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A Guide Book of United States Coins 2017: The Official Red Book, Spiralbound Edition Spiral-bound – April 5, 2016
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The Red Book is the one reference that practically every U.S. coin collector and dealer keeps within arm's reach. Its information is vital for anyone interested in numismatic education. Today the 70th edition is even more relevant than the groundbreaking 1st edition was in 1946. --Jeff Garrett, President, American Numismatic Association
When coin collectors, friends, and family ask for the single best guide book on American coins, my answer is simple: The Official Red Book. Whether you want to determine values or research the history of a coin, if you're interested in United States coinage you should own this indispensable reference. It's what I use. --Edmund C. Moy, 38th Director, United States Mint (2006-2011)
From the Inside Flap
The newly expanded Official Red Book "A Guide Book of United States Coins" celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2016. For 70 years collectors around the country have loved the book's grade-by-grade values, auction records, historical background, detailed specifications, high-resolution photographs, and accurate mintage data. How rare are your coins? How much are they worth? The Red Book tells you, covering everything from early colonial copper tokens to hefty Old West silver dollars and dazzling gold coins. You'll find 33,000+ prices for more than 7,700 coins, tokens, medals, sets, and other collectibles. You'll also round out your education in commemoratives, Proof and Mint coins, error coins, Civil War tokens, Confederate coins, private gold, and all the latest National Park quarters, Presidential and Native American dollars, Lincoln cents, and more. Articles on investing, grading coins, and detecting counterfeits will make you a savvy collector; and entertaining essays on the history of American coinage, shipwrecks and hoards, and the modern rare-coin market give you an inside look at "the hobby of kings." These are just some of the features of the informative, entertaining, invaluable "Red Book"the world's best-selling coin price guide (more than 23 million copies sold). The 2017 edition is 16 pages longer than the 2016 edition, making it the biggest and best yet!
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What one has to understand and I buy these every couple years here and there. The Red book is a guide to see not so much accurate pricing but it tells you what the coin is worth and what you can say it is valued in a collection. Every grade is not represented. A coin dealer will Not pay these prices for your coins in the Red Book, they want to sell at these prices. The Blue book will also show a bit more what it sells for as a guide and you will see lower pricing. This is more for selling coin collector to coin collector not via a dealer and even then it is iffy. That said you want to look for the Coin Dealer News Letter on line and the Grey sheet as a closer source of what the weekly BID and ASK prices of coins are. You want to take the Grey sheet to coin shows to show you are knowledgeable. I highly suggest you never ever ever buy a RAW ungraded coin unless you truly know what you are buying because coin dealers will pull one over on you by selling high and giving you a low ball number when you go to sell. I suggest only buying slabbed coins from PCGS or NGC the other companies are ok, but PCGS I think has the highest standard and strictness for grading. It is my personal taste and opinion. Get a subscription to PCGS or NGC. I know PCGS will give you access to the coin verification with more links to where the coin sits on the whole grading line showing plus grades too. You can get access to coin world and you can see where the coin sold at auction which is what dealers use to get a sense of what the market place is selling/trading. Collectors Universe etc. You can also see how a coin pricing trends over the years.
When you invest or buy coins buy the best you can and the Greysheet will show you where a coin takes a huge step up in value. For a arbitrary example. The 1882 Morgan dollar in MS-63 it is a $70 coin, MS-64 is a $100 coin but in MS-65 it is a $500 coin in MS-66 it is a $1,500 coin
The book offers information and pictures of each coin listed. It offers the worth of the coins based on its overall condition. This is a great reference book to have on hand. It is also a good read to browse through as there are some interesting facts regarding the coins.
Although the overall coin prices really don’t change much each year but we enjoy having the book to add to our collection. I prefer the spiral bound book because it opens completely and lays flat. We are always going back and forth between our coin of reference and the book so this makes it easier by keeping the page open.
This is a good book to have on hand for any coin collector as well as anyone having an interest in U.S. coin currency. My son enjoys flipping through the book and learning some of the history behind certain coins and what it is that makes them valuable. It is a fun and educational hobby to have and great to get kids involved in.
This book gives you much of the information you look for when trying to find the value of a certain coin. The pictures make it easy to match up the coins. As a family we can spend hours with our magnifying glasses, Red Coin Book, and Collection of coins looking for imperfections and such.
The book lays flat when open. Making it hands free. I can hold my coin and magnifying glass and glance back and forth to the book.
It has a lot of info. and can be a bit tricky to navigate and find exactly what I am looking for. I think I will get better with time.
