Dennis Tucker forwarded the press release for the latest edition (the 64th) of the classic Red Book, a.k.a. A Guide Book of United States Coins.
The 2011 (64th) edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins (known to collectors as the "Red Book") includes many new features, plus dozens of additions to the book's 1,800-plus color photographs. The new edition, available April 2010, can be found online (including at WhitmanBooks.com) and in bookstores and hobby shops nationwide.
"The hobby has been very active, and as always the Red Book reflects that activity," said longtime editor Kenneth Bressett. He cited as an example the "Bullion Values of Gold Coins" in appendix C. "In the 63rd edition we charted gold from $675 to $1,100. Because gold has been so active, affecting many areas of the hobby, this year we've charted it from $925 to $1,450."
Sections that have additional photographs include Lincoln cents, Capped Bust dimes, Morgan dollars, Washington quarters, modern dollars, and commemoratives. The "Misstrikes and Errors" appendix includes new photographs including a clipped-planchet Liberty Head nickel; a multiple-strike Pennsylvania state quarter; Washington quarter and Lincoln cent cuds; an off-center Flying Eagle cent; and a Franklin half dollar struck on a nickel planchet.
A section that has seen expansion with additional information is "Pre-Federal Issues," which covers colonial and post-colonial coins and tokens as well as Continental dollars and other early contract issues and patterns. "The colonial and Revolutionary eras are rich fields for exploration," said Red Book research editor Q. David Bowers, whose Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins won "Best Specialized Book of the Year, U.S. Coins" from the Numismatic Literary Guild. Because so many new hobbyists are starting to collect these early American coins, the 64th-edition Red Book has expanded its pricing in lower- to middle-range grades. "Good and Very Good are popular collectible grades for these old coppers, and affordable for the beginner," Bowers noted. The 64th edition includes 110 more pre-federal prices than the 63rd, in addition to text updated with recent research.
In the "Commemoratives" section, the 64th edition includes new photographs, as well as information on the latest U.S. Mint offerings, and updated mintage data. In addition, classic commemoratives are now priced up to grade MS-66. "The 63rd edition stopped at MS-65," said Red Book valuations editor Jeff Garrett, "but many serious collectors seek the classic commems of 1892 to 1954 in higher Mint State grades." The addition of the higher-grade pricing covers 109 early commemorative coins and sets.
The "Bullion" section includes updated information and photographs for the U.S. Mint's latest issues, including, for the first time, a listing for the 2008W burnished American Silver Eagle with the reverse of 2007. "This is a variety that has excited modern-coin and bullion collectors," said editor Bressett. "It's easily discernible to the unaided eye, and it represents a significant design variety. We've been watching its market activity and collector interest, and decided it's time to include it in the Red Book."
New content has been added to cover the 2009 Lincoln cent designs, the 2010 "Union Shield" reverse cent, the Native American "Great Law of Peace" dollar, National Park quarters, Presidential dollars, and First Spouse gold bullion coins. Mintage figures have also been updated as currently as possible with official data from the U.S. Mint.
In addition to the 64th Red Book's nearly 33,000 individual coin prices in up to nine grades per series, Appendix D showcases the Top 250 Auction Prices for U.S. coins.
"To keep up with modern coins, we've added pages to Small Cents; Silver and Related Dollars; Commemoratives; and Bullion," said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. "With each new Red Book, we look for ways to make small but valuable editorial improvements. For example, in the 64th edition's table of contents, we've inserted date ranges for each coin type. This might seem minor to an experienced collector, but it's very helpful and informative for beginners."
Appendix B, "Collectible Red and Blue Books," has been expanded with more details, including more pricing for early Blue Books. Coverage of recent collectible Red Books includes the 2010 Large Print Edition, and the limited-print-run Philadelphia Expo edition (valued at $50).
The Red Book's numismatic bibliography continues to be updated with current literature, to aid in further research. Its 129 listings include more than a dozen references published from 2008 to 2010.
By R.S. Yeoman; edited by Kenneth Bressett
$19.95 spiralbound hardcover
$29.95 Large Print Edition
$69.95 leather-bound Limited Edition (1,500 copies)
For more information, or to order, see:
2011 Red Book U.S. Coins Hard Cover
Wayne Homren, Editor
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