Cabo Verde
Cape Verde
Central African Republic
Congo, Democratic Republic of the
Congo, Republic of the
Côte d'Ivoire
Equatorial Guinea
French Afars and Issas
French Equatorial Africa
French Somaliland
French West Africa
Gambia, The
Gold Coast
Ivory Coast
Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic
Saint Helena
Saint Helena and Ascension
Saint Thomas & Prince
São Tomé and Príncipe
Sierra Leone
Somalia Republic
South Africa
Stoltenhoff Island
Tristan da Cunha

American Samoa
Cook Islands
French Oceania
French Polynesia
Marshall Islands
New Caledonia
New Zealand
Papua New Guinea
Pitcairn Islands
Solomon Islands
Western Samoa

Select Bibliography
Additions and corrections to previous volumes

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.
For numisnautists, 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!

“Watercraft” series of books complete
Reviewed in Deutsches Münzen Magazin (German Coin Magazine)

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 18002005” and “America and Asia 18002008” this volume completes the series, focusing on the ship coins of Africa and Oceania 18002011. 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 for numisnautists.

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 are included.
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 Volume II:

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.

KrauseMishler (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 Society

“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 Numismatic Journal

“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 KrauseMishler 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 KrauseMishler 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.” Coin World

“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, Muntkoerier

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 Association

“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.” Numisnautik

“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 Descriptions (2002)

“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.” Coin World

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