Guidelines for the Numista catalogue

This page lists the directions for creating, enhancing or fixing the catalog pages. Thanks for following them as much you can.

Table of contents

  1. General Guidelines
    1. Language
    2. Numbers
    3. Dates
    4. Verifying information
  2. Definitions
    1. Catalogued items
      1. Coin
      2. Banknote
      3. Exonumia
      4. Items not in the scope of Numista
    2. Issuers
    3. Ruling Authorities
    4. Mints
    5. Currencies
      1. Splitting currencies
  3. Coins
    1. Coin pages
      1. Coin types
      2. Coin varieties, variants, and variations
    2. Overall information
      1. Coin name
      2. Issuer
      3. Ruling authority
      4. Face value
      5. Currency
      6. Type
      7. Commemorated event
      8. Series
      9. Demonetization
      10. References
    3. Technical data
      1. Composition
      2. Weight
      3. Diametre
      4. Thickness
      5. Shape
      6. Alignment
    4. Design information
      1. Determining the obverse and reverse
      2. Engraver (obverse and reverse)
      3. Designer (obverse and reverse)
      4. Description (obverse and reverse)
      5. Description with keywords (edge)
      6. Lettering (obverse, reverse, and edge)
      7. Translation of the lettering (obverse, reverse, and edge)
      8. Picture (obverse, reverse, and edge)
      9. Source of the picture (obverse, reverse, and edge)
    5. Mints
      1. Mintmark
      2. Mint
      3. Picture
    7. References
      1. Tags
      2. Links
    8. Mintage lines
      1. Calendar
      2. Year
      3. Mint letter
      4. Mintage
      5. Comment

General Guidelines


  • Use English unless otherwise specified.
  • British English spelling is preferred (for example, "aluminium" instead of "aluminum"). Nevertheless, universal vocabulary common to all varieties of English is preferable (for example, "glasses" instead of "spectacles" or "eyeglasses").
  • Be concise, use accessible language, good grammar, and a technical writing style.
  • Avoid external links.
  • Only use universally recognisable abbreviations that can be found in the list of abbreviations.

    Additionally, abbreviations should be used when they are part of an official name or original title (for example, "City of St. Gallen")

  • Use sentence case unless otherwise specified:
    • The diameter of the coin varies.
    • the diameter of the coin varies
  • Avoid biased language that discriminates on the basis of age, physical condition, economic status, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, or sexual orientation (for example, words such as “man-made”, “mankind”, “blind”, etc.). If the gender is not evident, do not use gender-specific pronouns and nouns such as “sportsman”, “congressman”, etc.


  • In running text, spell out integers from zero to twelve. Use digits for dates, numbers followed by units of measure, integers greater than twelve, and decimal numbers:
    • three lions   ||   five francs   ||   twelve stars
    • 3 January   ||   12 mm   ||   3.14   ||   16 years
  • Use a dot (“.”) as decimal separator and an unbreakable space (“ “) as thousand divider for numbers above 10 000:
    • 1 234 567   ||   1234   ||   12.5
    • 1,234,567   ||   1 234   ||   12,5
  • Write large numbers using digits to avoid long/short-scale confusion.
    • 1 000 000 000 000
    • 1 Trillion   ||   1 Billion   ||   1 Million Million   ||   10¹²
  • Use the metric system for units of measure:
    • mm, g
    • in, oz
  • If the physical properties of an item are defined in non-metric units, give the equivalent metric value in brackets:
    • 1/4 ounce (7.09 g)
    • 1/4 oz


  • Format dates to avoid day/month confusion:
    • 2 October 2017
    • 02.10.2017  ||  10.02.2017
  • Use the Gregorian, Julian, or pre-Julian calendars, as they were used at the time:
    • Use BC to label dates before year 1. BC follows dates.
      • 753 BC  ||  4th century BC
      • 753 BCE  ||  BC 753
    • Use AD to label dates after year 1. AD precedes years written as digits but follows dates written as words. Omit AD unless it would cause ambiguity.
      • 4th century AD  ||  AD 14  ||  1948
      • AD fourth century  ||  14 AD  ||  14 CE  ||  AD 1948
    • Other calendars may be used when they appear on numismatic or exonumia items, but in this case, the equivalent date in the Gregorian or Julian calendar should always be provided in brackets:
      • AH 1440 (AD 2018)
    • Always use AH or BH for dates in the Islamic lunar calendar, and AM for dates in the Jewish calendar.
  • Write centuries using ordinal numerals in Arabic digits. Do not capitalise the word “century”:
    • 1st century  ||  18th century
    • XVIII century  ||  18th Century  ||  18ᵗʰ c.
  • For ranges:
    • Use an unspaced hyphen (“-”) for simple ranges. If at least one item of the range contains a space, then use a spaced hyphen:
      • 1970-1972  ||  5-7 January 1979  ||  420-380 BC
      • 3 June - 18 August 1952  ||  AD 27 - 14 BC
    • Give the end year in full. Use “date” for the present date:
      • 1881-1882  ||  1995-date
      • 1881–82   ||  1881-2  ||  1995–…
    • Avoid formulations such as “the 1900s”. This may refer to 1900-1909 or 1900-1999. This is also different to the 20th century, which is 1901-2000.
  • For uncertain dates or ranges, use “circa”. Do not abbreviate it and do not use a slash (“/”) for date ranges or uncertain dates.
    • circa 1940  ||  circa 1600-1650
    • c. 1940  ||  ca. 1940  ||  approx. 1940  ||  1600/1650

