Viet-Nam Coins & Papermoney 2015 Reprint
Mr. Massimiliano Valota.350 Pages. Paperback. Full Color. Price € 30 + Shipping Charges. Published by Libro Pubblicate Dall’autore.
Reviewed by Anil R. Bohora LM-199
Massimiliano Valota, an Italian, living in Bergamo City (about 50 KM from Milan) has just released second reprint of his book titled “Viet-Nam - Coins & Papermoney”. Massimiliano started collecting banknotes and coins of Việt-Nam from 1990 and assembled an excellent collection. Right after that he started with his research about banknotes and coins of Việt-Nam. Based on his early research, in 2004 he produced his first book titled “Dall'indocina Francese al Vietnam”. It was quite basic in nature. As time went by, his collection expanded substantially and was also able to gather a lot more information. Based on this Massimiliano was able to publish first edition of his new book “Viet-Nam - Coins & Papermoney” in February 2013. As the first edition was quiet successful, the second reprint was released in February 2015.
The book has received “IBNS 2013 Book Of The Year – Honorable Mention”.
Collecting, reviewing, discussing or touching banknotes and coins from Việt-Nam always is an emotional experience. It brings back memories about people and soldiers who lived through very eventful and often a tragic period from the annals of history.
The author has expanded the coverage of the topics covered in the book quite extensively. The book covers all the banknotes and coins which have any connection with Việt-Nam. The material covered in the book is arranged very well in well-defined topics. The topics covered include banknotes and coins issued by - French Indochina issues used in Việt-Nam, Republic of Việt-Nam (South Việt-Nam), Democratic Republic of Việt-Nam (North Việt-Nam), Socialist Republic of Việt-Nam, Various banknotes and tokens used in Việt-Nam like Military Payment Certificates (MPCs) issued by China, South Korea, Japan, the USA, Thailand. All kinds of fantasy issues, propaganda materials and hell issues related to Việt-Nam are also listed.
My most favorite section of the book is related to the regional issues. This section provides substantial new information about a large number of banknote issues for the first time. All the banknotes are grouped properly based on the authority or the regions these banknotes were issued by. Some of the covered issues are by Ba Ria, Bac Lieu, Bien Hoa, Ben Tre, Can Tho, Dong Thap, Gia Dinh, Ha Tien, Long Chau Hau, Ninh Thuan, Rach Gia, Tra Vinh, etc. In my opinion a serious collector of banknotes of Việt-Nam must buy this book only for this section.
I am glad to mention that the book has included one of the sections related to Vietnamese High Value Bearer Checks based on my article published in IBNS Journal Volume 47-1 fully attributing to me.
The book has beautiful high resolution pictures of almost all the banknotes and coins listed making it a pleasure to just flip through. The paper and print quality is excellent. All the items listed are cross referenced with all the existing major catalogs available on a particular topic, providing easy help to collectors. A rarity of each issue is also identified with pricing for three grades i.e. VF, XF and UNC. A list of known signatories is provided at the end of the book.
Being an English speaker, main drawback I found with the book was that most of the detailed information was provided only in Italian language and the English translation could have been better. But this is a minor complaint considering the wealth of information the book provides with a large number of excellent quality colorful images of all most all the banknotes and coins.
I very strongly recommend “Viet-Nam - Coins & Papermoney” to all collectors of banknotes. It is an excellent source of information for collectors specializing in banknotes of Vietnam and a must have.