Ron Abler poses an age-old question for numismatic authors - to price, or not to price?
Tom DeLorey's review of a “worst numismatic book” contained a statement that is very germane to a conundrum that I am facing with my book on 1876 Centennial medals. Mr. DeLorey wrote,
“Because the book was intended to serve as a reference that would last several years (unlike the Redbook which was repriced and reissued every year), the publishers decided to offer a small-format companion booklet that could be sold as an updated pricing guide every year, cross-referenced to the numbering system in the main book.”
He goes on to point out that the annual pricing guide itself was a failure.
This begs a perennial question: To price or not to price? My thinking is that a price list in a comprehensive reference almost certainly contains many prices that are little more than educated guesses and, as such, can be more misleading than informative. Further, the value of such a price list begins to depreciate the day it is sent to the printer.
My personal preference would be to provide an estimate of rarity rather than price.
I would be very interested to find out what your readers think.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
MORE ON THE WORST NUMISMATIC BOOKS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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