Verifying information

  • Verify all pieces of information with a physical coin, a printed publication, or a reputable auction house. Information should be cross-checked from multiple sources whenever possible.
  • Avoid generic websites and online resources.
  • Omit information or leave fields blank when information is unknown, uncertain, or if there are conflicts between different sources.

    Use the comments field to provide further clarifications if necessary.

  • If the database is missing information such as ruling authorities, currencies, or issuers or if there are errors, please open a thread on the forum and mark it for requesting the creation or the modification of an item.


Catalogued items


A rigid piece of material that has a determined value (denomination) within a currency system.

The denomination may be explicit or implied by de facto use. Coins may not necessarily be intended to circulate (for example, some commemoratives, trial strikes, presentation pieces, proofs, etc).


A flexible piece of material that has a determined value (denomination) within a currency system.

The denomination may be explicit or implied by de facto use. Banknotes may not necessarily be intended to circulate (for example, reserve banknotes, specimens, etc).


Objects of historical interest or collectable items that resemble or relate to coins and banknotes.

Items not in the scope of Numista

  • Stamps (but stamp coins are welcome)
  • Enameled military orders and decorations
  • Modified coins such as post-mint plated coins
  • Slave tags, pet licence tags, inventory tags, key tags, fobs, etc.
  • Beer and sparkling drink caps
  • Buttons, badges, buckles, etc.
  • Credit and debit cards, telephone cards, gift cards, etc.


An issuer is any:
  • organised community (for example, Australia, Commune of Nice, Abbey of Saint Gall, Rauraci tribe),
  • association of such communities (for example, Eurozone, West African States, joint notgeld issuers), or
  • autonomous mint that regulates currency (for example, the Imperial mint of Basel)
with a claimed right to issue currency.

Ruling Authorities

  • The ruling authority is an individual head of state represented on numismatic or exonumia items.

    Heads of state are understood in a broad sense, including monarchs, regents, governors, seigneurs, ranking nobles or clergy, leaders, officers, pretenders, usurpers, etc.

    • Regnal numbers follow the name in Roman numerals with no ordinal indicators.
      • Henry I
      • Henry Ier, Henry I., Henry 1st
    • Cognomens (nicknames) follow the name (and regnal number if it exists). When a ruler is known by multiple cognomens, only the most common is included.
      • Robert II the Pious, Suleiman I the Magnificent, Vlad the Impaler
      • Suleiman I the Magnificent the Lawgiver, Vlad the Impaler Dracula
    • Sobriquets are used only when they are universally better known than the name of the ruler:
      • Caligula (for Roman emperor Gaius Germanicus)
      • Grandmother of Europe (for British queen Victoria)
    • Add all the rulers depicted on the coin, including junior rulers and consorts. Use a serial comma for more than two rulers:
    • Indicate when a senior ruler issued coins under a junior title before their time in office using “as” (for example, “as Prince”):
    • “Anonymous” is used for numismatic or exonumia items that depict the insignia, portrait, or monogram of a head of state of unknown name.
  • When heads of state are not individually represented on numismatic or exonumia items, the ruling authority can be one of the following:
    • The form of government
      • Technical details regarding the form of government are not included
        • free imperial city || federal state || socialist republic || province of the French colony of Madagascar
        • parliamentary constitutional elective monarchy
      • The name of the issuer is not repeated in the name of the ruling authority
        • Republic
        • Republic of Italy
    • A specific government or governing body
      • second republic || insular government || provisional government
    • A distinct historic period
      • German occupation, sede vacante, interregnum, etc
    • The official name of the issuer, when the name changed throughout history
      • Kingdom of Swaziland, Kingdom of Eswatini
  • If possible, ruling authorities are grouped by historic periods or dynasties.
  • Ruling authorities are included in the Numista database only if they issued coins, banknotes or exonumia items.
  • English is used for the names of all ruling authorities.
    • Charles
    • Carlos || Karl || Carol


Mints are workshops or industrial facilities that manufacture coins or coin-like exonumia items. The Numista mint database records the name, location, and operational dates of mints.


