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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
It was a splendid idea for Whitman to combine Jefferson and Buffalo Nickels into one guide as it is a logical progression from one series to the next (usually in reverse order). The beauty of this book is that it is that it breaks down each year in the series with a the kind of data that one really cares about; strike quality in the case of Buffaloes; Step data for Jeffersons; major die varieties in both series. This book is small enough and helpful enough so that one would not feel self-conscious taking it with him to a coin show for helpful consultation. I am less familiar with Buffs than I am with Jeffs so I'll confine my criticism to the Jefferson discussion and that is with the frequency data of 5 and 6 Full Step coins. I find this data to be far too generous for the following reasons: 1) The number is a hypothetical count on freshly minted coins and the reality is that most of the coins in the issue will not have countable full step cartridges due to wear; 2) Authors do not take into account hits which render the step count meaningless. In other words, in the real world one is simply not going to find full step coins, free of hits and bridges at the rate the editors claim. It is helpful, though, that the editors of this guide quote heavily from Nagengast which until now has done the most exhaustive published study of Jeffersons. I feel confident relying on the Whitman guide knowing that the editors of it studied Nagengast. As to the values charts that accompany each coin, these are definitely helpful if not dispositive but should be used in the context of the coin market at time of publication. Price swings are dramatic depending upon whether the coin market is doing well or poorly. All in all, this is a top notch guide and actually the best one on nickels I've encountered precisely because of its compact size, good coverage, dual coverage. There are better Buffalo books out there, Lange's third edition comes to mind, but for the money this is definitely top of the food chain.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on June 17, 2007
Format: Paperback
A Guide Book of Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels is the eighth entry in the Bowers Series of numismatic references: while general-interest holdings might find it too specialized a reference, any library strong in coin collecting must have this. Fine historical background accompanies detailed high-resolution enlargements of coins and discussions of mintages, market values in different grades, and even a reference to error coins. The chronological arrangement and discussion lends not only to quick identification, but to quick assessment of background history and values, making for a 'must' any serious coin collector needs.

Diane C. Donovan
California Bookwatch
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2008
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is great for the beginner or the advanced collector. It is well organized so you can skip over the chapters that do not interest you. If you are looking to become a specialist in Buffalo or Jefferson Nickels, this book is for you. It covers history and technical details of each series. In addition, each year and mint mark has a separate section detailing collecting strategies and information specific to that issue. Grading standards for each series is also covered in great detail.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 19, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Great up to 2009, then I am lost. I was not aware it was not up to date. For the reference and descriptions it does have, it is a wonderful tale of history in our country and its monetary journey through 2009. Interesting reading.
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on January 17, 2015
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
I've collected coins for over 60 years, but have always had an appreciation for Buffalo Nickels above all other coins. My current library of Buffalo Nickel related books consists of 16 different ones. I consider them all essential. This book won't be a disappointment to those interested in Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels. As for Buffalo Nickel specific, a few I would highly recommend are: "The Authoritative Reference on Buffalo Nickels" (Wexler, Pope & Flynn), "The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels" (Lange), "Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915" (Burdette), & "Buffalo Nickels The Abraded Die Varieties" (Pope).
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on January 26, 2014
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
He really emphasizes important stuff like strike quality for Buffalo Nickels that, for some reason, few others do. Lots of great information there about eye appeal and this and that for various dates.

I believe he actually vastly understates the true rarity of 100% complete full-strikes, which may be at times 10-80x more rare than he suggests. I also think they need to add a full strike minus category because there are many coins that are just missing a single hairline above the braid but are otherwise perfect but they get dumped in with all the rest of the strong strikes even though the ones that are close but just barely miss are much more rare (also for some dates no full strike even exists).

It's also nice that he tells people to watch out for the way the grading services (and most dealers) routinely over-grade circulated Buffalo Nickels these days and how a coin is a lot more than just a number on a slab.

A must have.
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on April 22, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
This book is comprehensive. It is well worth the purchase and I can use it to determine coin history and other misc. info
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on July 12, 2014
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
Well-written and helpful. But perhaps should have been two books, one for each design.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on March 13, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
Nice having this book on my device. Pictures are good. Great for a quick reference guide. Lots of good info.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 8, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels: Complete Source for History, Grading, and Values, when you need help on collecting, and or investing in coins; you can find, and trust "Red Book".
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