What is the CJ number (or code) of a coin from Argentina? It’s this.

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The thing about coin collecting is that, when you are starting to get into it, you often come across specialized terminology in catalogs or guides that can be difficult to understand at the beginning of your numismatic journey. So, here in ColeMone, from time to time, we are going to take a look at those basic concepts. Today, let’s take a look at what exactly the CJ number, or CJ code, of a coin from Argentina means.

The CJ number, or CJ code, (acronym of Catálogo Janson, Spanish for Janson Catalog) of an Argentinian coin is a number belonging to the classification system laid out in the La Moneda Circulante en Territorio Argentino coin catalog, the unofficial standard for Argentine numismatics.

La Moneda Circulante en Territorio Argentino

Even though the most important coin catalog in the world is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, which assigns a unique KM code to world coins, its coverage is way too wide: every coin in the world from the 16th century onwards. And that tends to cause a problem for those who are looking for depth, since, for most countries, it just doesn’t provide enough.

Argentina - 8 Reales 1815 - SixBid Description
The description from this coin, auctioned off in Stack’s Bowers, uses both the CJ and KM numbers for its classificacion.

So, generally, there is a specialized catalog for each country working as a complement to the Standard Catalog. Usually, these national catalogs are more accurate in their information.

For Argentina, that national catalog is La Moneda Circulante en Territorio Argentino, by Héctor Carlos Janson. Its latest edition was released in 2020, and it covers the whole period from 2019 to all the way back to 1574, when the Potosí mint (nowadays, Bolivia) started to manufacture coins that circulated in what today is Argentina’s territory under the reign of Phillip II of Spain.

Janson Catalog Cover
Cover of the Janson Catalog.

Héctor Carlos Janson passed away a few weeks after the release of the latest edition in 2019, but he is considered one of the most important numismatic scholars in the history of Argentina, and his extensive coin collection is in the Museum of the Argentine Republic Central Bank’s exhibition.

The public launch event for the catalog, held during the 2019 National Argentinian Numismatics and Exonumia Days is available in YouTube (in Spanish).

There’s also a kind of abbreviated version of this catalog, titled Amonedación de la República Argentina. It covers the period between 1881, when the Argentine Republic started to mint coins under its own name, up to nowadays.

In the end, the CJ code, or number, is not strictly necessary to enjoy our collections and our hobby. But, it’s so widely influential in Argentine numismatics, and its use is so frequent, that it’s very convenient to know at least what it is. And, if you have the book at home, all the better.

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