Definition: A system of monetary units with fixed relative values. Currencies consist of one main unit and, optionally, fractional subunits or super units.
The main currency unit is usually defined by law, by circulation prevalence, or by common accounting practice. When known, the relative value of the subunits and super units is described in reference to the main currency unit.
  • 1 Denarius = 2 Silver Quinarii = 4 Sestertii = 8 Dupondii = 16 Asses = 32 Semisses = 64 Quadrantes • 1 Aureus = 2 Gold Quinarii = 25 Denarii
The main unit is used to specify the face values in figure form of all items within that currency.

Splitting currencies

One issuer may have multiple currencies when redenominations occur. Redenominations may not necessarily be accompanied by a change of unit names. Redenominations may occur due to inflation, decimalisation, currency unions, monetary reforms, etc.
One issuer may also have multiple currencies when unrelated systems of currency units exist in parallel with a fluctuating exchange rate (for example, early thalers and ducats).
Currencies are not created for:
  • Series (by date, subject, etc)
  • Types of currency (for example, reserve notes, silver certificates, trials, patterns, etc.)
  • Minor name changes (for example, “new Turkish lira” became “Turkish lira” in 2009)
  • Changes, additions, or withdrawals of certain denominations (for example, withdrawal of the 500 euro banknote)
  • Debasement, changes in exchange rates, appreciation and depreciation, inflation and deflation, devaluation and revaluation
  • Account units (for example, the Carolingian pound)
  • Ruling authorities or periods.
All currencies are listed in English in the database, according to the main listings (not alternative forms) of Oxford English Dictionary and


A coin is a rigid piece of material that has a determined value (denomination) within a currency system. The denomination may be explicit or implied by de facto use. Coins may not necessarily be intended to circulate (for example, some commemoratives, trial strikes, proofs).

Coin pages

Coin pages describe a single coin type.

Coin types

  • A coin type is defined by the physical properties and appearance:
    • Metal composition, shape, diameter, and mass
    • Devices (numismatic, heraldic, lettering, and design)
  • The same type may include:
    • Different dates, mints, officinae, mint officials, mintmarks, and engraver’s marks
    • Different catalogue reference numbers
    • Small diameter, mass, shape, and thickness variations, especially for ancient and medieval hammered coins
    • Different minting processes (proof strikes, polished dies, etc.)
    • Random variations such as edge, obverse and reverse orientations

Coin types are split on independent sheets when they feature:

Coin varieties, variants, and variations

  • Varieties (also known as variants) are coins of the same type with distinct details in the design that set them apart from others. Varieties may be a result of intended or unintended design changes that occur during the production of the die.
    • Multiple varieties can exist for the same coin type and should not be listed on a different coin page. Varieties are determined by:
      • Legend varieties (different punctuation, layout, mintmark, or abbreviations)
      • Small design varieties
      • Differences in style of engraving
    • Varieties can be listed in the comments field (example).
  • Variations are random or unintentional differences in the physical appearance or properties of a coin that occur during the minting process, after the production of the die. For example, mint errors, random alignment or edge orientation, slight variations of the planchet in weight or size, different colouration of the alloy, etc.

Overall information

Coin name

The name of the coin allows quick identification of the type. Coin names should be concise and should consist of the following elements:

General comments
  • The information in the title should follow this sequence:
    • Value / Alternative Value “Nickname” - Ruler Name, Posthumous (Portrait type; LEGEND; subject; trial; design features; physical properties; Name of the mint)
  • Title case is used to format the names. Sentence case is used for information in brackets, except legends, which should be as written on the coin.
  • Information in brackets is separated by a semicolon (“; “):
  • Information in brackets is only necessary when it helps to distinguish between several similar types. If a piece of information applies to all the similar types, then it should be omitted.


  • Select the issuer of the coin from the drop-down list.

Ruling authority

  • Select the ruling authorities from the drop-down list.
  • Up to five ruling authorities can be added by clicking “Add more ruling authorities”.
  • If the coin was issued under multiple consecutive ruling authorities, add them in chronological order.
  • Add the ruling authority even if it is the same for all the coins of an issuer.
  • If multiple rulers were in office simultaneously when the coin was issued, add the one depicted on the obverse first. If multiple rulers are depicted on the obverse, add them in order of seniority.
  • Add junior rulers or consorts of senior rulers, only if they are depicted on the coin. Always add senior rulers in office.

