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Dennis J. Lutz, M.D.

Past President International Bank Note Society

In 2013 Dr. Ali Mehilba published the first edition of his monumental world paper money collecting catalog appropriately titled, “Mehilba World Replacement” (MWR). It was enthusiastically embraced by the world numismatic community and received the 2013 Book of the Year Award from the International Bank Note Society (IBNS). It has already joined the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money, now in three volumes but initially conceived by Albert Pick, and World War II Remembered by C. Fredrick Schwan and Joseph E. Boling on the very short library list of “must have” general numismatic books for both collectors and dealers.
Now, five years after its debut Mehilba World Replacement has been significantly updated in this new second edition. The amount of work involved in authoring a catalog of this nature, worldwide in scope, is staggering. The enormous research time, emotional trauma and financial commitment involved cannot be overstated. A truly significant second edition should be easier to compile than the first edition but it’s not. Every suggestion and criticism generated by the first edition needs to be addressed and painstakingly evaluated. Corrections, additions and especially deletions require difficult decisions that will never please everyone. My friend and fellow physician, Dr. Ali Mehilba, is indeed made of stern stuff covered by a thick skin to even again make the attempt.
I began collecting United States banknotes long before I transitioned to world paper money. From the beginning replacement notes, designated by a star or asterisk on U.S. currency, always fascinated me and became a collecting passion. World replacement banknotes were therefore even more alluring because a myriad of different symbols, letters, numbers and languages are involved. Replacement banknotes have never been common and many are downright rare, not to mention expensive. The frequency of replacement banknotes varies by country and quality control in the printing process but has been estimated to be between 1 in 1000 issued notes. Replacements are primarily used to replace banknotes damaged in the printing process to make 100 note bundles for accounting purposes. Dr. Mehilba has gleaned replacement data from central banks wherever possible but sometimes the information is simply not forthcoming. For older banknotes and obsolete countries there may be no definitive information – ever. There is always more to do.

Edited Image 2014-1-26-14:20:17
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