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The Grand Numismatic Alliance

Started by Figleaf, April 05, 2022, 04:10:24 PM

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Your life onboard WoC is about to get more interesting as well as easier. That's because three numismatic web sites have decided to co-operate intensively. The web sites are Numista, Zeno and World of Coins (WoC). Their alliance is open to other numismatic web sites on approval of the members of the Grand Numismatic Alliance (GNA).

These three sites have in common that their aim is educational, they do not have a profit objective and they are not beholden to commercial interests. They aim at open discussions where facts, truth and logic, rather than commercial blather wins. There are overlaps between these sites, but also enough differences to promise great synergy for the membership of the founding members.

Numista's coverage is coins, tokens and banknotes of all times and countries. Its membership is dominated by collectors. It could be described as a catalogue site, but it is using a Wikipedia-like approach, so there are holes in its catalogue.

Zeno covers Oriental (in a wide sense) coins, paper money charms and more. Its membership is dominated by academics and advanced collectors. It is probably best described as a data base, so it has many duplicates (an advantage for Asian coins) and it does not aim to be a catalogue site. In practice, some section approach catalogue completeness, though

World of Coins' coverage is coins, tokens and banknotes of all times and countries. Its membership is dominated by advanced collectors, many concentrating on Indian sub-continent, Iranian influence, Ottoman influence and UK coins with an important minority of academics. It is constructing a high-quality online catalogue of popular tokens.

The GNA wants to act like a private international organisation, targeting an exchange of resources. For WoC specifically, that means the site will not disappear, but it will add new possibilities for fast and easy research and participating in each other's activities. In another post in this thread, I will tell you more about what we have been discussing specifically. You will be invited to comment, participate and advance ideas.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


Here are the subjects under discussion:

Picture sharing - we will ask the whole membership to agree in advance that the pictures they submitted on one of their sites may be used on the other sites - with proper sourcing, of course. In return, for your permission, you get automatic permission from members of the other sites. You just add a little line like © CoinFreak@Numista or © Indiancoinguy@zeno. We haven't finalised arrangements yet, so don't start doing this now. All you need to do now is nothing, except letting me know if you insist on arranging permission with the poster on the other site yourself, rather than having it automatically.

Password safe. The three site owners have undertaken to organise a smooth transition in case anything happens to them. Again, you don't need to do anything except take note that WoC has been further future-proofed.

Shared login. This would mean that members of any site would have member access to the other site. This needs considerable organisation, as membership requirements are different on each site, but we have undertaken to do what it takes to realise this gleam-in-the-eye safely. Again, what you need to do is nothing.

Exchange of resources. We'll add further resources to the package as necessary. For example, members of Numista will be able to register directly for our monthly online events. Zeno members already have this facility through ams.

Links between web sites. This is a major project. We would like to add references to the other sites. In a first round, I will make lists of mentions of Numista and Zeno in WoC posts, so they can be cross-referenced. In a second stage, when we have agreed on the format of the cross references, I will ask you to make a change.

If you post a picture of a coin, please add a reference to Numista and Zeno where possible. You can start doing this now, by adding Zeno [ref nr] and Numista [cat nr] - if it's not in Numista, note Numista --. If it is not in Zeno and covered by its scope note Zeno --. If it's not in Zeno's scope add nothing on Zeno. We'll update the format later, if necessary. It's a small gesture and it will improve your world and that of other users.

Board moderators, please keep an eye on cross references and help members out as necessary.

I'll keep you posted in this thread, in particular when new functionality becomes available. Thank you all in advance for your help.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


What a wonderful arrangement, Peter. This will improve everyone's access to other's research and information while allowing us to share our knowledge and insights as well.

While not familiar with Zeno I've referenced Numista many times over the years. It's a great resource as I'm sure Zeno is too. This is all great news that will enhance everyone's experience in the pursuit of their hobby interests.

Many thanks to you and everyone who is working on this project.

Always Faithful


Wow, that is excellent news, Peter! Kudos to everybody involved in making these arrangements. :like:


Good connections to make. I have not encountered Zeno, but have been adding to Numista, a very worthwhile project.



Great news! Can't wait to see how great will work this alliance :)



Any time information is made available to a greater audience, allowing knowledge to grow, be shared and added to, can only be a good thing for our hobby in all its numerous branches. Brilliant


Thank you all for the applause. Please follow up by adding those reference numbers to Numista and Zeno. It's a small thing to do and you improve the numismatic world one step at a time.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I didn't have time for coins for some time. But this is a very good idea and I will put it through when posting a coin.

It is good to join forces. A few weeks ago it was also suggested to the Oriental Numismatic Society in a paper to start a website where members can display the coins of their interest. That website is already there, in several flavors: the strict Zeno, identifications-only - and the looser WoC, for the discussions and the broader perspectives. Well, for me in any case, World of Coins helps me identifying the coins from the East.
I don't know anything about Numista yet! That it may change soon.

-- Paul


HI Peter,
Congratulations on the joining of these three coin sites. The knowledge contained in all three will be enormous.


Hi Peter,
I am a little late to the party, but great initiative.


Thank you Bhushan. Glad to see you. After all, these are uncertain times. You'll find many more new goodies and insights all over the site. Have you made good acquisitions lately. Your avatar shows you are into the good stuff...

While the initiative was lauded on all three sites, it remains an uphill fight. There is a handful of contributors, headed by <k>, who systematically provide a reference to Numista and (where appropriate) Zeno, but a large majority doesn't. This issue is especially acute in Indian coins, where I have little expertise. Other activities suffer. If everyone would act in their self-interest, their load would be increased really marginally, they may learn extra things on the other two sites and I could spend more WoC time on other things.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.


I try to remember to provide Numista numbers when I post about coins. But most of my posts are of tokens, and it is more difficult in this case.

Obviously a lot of tokens aren't listed on Numista. They're not listed anywhere else obvious either - that's part of the attraction, as far as I'm concerned ;D . Even locally printed literature in obscure languages doesn't include everything.

A further large category of tokens are listed on Numista but with virtually no information about them - often just the country of issue. And it is quite often the case that the reliability of Numista's information is not as good for tokens as for coins (where IME the information is very good).

In light of this, how desirable is it to provide Numista numbers for tokens? I'm happy to if the consensus is that we should, but am aware that it may disappoint readers if they are referred to a link that tells them less about the piece in question than they've already gleaned from the topic here.