Face value

Face value in word form
  • The denomination is specified as a number followed by the currency unit, even if the number is not present on the coin. Capitalise unit names:
  • If multiple denominations appear on the coin, separate them by a spaced equality sign (“ = ”).
  • For non-decimal currency systems, specify the equivalent value in relation to the main currency unit, separated by a spaced equality sign. For large fractions, further relative values may be included for clarity:
  • The currency should be specified in English. Note that even if the currency unit is in a foreign language in the title and on the coin, the face value field should always use the English name:
    • 5 Pounds (note that the currency is called “livre” on the coin)
    • 1 Shilling (note that the currency is called “solidus” on the coin)
Face value in figure form
  • Specify a number representing the relative value of the denomination to the base unit of the currency.
  • For non-decimal currency systems, specify the face value as a fraction.
  • For decimal currency systems, specify the face value as a decimal number. The number of decimals should reflect the value of the sub-unit:


  • Select the currency from the drop-down list


Assign the coin to an appropriate category:

  • Standard circulation coin: for non-commemorative coins that were issued as legal tender or could be used in regular commercial activities.
  • Circulating commemorative coin: for coins that were issued for a limited time to serve as legal tender and commemorate a specific subject.
  • Provisional coin: for emergency (for example, depression notgeld, siege money, etc), and temporary coins that circulated as a complement to or substitute for legal tender.
  • Non-circulating coin: for coins that have a face value associated with a circulation currency, but were never intended to be used in regular commercial activities, but rather as investment or collector pieces.
  • Token: for coin-like objects that were issued privately and could be used in limited commercial activities:
    • for specific products, goods, or services
    • within specific institutions, organisations or private companies
    • for specific events
  • Pattern: for coins that were produced to evaluate a proposed design. These can be off-metal strikes, piedforts, essais, etc.

Note that collector’s and presentation issues with the same design and physical properties (for example, proof strikes and polished die strikes) should be listed as date lines for the circulation types. Patterns and trial strikes should be listed separately from the circulation types.

Commemorated event


  • If the commemorative coin is part of a series, specify the name of the series.

    Ensure that the name of the series is consistent for all the coins. For commemorative series, do not repeat the word “series”.

  • Circulating non-commemorative coins are usually issued in suites of denominations covering a spectrum of values. For example, from 1 cent up to 2 euros. You may assign the same series name to all the denominations of a particular suite. If possible, name the suite using a distinguishing design or physical feature. Otherwise, name the series after the year when the first coin of the suite was issued. Series should not be named using ordinal numerals. For circulating coins, include the word “series” in the name.
  • Use sentence case.
  • Series names should be unique for a given issuer.


  • Unknown: for coins that were never in circulation, such as patterns, and for coins with an uncertain legal tender status.
  • No: for coins that are currently accepted as legal tender
  • Yes: for coins that are no longer legal tender.
  • Date: for demonetized coins, record the date of the withdrawal of the legal tender status as yyyy-mm-dd.

    Note that this date may be different from the date of the retirement from circulation. Should the precise day not be known, “00” can be used:

    • 31-12-2001
    • 00-00-1875


  • The field specifies the alphanumeric code that identifies the coin type in a reference catalogue.
  • Up to five references can be specified.

    If there are more than five references for a coin, the additional ones may be added in the comments section.

  • When possible, the same sequence of references should be used for an issuer. Newer, more authoritative, and more complete standard references should appear first.
  • If a coin type has more than one code in a reference catalogue, always add the first one. The same reference catalogue may be added in a new line for recording multiple codes, provided you didn’t reach the limit of five references. Do not use commas, hyphens or other notations for ranges.
    • KM# 1-5  ||  KM# 1, 2, 3 ||  KM# 1-2, 5
  • If only a small number of coins are missing from a standard monograph (reference catalogue dedicated to a very specific topic) that is used consistently for an issuer, then an en dash (“–”) can be used instead of a reference code, to show that the coins are unlisted:
  • If a coin type is absent from a catalog, the similarity to another type in that catalog can be indicated by “var.” after the code.

Technical data


  • Select the composition and material(s) from the drop-down lists. For uncommon compositions that are not in the database, select “Unknown or other” and describe the composition in the “Additional details” field.
  • For gold, palladium, platinum, and silver the fineness can be specified as millesimal. The number of decimals should reflect the engineering tolerance.
    • 999.99: the Royal Canadian Mint regularly produces commemorative coins in this fineness
  • Additional details can be specified:
  • For coins containing less than 50% silver, select “billon silver” and specify the silver content in the additional details field:
  • For coins containing less than 50% gold, select “gold” and specify the fineness:
  • For alloys of nickel, copper, and zinc, select “nickel silver” if the colour of the coin is white, and “nickel brass” if the colour is yellow.


  • Specify the weight in grams.
  • The number of decimals should reflect the engineering tolerance and not the measurement precision:
    • For a coin weighing 20 ±0.02 g, the mass should be specified as 20.00 g to reflect the engineering tolerance.
    • For a coin weighing 20 ±0.1 g, the mass should be specified as 20.0 g to reflect the engineering tolerance.
    • Ancient coins generally have irregular planchets and manufacturing tolerances of up to several grams.