Good photos with color, so your pretty sure your looking at the right coin.
Beginning with the intriguing and rare Sommer Islands' issues aptly named "Hogge Money" from 1616 an accessible and manageable monetary history of the US unfolds. Even items unobtainable to those lacking aristocratic incomes appear, such as Brasher Doubloons, Continental Currency and the 1792 "Dismes" and "Half Dismes," all of which easily fetch 6 or 7 figures at auction. The included lovely but inevitably inadequate paper reproductions remain the closest many will come to experiencing such deified rarities. Special sections also exist for the 1804 dollar and Gobrecht Dollars, but the equally celebrated 1913 Liberty Nickel receives only a cursory mention. Following an almost dizzying but fascinating parade of colonial and post-colonial issues, the book lists coins by denomination starting with the now enigmatic and very obsolete copper half cent. Alongside very familiar issues, such as the Lincoln Cent, Roosevelt dime and the Washington Quarter, other long lost denominations crop up like lion fish amongst tuna, many of which were probably good ideas at the time. Thankfully, short historical footnotes accompany most sections and help illuminate these now seemingly puzzling coins. The two-cent and three cent piece both had practical 19th century applications. Half dimes were basically nickels clothed in silver and the very strange and extremely short lived twenty cent piece probably remains one of the US mint's most beguiling blunders. Its size proximity to the quarter dollar created confusion similar to the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar released over a century later. The lesson: don't release new coins that are nearly identical to coins already in circulation, especially if they differ in purchasing power. Additional lesser known coins also receive attention, such as confederate, Hawaiian, Puerto Rican, and the early 20th century standard and commemorative releases of the Philippines. Many of these also command exorbitant prices.
Though the book often revels in rarities, it doesn't neglect recent clad issues and their special variations, such as the well-known and well circulated Statehood and America the Beautiful quarters, the "Westward Journey" nickels, the Presidential and Native American dollars and the 2009 bicentennial Lincoln cents. Photos of all appear (though this edition appeared too early to include photos of the most recent First Spouse issues, including the much anticipated Jacqueline Kennedy piece). Opinions also vary on the US mint's commemorative program, but the curious, or morbidly curious, will find every commemorative ever issued within these solid red covers. Many of the "classic" commemoratives feature breathtakingly beautiful designs, such as the Oregon Trail Memorial. This era ended with the controversial 1951 - 1954 Carver/Washington issue. The book provides a curious quote claiming that proceeds from the sales of these coins, among the first in the US to picture African-Americans, went "to oppose the spread of communism among Negroes in the interest of national defense." Very interesting, indeed. This apparently dealt such a blow to the program that commemoratives didn't appear again until 1982. Some argue that we're now in an era of commemorative and variety glut that may strangle the hobby. A profusion of limited edition "reverse proofs," special mint marks and limited mint sets fuels a secondary market that can temporarily inflate values and cause collector frustration. And this Red Book edition doesn't yet include the controversial Truman and Kennedy "Coin and Chronicles" sets that sold out almost immediately. Many blame the horrifying decline in stamp collecting, and stamp values, on a similar flooding of the market with endless releases that led to irreversible collector frustration. But not everyone agrees with this ominous warning or decrees the same fate for coin collecting.
Many will also notice that the Red Book calls itself a "guide book" and not a "price guide," though it does contain a litany of prices and values. The book itself contains a warning about following the listed prices too closely, as the market fluctuates wildly and unpredictably over the span of a year. That said, few will probably recommend using the Red Book as a guide to pricing. The instantly updatable internet has even started to question the very existence of print price guides and many dealers now use online subscription services to determine values. That said, the Red Book and the accompanying Blue Book can give a rough order of magnitude pricing range for newcomers, not to mention valuable mintage data and crucial historical background information. Not only that, some of the best information in the Red Book has nothing to do with pricing. The introduction provides a fascinating and detailed outline of the history of US coins and famous hoards plus advice on the coin market, detecting counterfeits and the ever elusive topic of grading. A small discussion of errors, values of collectible Red and Blue books, historical bullion prices and the top 250 auction prices and a bibliography close the book. Though most who purchase this book will likely want to own coins of their own, it's completely feasible that someone who never wants to purchase a single physical coin could still derive much useful information from these pages. As such, the Red Book is probably best thought of as a reference book, not as a price guide, and one with a history all its own. It will turn 70 next year and only time will tell if its printed pages will eventually succumb to the digital bits of the internet. Until then, assuming that does happen, it will remain an indelible institution in and of itself for the field of numismatics.