World Coins

Book on Siamese coins wins annual book prize

On Jan. 19 in Bangkok, Thailand, numismatic authors Ronachai Krisadaolarn and Vasilijs Mihailovs were presented with the International Association of Professional Numismatists annual book prize. 

The event was held at the Imperial Queens Park Hotel with more than 100 collectors, dealers, enthusiasts and personal friends of the authors in attendance. 

The two numismatists were honored for their groundbreaking work Siamese Coins from Funan to the Fifth Reign. Their reference has quickly become the standard in the field of Thai coinage, according to the IAPN.

Prior to its publication, very little had been published on Thai coinage, according to an IAPN news release. What had been published was hard to acquire, or is scattered through various publications and journals. The last major reference solely on the subject was written 80 years ago by Reginald Le May.

The new work by Krisadaolarn and Mihailovs takes Thai coinage to another level of academics, according to the IAPN. The basis of their work began with lectures given by Krisadaolarn at the National Museum of Thailand in Bangkok in the 1980s and 1990s. 

An extensive amount of time and research was required by the authors to make this project possible. They record historical data as well as scientific analysis of the coins, including analyzing the metal with x-ray fluorescence and inductively coupled plasma mass spectroscopy tests. The reference also discusses the diagnostic features of genuine coins along with those of known counterfeits as well as how to detect them, according to the news release.

The acknowledgements cite many major collections, museums and institutions for allowing their collections to be viewed and cataloged, including the Bank of Thailand Museum, the National Museum of Thailand and the Royal Thai Mint Museum. 

The hardcover book is 271 pages, with color images,including graphs and charts discussing the emblems and iconography of Thai coinage. 

Since 1982 the IAPN has annually conducted its book prize award honoring numismatic authors for what the organization considers "the best numismatic publication of the year." 

Each year, books are submitted to the IAPN and voted on at the organizations annual congress. The first place prize consists of a medal, a diploma and a monetary reward. 

To nominate books, contact the IAPN chairman of the publications committee Mathias Paoletti via email at To find out how to purchase the book, visit the IAPN website at

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