      Note that the mass of an ancient coin can be measured with much higher precision with a modern instrument. However, for these coins, an average mass rounded to one decimal can be specified to reflect the manufacturing tolerances.


  • The diametre should be specified in millimetres.
  • The number of decimals should reflect the engineering tolerance and not the measurement precision:
    • Modern precious metal coins are fabricated to a tolerance of ±0.01 mm. For these coins, the diameter can be specified with 2 decimals:
    • Ancient coins generally have irregular planchets and manufacturing tolerances of up to several millimetres.

      Note that the diameter of an ancient coin can be measured with much higher precision with a modern instrument. However, for these coins, an average diameter rounded to the nearest multiple of 0.5 should be specified to reflect the manufacturing tolerances.

  • If the coin is not round, the largest spatial dimension should be specified.
    • for a rectangular coin, measuring 30 by 40 mm, you should record the size of the diagonal, 50 mm.


  • Specify the thickness of the coin in millimetres.
  • The number of decimals should reflect the engineering tolerance and not the measurement precision.
  • For coins with a large variance in thickness, such as most ancient coins, this field should be left blank.
  • If the coin is not flat, such as a scyphate, the thickness of the planchet should be specified, and not the overall spatial thickness.


  • Select the appropriate shape from the drop-down list. Use the Numista catalogue of shapes for a graphical guideline. For uncommon shapes that are not in the database, select “Other” and describe the shape in the “Additional details” field.
  • Specify additional details relevant for describing the shape, such as rounded or chamfered corners, the number of features, position or shape of holes, etc:


Tick the appropriate box for the coin alignment:

  • Coin: when flipping the coin around its vertical axis, the obverse and reverse are upside-down relative to each other.
  • Medal: when flipping the coin around its vertical axis, both faces are oriented the same way.
  • Variable: when the coin alignment varies randomly between specimens
  • Unknown:
    • for coins with uncertain alignment
    • for coins with indeterminable orientation, such as uniface coins, bracteates, symmetrical and non-orientable designs:
    • for coins that have different alignments for different years or mints, select “Unknown” and specify the alignment in the comment of each date line:
      • 2 Francs (coin alignment until 1981 and medal alignment from 1982)

Design information

Determining the obverse and reverse

The conventions used on Numista to determine the obverse and reverse of a coin may differ from other guidelines and may even be in conflict with official mint specifications. These conventions are meant to provide consistency throughout all the issuers in the catalogue.

  • For medieval and modern coins:
    • The face bearing the name or insignia of the issuer is the obverse:
    • If each side shows the name of a different issuer (for example, a local authority on one side and an imperial or colonial power on the other side) then the face showing the local authority is the obverse.
      • 50 Centavos (Cape Verde is on the obverse and Portugal, the colonial power, is on the reverse)
    • If the issuer is not represented on the coin, then the face bearing the name, monogram, portrait, or insignia of the ruler is the obverse:
    • If neither the issuer nor the ruler appears on the coin, or if either the issuer or the ruler appear on both faces, then the face with the larger-scale or more detailed image is the obverse:
    • For coins with similar designs, the name of the issuer or ruler may not always appear on the same face. In this case, the obverse and reverse should consistently refer to faces depicting the same devices.
  • For ancient coins:
    • The obverse is the face produced from the lower die, which is known as the pile or anvil die and usually depicts the high relief portrait. The reverse is produced from the upper die, also known as the trussell or hammer die, and usually has a slightly concave shape:
    • Note that on some ancient coins, the portrait side is clearly struck with the trussell die:
    • On some ancient coins, the obverse and reverse cannot be easily identified:
  • For Byzantine coins struck after AD 692 and their imitations, that feature one or several portraits on each side:
  • For Islamic coins, engravings are almost always low relief and inscriptional, so by convention:
  • For countermarked coins:
    • The face with the countermark is the obverse.
  • For uniface coins:
    • The blank face is the reverse.

Engraver (obverse and reverse)

  • Specify the full names of all the engravers. Select the suggested names if they are already in the database. If only the initial of the first name is known, abbreviate it with a dot (“.”):
    • John Smith
    • J. Smith (only if the full name John is not known)
  • If different varieties, dates, or mints of this type have different engravers, this field should be left blank and the engravers should be specified in the comments field.

