Friday, March 16, 2018

A Numismatic History of World War II

You can find Japanese Invasion Money, Allied Occupation Currency, and American Military Payment Certificates at almost any coin store or local show. In addition to those well-known currencies, there are prisoner moneys, emergency issues, war bonds, ration coupons, and other kinds of occupation currencies from the Allies, Axis, and neutrals. This definitive work catalogs them all. While prices have changed in the past twenty years, relative pricing has not: rarities are still hard to find; common items are ubiquitous. What has changed is third party grading. Now, you can find these sealed into certified holders.
World War II Remembered:
History in Your Hands—A Numismatic Study
by C. Frederick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling
(BNR Press, 1995, 842 pages).
The real value here is the extensive narrative history, explaining the details of these numismatic artifacts of the global war of the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. The cover is explained in the story of the French occupation currency. The box is stenciled “Operation Tom Cat.” By closely inspecting the original photograph, the authors found that both British and French currencies were being distributed to troops ahead of the invasion of Normandy.


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