Dennis Tucker of Whitman publishing forwarded the following background on how coin prices are developed for the "Red Book", A Guide Book of United States Coins. Thanks!
There's been some conversation on the web forums recently about how Red Book pricing is derived.
Whitman Publishing has a sophisticated online system that can be accessed by the Red Book's pricing contributors. These contributors include more than 140 of the nation's top coin dealers and researchers-active experts who buy, sell, trade, and study U.S. coins every business day of the year. (And for most of these folks, that includes weekends, too!)
Our contributors analyze the retail and auction markets, and draw upon their firsthand knowledge, to come up with current pricing. First they focus on the series they specialize in, and then other series that they actively sell. All of this data goes into Whitman's master database. A report is generated presenting all of the data-thousands of price points, covering more than 6,000 individual coins and sets.
This master report is then carefully studied by two separate groups of pricing finalizers coordinated by Red Book editor Kenneth Bressett and valuations editor Jeff Garrett. The finalizers use decades of experience in numismatics to arrive at their final prices for each coin; they don't simply take an average of all the prices submitted by contributors.
Thanks to the Internet and lightning-fast communications, the Red Book's valuations are as current as possible when they go to press. Our contributors and editors keep an eye on the markets up to (and slightly beyond) the annual Florida United Numismatists show (the first major U.S. coin show held each year, in early January). They have time to adjust the book's pricing to reflect auctions and retail activity at the FUN show. When the Red Book debuts a few weeks later, its pricing is as fresh as possible.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS
the Q. David Bowers Research Library Sale Part III on October 9, 2010.
America On Stone; "Lithography" 1931 folio, limited numbered edition, by Harry T. Peters
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