I bought my first Redbook in 1972, and it is still the standard to be matched. I recently got back into coin collecting and naturally I searched for coin price guides on the interwebs... to my surprise, there didn;t seem to be any reliable look-up style websites that provide the detail and accuracy of the Redbook, especially regarding the history of the mintings. I have a worn-out old copper coin that I thought was unidentifiable, and sure enough the Redbook had it listed (turns out to be a 1700s colonial coin from Massachusettes), and it included the history and WHY they were minted. I am amazed that a book like this is still top dog over some internet solution. The spiral binding is GREAT, the book lays flat. The hard cover versions many moons ago didn't, and often the pages would come loose with heavy use.
If you need to price US coinage, this is the best 10 bucks you can spend.
Book will tell you everything you need to know about coins. Pictures are included and make coin errors easy to see what you need to look for. Grading info ia also included at the beginning of each section. This book will keep you busy. I now have to tell people to get one of their own, due to them coming to my work to look coins up for them. A very good buy for both pro or amature collectors!
The most complete listing and guide of United States Coins available anywhere. I purchased the 2012 'Red Book' after ordering the A Guide Book of United States Coins 2011: Professional Edition (Official Red Book: Bowers) last December when it became available, and much to my surprise, finding out the 'Professional edition' doesn't include a complete listing of all U.S. coins like the standard 'Red Book' does. The 'Professional edition' lacks any information on some series entirely such as modern commemorative coins from 1982 onward, Proof and Mint sets from 1967 onward, which makes the 'Professional Edition' completely useless for anyone researching these items. In addition, the mintage information for new series listings in the standard edition is more up to date than the 'Professional edition' as well. Overall the standard edition 'Red Book' is a better buy for anyone not needing the expanded information of the 'Professional edition' (graded population figures, additional pricing information, etc) since the standard 'Red Book' has the most current information and includes listing information on ALL U.S. coins.
This publication is well layed out, with several resources of the contents to assist in locating the page or pages to research your collection. (Index, glossary,page headings, etc.) Additionally, under each category, descriptions of each coin type, and variations in the individual coins themselves, help in doing a self appraisal of your collection, especially for a novice coin collector.
I have used this book for many years as an information source to help keep my coin collection organized and up to date. The "Red Book" is trusted and recognized by other collectors and dealers everywhere. What I like about this particular format of the book, is that it features a looseleaf spiral binder and print that is easy to read without squinting or using a magnifying glass! Also, because it is so logically organized, it's easy to skip from one denomination to another quickly. Additionally, it is richly illustrated with pictures of the coins and contains information to help assign grades to your coins. You need to understand that the prices in this book are average retail prices at the time of printing, which is done in the spring of the year for the following year; e.g. spring of 2011 for the 2012 edition. So, the further you are away from the print date, if you have a particularly valuable piece you wish to sell or trade, you may want to check another source prior to selling. With gold and silver prices going nuts these days it's difficult for anyone to keep up with current values! (While precious metal prices do not figure heavily into collectible coin prices, they do have some impact.) There is also a companion "Blue Book" by the same publisher that has basically the same information but lists dealer prices instead of retail. I would say that the Red Book is an absolute "must have" for the collector because of its recognition by others, respect in the collecting world and complete ease of use.
excellent book for finding values of coins when looking to buy. have found it very helpful as a beginner in collecting coins. very well organized, easy to use has a lot of useful information. I take it with me when I travel as I may find something I want or need for my collection. I have used it to check prices before buying. Has helped me not get ripped off or pay too much.