Designer (obverse and reverse)

  • Specify the full names of all the designers. Select the suggested names if they are already in the database. If only the initial of the first name is known, abbreviate it with a dot (“.”):
    • Jacob Smith
    • J. Smith (only if the full name Jacob is not known)

Description (obverse and reverse)

Description with keywords (edge)

  • Record an accurate description of the edge. Use the Numista catalogue of edge types for a graphical guideline:
    • Plain, for smooth flat edges with no devices or inscriptions.
    • Rounded, for smooth rounded edges with no devices or inscriptions.
    • Reeded, for edges with evenly distributed grooves around the entire circumference. Specify the number of grooves and if the grooves are incuse or tilted. Note that reeded edges are known as ridged in American English and milled in British English.
    • Serrated, for edges with hand-chiselled grooves at regular intervals.
    • Segmented reeding, for alternating plain and reeded sections. Specify the number of segments and grooves:
    • Embossed or incuse lettering, for edges with inscriptions. Note that lettering may be present on a ridged edge. Transcribe the lettering in the lettering field below.
    • Embossed or incuse pattern, for edges featuring flowers, vines, bars, swirls, and other motifs. Similar to inscribed edges, decorated edges may be embossed or incused.
    • Grooved: for edges featuring a deep score or groove, usually centred between the obverse reverse sides.
    • Reticulated (also known as engrailed) for edges with a grid or network of ridges:
    • Security, for edges featuring a combination of grooves and reeds, often additionally decorated with a pattern to prevent counterfeiting.
    • Hand-stamped, for plain edges with a hand-stamped mark, usually an assayer’s mark or a serial number

Lettering (obverse, reverse, and edge)

  • The lettering field is a faithful transcript of all the lettering on each face and on the edge of the coin.
  • Use the exact script, spelling, abbreviations, capitalization, punctuation, layout, and special characters. Do not try to reproduce the exact layout and spacing between characters.
  • Include the date, mint letter, and small lettering, such as the engraver’s name or lettering that is part of the design or heraldic devices.
  • Use the featured image as a sample. Transcribe the date, mint letter, and exact punctuation from the featured image. If no image is available, use a common year and variety.
  • If lettering varieties exist, they may be further described in the comments field.
  • Split words by spaces in the transcription of legends that ignore word breaks:
  • Do not split words and dates that are interrupted by design features.
  • Do not split blocks of text that are interrupted by design features or other blocks of text:
  • Placeholders such as “[date]” or “[mint mark]” should not be used. Line breaks and gaps in the text are transcribed as such and not replaced with placeholders such as  “ || “  or “ / “.
  • Non-standard script directions and layouts should be transcribed in the standard direction (for example, latin script in a vertical layout should be transcribed in the conventional left-to-right direction). Ideographic scripts that have flexible writing directions should be transcribed as depicted on the coin.
    • Н
  • For punctuation:
    • Use the unicode character that resembles most the symbol used on the coin.
      • × + ✣ ✠ ☩ ♁ ✤ ⊚ ᐤ ⸰ ⵓ ஃ ✿ ❀ 🏵 ⚜ ⋆ ⁑ • · : ⋮ ∴ ; ⬦ ⬩*★ ⋆ 🞲 ✶ 🞹 ✽ 🟌 ⁕ ⁑ 🙛 ❧
    • In general, separate punctuation characters by a space from adjacent words for better readability, even if spacing on the coin appears different:
  • Transcribe the exact punctuation spacing only when used in regular, unabridged sentences, and the spacing is unequivocal:
  • Text blocks that appear more than once on a given face, should only be transcribed once:
    • 1905 2005 (appears numerous times on this coin, but should only be written once in the lettering field.)

Translation of the lettering (obverse, reverse, and edge)

  • The translation field contains the translation to English of the lettering field.
  • Dates and lettering blocks that have the same spelling in English should be omitted from the translation field (for example, “France 1 Franc 1960”, “20 Francs Albert Einstein 2020”, etc.)
  • If the lettering contains abbreviations, then the unabridged inscription in the original language should also be included on a distinct line before the translation
  • Line breaks should be ignored, regular punctuation and sentence case should be used
  • Do not include additional notes about the text, such as the source of a quote. These notes may be added in the comments section.
  • If there are multiple possible translations with different meanings, separate them with a spaced slash (“ / “):
  • If different text blocks have the same translation, only translate them once:
    • Federal Palace. (“Bundeshaus”, “Palais fédéral”, and “Palazzo Federale” all translate to Federal Palace)

Picture (obverse, reverse, and edge)

  • Individual pictures in jpeg format can be added for the obverse, reverse and edge.
  • Pictures should have a white background (#FFFFFF).
  • Pictures should be tightly cropped around the coin.
  • Pictures of the obverse and reverse should be rotated upright. The coin should be oriented parallel to the photographic plane.
  • Pictures of the edge should show the coin tilted at a shallow angle (circa 15°). Repetitive edges should only show one section of the edge in landscape orientation. Edges with inscriptions or other non-repetitive designs should show a stacked sequence of frames depicting the entire edge:
  • Images should be in focus, have good lighting and contrast, and show no plastic holder reflections.
  • Drawings and computer-generated images should only be used when no photograph is available.

