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A Buyer's Guide to Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States Paperback – October 30, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

The book Now let's get to the book. It's a fairly hefty tome, with 410 glossy pages, most of which have detailed color images of all kinds of silver dollars. Bowers starts off with a friendly introduction where he explains his approach in writing this book, calling it the Fireside Chat format. He writes as if you had asked the following question. "I am interested in coin collecting; please tell me about silver dollars, why you think they are interesting, and why I should collect them." What follows is his response. Chapter 1 - Getting Acquainted We begin with a brief overview of the history of silver dollars, and Bower covers a lot of ground. He touches on the history of silver dollars, the universal rarity scale, grading and certification. He ends with a section he calls the "I like it test" where he tells of an experience he had. Skilled coin graders (including him) were not able to correctly grade a group of slabbed $20 St. Gaudens graded MS-63 to MS-67. The person who came the closest to guessing all the grades was not even a grader herself, but a member of their auction department who asked to participate out of curiosity. He uses this story to illustrate that we should primarily collect coins we like, and not be too concerned about the certified grade of the coin. The grade has a tendency to vary depending on who you ask. Chapter 2 - Early Silver Dollars We now enter the realm of early silver dollars where he discusses the early minting processes and then goes through a detailed review of each year of the dollars. Most of the dates are accompanied by a high-quality color photo of the coin, which helps to identify the differing features and varieties. Chapter 3 - The Famous 1804 Dollar This is the big kahuna of dollars. Only 15 specimens are known to exist. To give you an idea of just how big it is, one of them sold for over $4 million in 1999. In this section he discusses the reason for the coin's rarity as well as the details of the known specimens and their history. Chapter 4 - Gobrecht Dollars The Gobrecht dollar is one of the rarest and shortest-lived major silver dollar type. There are only a few pages with just two photos to illustrate the coin. He discusses the history and a few varieties and that's about it. Chapters 5 - 10 These chapters cover Liberty Seated, Morgan, Peace, Eisenhower, Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea Dollars and form the meat of the book (Morgans especially). It's filled with details about each coin, including the legislation that enabled the coin to be produced, the designer of the obverse and reverse, weight and composition, business strike mintage, estimated quantity melted, estimated population by grade, characteristics of striking, known hoards of mint state coins, proof mintage, estimated population, varieties and a general commentary. Each date has its own color photo and a price table for the different grades. This same layout is used for each series and serves as a deep reference for all the dollar coins. Chapter 11 - Trade Dollars Now we reach the second half of the book that covers trade dollars. These are a lesser-known dollar, and he admits a preference for them. He explains how they came to be and how they were used to trade with China, then discusses the different types that exist. He then follows the same pattern used previously to identify characteristics of individual dates in the series. Chapter 12 - Silver "Eagle" Dollars This last chapter is a mere 2 ¼ pages, providing an explanation of the Silver Eagle, followed by a table with dates and prices. Summary I echo the oft-repeated adage to, "buy the book before the coin" with regards to collecting silver dollars. For less than the price of a nice Morgan Dollar, you can get this book to gain a wealth of knowledge about the rarity, value, nuances and varieties of silver dollars. --Coincollector.org, Dan Hersam, Editor

From the Publisher

At only $19.95, this book is a must for every coin collector! Enjoy this latest edition complete with a new chapter on Sacagawea dollars and color images for every coin!
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 410 pages
  • Publisher: Zyrus Press, Inc.; 3rd edition (October 30, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0974237175
  • ISBN-13: 978-0974237176
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #390,720 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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The book payed for itself within one week after I received it.
Robert Ernst
If you are a serious collector, and devoting money every month to new purchases, it's probably a very good investment to sign up for a membership.
intellagent
I think that buyer expected this book to tell her everything she needed to know.
Elvis (Alive In Utah)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Elvis (Alive In Utah) on March 9, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a great book to purchase if you are collecting silver dollars. It would pay for itself many times over. The best books to purchase regarding silver dollars are "Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States - A Complete Encyclopedia". However, these books will cost a few hundred dollars.

The best way to describe the book, "A Buyer's Guide to Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States" would be to think of it as a summary of the complete encyclopedia I described above. I saw the bad review written previously. I think that buyer expected this book to tell her everything she needed to know. No book will do this! But the combination of a book on grading coins (with pictures) and this book would be a great combination!

There is a saying, "Buy the book before you buy the coin." This is the book to buy before buying silver dollars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Alan M. Gardner on May 31, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a novice at coin collecting, and I thought this book provided me basic knowledge about Silver Dollars and Trade Dollars (a special interest of mine). There may be better books, but I thought it provided well-written information on Morgan Dollars and Trade Dollars.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Robert Ernst on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The book payed for itself within one week after I received it. Great information and very accurate. I recommend it to anyone interested in coins.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Looking to fill holes in ysour collecdtionnnnnnn; start a collecdtion; upgrade the collecdtion you've got? This is a good book to have handy when youa are on eBay in the aucdtions, and ready to mke a buy to fill in holes or upgrade what you'vve got in your holdings.
Bowers issa titan in the numismatic field. He's probably written 20 books or more. I think of him as the James Kitchener of coin book auhors. He goes date and mint mark, one by each in the stated series being addressed by he particular book, and talks about the coin in general--mintage,estimate,, population in low to M.S. grades, and Bowers' expert summary comment on the issue.
About the only critical remark I can make--and we all know how much he world loves critics(but the pigeons sure do)is that i it contains accurate and up to date market pricing information on each grade from Good(G) to MS67., The market pricing is really out of date for a lot of coins given it draws on2007 data. the book was published in 2009. Even that is obsolete now.
Fortunately, collectors can go online to PCGS.com(Thank you!) where they will find up to date pricing information on all issues. If you are a serious collector, and devoting money every month to new purchases, it's probably a very good investment to sign up for a membership. Details online.), And find a Lancelot-like dealer to work with in assembling a solid lifetime collection (tough)
Still; if I were a book editor at a coin publishing house, i would make it a life's goal to persuade Mr. Bowers to write one book a year, and revise important books such as this one, at least every other year..Five Stars; Five Gold Stars; and worth it.
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Frequently Bought Together

A Buyer's Guide to Silver Dollars & Trade Dollars of the United States + Silver Coin Pricing Guide, 1800-2000: A Reference for Buying and Selling 19th and 20th Century World Coins on eBay, Websites and at Coin Shows
Price for both: $24.80

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