World's Largest Coin Collection Alleged|
March 24, 2011
This article was originally printed in World Coin News.
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How do you determine who has the most toys? How do you figure who has the largest coin collection? Do you count each coin? Can it’s size be measured from its value? If so, who did the evaluation, and based on what sources?
According to the Istanbul (Turkey) tabloid Today’s Zaman for February 6, “This coin collection [an approximately 55,000-piece collection] was brought into existence by Kazim Taskent, the founder of Yapi Kredi Bank, who patiently bought these coins from other collectors over time. It is the world’s largest coin collection.”
I’m sure there is someone, likely more than one person, who has accumulated more than 55,000 Wheat “pennies,” so the value of the collection is more likely what is being used to make this declaration. Even so, there are likely collections, both privately owned and in institutions, that will argue theirs has a greater monetary value.
The Yapi Kredi Collection, which likely could also be dubbed the Kazim Ta?kent Collection, still deserves examination, regardless of the accuracy of its claim to fame. According to Today’s Zaman, the collection includes world coins from ancient to modern times.
The publication does not give a detailed listing of the inventory, but it does give an overview. “Coming from different periods of the past, they all tell a different story. With one you travel back in time to the sixth century B.C., while you find in another the Lydians, who invented money, and in yet another, Ottoman Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. There are more: coins minted in the image and time of Alexander the Great; those from the one-month reign of Sultan Cem, who is known for his tragic story; a unique golden coin from the reign of Tu?rul Bey, the founder of the Great Seljuk Empire; and the coins used during the time of the four great caliphs of Islam are favorites of this safe.”
Elsewhere in the article it explains the collection is divided into three main groups. The first consists of 7,500 Ottoman, 122 Arab, 525 Umayyad, 1,373 Abbasid, 714 “classic Greek,” 228 Greco-Roman [likely Greek Imperial], 432 Roman, and 392 Byzantine coins. The second group includes 10,570 coins of the Ottoman’s, 640 of which are gold. The third group of about 15,000 coins was originally assembled by well-known Turkish numismatist Cüneyt Ölçer.
The safe of which the article speaks is where the collection is stored in the Vedat Nedim Tör Museum. Ta?kent founded Yapi Kredi Bank. It is this bank that is now preparing to show the entire collection in the near future.
The assemblage of the collection began about 65 years ago when a group of well-known historians and numismatists as well as Ta?kent decided the establishment of such a collection would preserve some of the cultural assets of Turkey. The collections of antiquarian Hüseyin Kocaba? and of ?erafettin Erel formed the nucleus. This was followed by the purchase (by the bank) of existing collections assembled by other prominent collectors in Turkey. Ölçer’s collection was purchased in 1994.
Today’s Zaman says of this final purchase, “Finally, Ölçer’s collection was purchased in 1994 and eventually the world’s largest coin collection was brought into existence.”
Displaying any collection of this size and scope is difficult. Yap? Kredi Vedat Nedim Tör Museum Director ?ennur ?entürk and archeologist Nihat Tekdemir have teamed to take digital images of each coin in the massive collection. This digitized display will be online at the Yap? Kredi Kültür website www.ykykultur.com.tr, although no date for bringing this online has yet been announced.
According to the newspaper article, “The project aims to contribute to the correct understanding of history and facilitate the work of researchers.”
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On April 18, 2012 Yuriy
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