    If drawings or computer-generated images show more details, they may be kept in the comments section.

  • Photographs of regular strike coins should be preferred to proof strikes.
  • When multiple images are available, the image displaying the clearest fine details should always be featured.

    Note that some pictures may have a bigger pixel count, but suffer from poor lighting, focus, or compression artefacts and consequently show fewer details than a smaller image. Images of coins in higher grades usually display more details.

  • If several coins share an identical face, do not reuse the same image for multiple coins. Photos should belong to that specific type.
  • Only when two images display the same level of detail and eye-appeal:
    • photographs with no obstructions of the rim from plastic holders are preferred
    • photographs with no watermarks are preferred
    • photographs from users should be preferred over third-party image sources

Source of the picture (obverse, reverse, and edge)

  • Numista respects image authorship.
  • If you are the author of an image, you can give Numista permission to use it by selecting “I made the picture myself” from the dropdown list and, optionally, writing your copyright information in the field.
  • If an image comes from one of the sources that authorised Numista to use their images, you can select “I copied the image from a website that gave their permission” and pick the appropriate credit line from the dropdown list.
  • For images in the public domain, such as images from old books with expired copyright, or for images with non-commercial licences, you may select “The image comes from somewhere else” and specify the source and type of licence:


Record all the mints that issued the coin. Each mint should be listed on a separate line. For each line, you can add:


  • Specify the mint letter(s) in the mintmark field. Other Unicode characters that closely resemble the mintmark may also be used.
  • Do not describe mintmarks in words.
  • Do not use the mintmark field to record Officinae, die letters, or other types of marks, such as the mintmaster, engraver, or assayer marks.


Select the mint from the dropdown list.


If available, select the mintmark image from the drop-down list.

Pictures should be added if the mint letters are in an unusual font or layout, or if the mintmark is a monogram or picture.


Use bold font to highlight headings in the comments, especially when several different topics are covered. Leave one blank line before each heading:

You may include:

  • Monographic information about the coin, such as:
    • rarity, the number of known or surviving pieces
    • mintmasters and other mint official
    • details about alternative, possible, or uncertain attributions
    • fabrication process: cast, hammered, milled, etc.
    • details about its engraving style, especially for ancient coins
    • additional details about the lettering, for example the source of quotes
    • details about the design process, design selection competition, design awards, etc.
    • packaging (mint sets, philatelic numismatic covers, etc.)
  • Do not include generic information about the issuer, mint, ruler, or engraver.

    Specific monographic information about these may be added only if it is directly relevant to the immediate background to the particular coin type.

  • Short biographical information about the depicted subject.

    Usually, one to three sentences are enough. Do not give in-depth information about the subjects depicted on the coin.

  • Information about the design varieties and images for each variety.
    • Introduce this section of the comments with “Varieties:” in italic font. You may include a generic description or a comment about how varieties can be identified.
    • If possible, name each variety using the date, mintmark, or any other distinguishing feature. Otherwise, give each variety a number. This name or variety number can be used in the date-lines to identify the variety. Write the name of the variety in bold. On the same line, write relevant catalogue references in brackets:
      • Variety 1956 B (KM# 21.2)
      • 22 stars variety 1780-1786 (KM# 21.3, Schön DM# 54b)
      • Small portrait variety (Fr# 35.c)
    • On subsequent lines, include the distinguishing features on separate lines, writing the name of the feature in italics:
      • Obverse: Five feathers in the hat.
      • Reverse lettering: REVERSE ⁕ LEGEND ⁕
    • Add images for each variety, along with copyright information. Credits with a link should be added directly below each image.

      Images in the comments should respect the general picture guidelines described above (white background, cropped, etc.). Images of the design varieties should also respect authorship and may only be used with consent of the owners.

      • ©️ [url=]Heritage Auctions[/url]
    • For each variety, you may include separate images for obverse and reverse, or a single image with both faces, but you should be consistent with one approach for each page.
    • Avoid excerpts, annotations, highlights, and other alterations to the photographs, unless differences are very difficult to spot. In this case, you may prepare an annotated diagram highlighting the differences.
      • Use simple, straight cuts and straight annotation lines or circles.
      • Use black, white or the current Numista blue colours (#0570aa, #000088, #dfeefb) for the annotations.
      • Avoid text on images in general, because it is not searchable, and especially avoid language-specific explanations. This allows annotated images to be used on both the English and French versions.
    • Examples:
  • Include references to the sources of all additional information on the page:
    • For literature that is in the Numista bibliography, use the corresponding code followed by a hash symbol (“#”), a space, and the reference number:
      • RCV IV# 100
      • RCV IV # 100  ||  RCV IV #100 (note the incorrect spacing of the hash symbol)
    • For literature that is not in the Numista bibliography, do not use abbreviations. Format references using the Numista reference style:
      • Author’s Name; year. “Title / Volume” (edition). Publisher, City, Country. ISBN 1234567890123.
      • Arthur L. Friedberg, Ira S. Friedberg, Robert Friedberg; 2017. “Gold Coins of the World: From Ancient Times to the Present” (9th edition). Coin & Currency Institute, Williston, Vermont, USA. ISBN 9780871843098.
    • For articles from journals or conference proceedings, use the Numista reference style and specify the name of the journal, volume, issue, and page:
      • Author’s Name; year. “Article Title”. Journal Title, volume, issue, pages.
      • Sébastien Gasc; 2019. “Numismatics data about the Islamic conquest of the Iberian Peninsula”. Journal of Medieval Iberian Studies, volume 11, issue 3, pages 342-358.



Mintage lines

Each distinct combination of date, mint, type of strike, and design variety should be recorded on a mintage line. The same date may appear on multiple lines, for each mint, design variety, and type of strike (proof, regular, etc).


  • Select the calendar used for the date inscribed on the coin from the drop-down list.
  • If the date appears both in a local and Julian or Gregorian calendar, select the local calendar. Numista will automatically calculate and display the Gregorian date next to it.


  • Specify the year of minting in the selected calendar, if it is shown on the coin. Note that the year of minting may be different from the year the coin was released into circulation. The equivalent Gregorian or Julian date will be displayed automatically in brackets. All digits of the year should be entered, even if only the significant digits are present on the coin (for example, 1697 for 97).
  • Enter BC dates as negative values. They will be formatted automatically. Note that year 0 does not exist in the Julian calendar:
    • for example, type “-27” for 27 BC
    • type “-100” and “-1” for the 1st century BC (100-1 BC)
    • type “1” and “100” for the 1st century AD (AD 1-100)
    • type “1201” and “1250” for the first half of the 13th century AD (AD 1201-1250)
    • type “1451” and “1500” for the second half of the 15th century AD (AD 1451-1500)
  • The year may appear as part of a date range on commemorative coins (1697-1997). If the end year in the date range does not correspond to the year of minting, then “no date” (ND) should be specified instead.
    • 2015 for 1985-2015
  • The regnal year may appear along with the accession year of a ruler, particularly on islamic coins. For these situations, only the year of minting should be specified in the local calendar. The regnal year in the local script should be specified in the comments field.
    • 1225 AH for accession year 1223 AH and regnal year 3 (1223 + 3 - 1); only specify “year ٣” in the comments.
  • For countermarked coins, record the year of the countermark, not the year of the host type. You may record the year of the host coin in the comments field.
  • If the year is not shown on the coin, select “no date” (ND) and enter the year of issue in the two fields.
  • If the year shown on the coin is different from the year(s) when it was minted, select “no date” (ND) and enter the actual year(s) of minting in the two fields.
  • For coins with uncertain dates of issue, select “no date” (ND) and enter the date range in the two fields.

Mint letter

  • If present on the coin, specify the mint letter or Unicode symbol matching one of the mint lines.
  • If the mintmark is not a letter or Unicode symbol, describe it in the comments field of the mintage line.
  • Do not use this field to record regnal years, mint official’s marks, or other pieces of information. Use the comments field instead.


  • Specify the total number of coins that were minted for each line.
  • If known, specify the number of coins actually minted, rather than the maximum number of coins authorised.
  • If the mintage number is shared by several lines, the field should be left blank and an explanation should be provided in the comments field.
  • The mintage field should not be used for the number of surviving coins.

    Specify any details about surviving coins in the comments field.


  • Record further details specific to individual lines in the comments field:
    • catalogue reference codes (for example, KM#3.1)
    • the date in the local script for coins issued in multiple years
    • the regnal year in the local script. It is not necessary to specify the accession year in each date line, because it is the same for all the lines
    • the description of the mintmark, die letters, or officinae
    • the name of mint officials or engravers
    • design or legend varieties
    • type of strike, for example proof, specimen, polished dies, matte, etc.

      Do not record regular strikes in the comments.

  • Be as succinct as possible:
    • 23 stars
    • with 23 stars on reverse
  • Do not record comments that apply to all the lines. Record these in the generic comments field instead.
  • Consecutive pieces of information are separated by a semicolon (“; “), and should appear in this sequence:
    • CATALOG# code; date; mintmark / Officina / die letters; design variety; legend variety; other comment; type of strike
    • KM# 15.2; year ٤; rooster mintmark; 22 stars; AVGVSTVS; 30 000 pieces melted; proof
  • Do not record comments about individual coin specimens (grade, errors, etc.).
  • Do not include subjective comments (ultra-rare, more valuable, etc.).