The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 10, March 6, 2011, Article 4


Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this press release on the latest edition of the classic "Red Book". -Editor

2012 RedBook Large Print edition The 2012 (65th) edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins (known to collectors as the "Red Book") includes many new features, plus additions and updates to the book's 1,900-plus color photographs. A redesigned title page commemorates the annually published guide's reaching its 65th anniversary. The new edition, debuting April 2010 in four different formats, is available online (including at and in bookstores and hobby shops nationwide.

"Valuations in this year's Red Book reflect the general state of the market, throughout the hobby," said longtime editor Kenneth Bressett. "Rare coins in exceptional condition continue to hold or increase in value. Many of the more ordinary items have shown some price weakening, while most low-grade pieces remain unchanged or in some cases have gone up because of their high bullion value. Overall, there seem to be bargains to be had throughout the entire range of American coins now that prices have receded a bit from the overheated market of recent years."

Bressett pointed to appendix C ("Bullion Values of Silver and Gold Coins") as an indicator of today's precious-metal trends. The 64th-edition Red Book charted silver from $8 to $22, and gold from $925 to $1,450. In the 65th edition this appendix has been doubled in size, charting silver from $16 to $43 and gold from $800 to $1,875.

Observing today's rare-coin market, Valuations Editor Jeff Garrett said, "Important, high-quality coins continue to bring record amounts. Increased bullion prices have lifted the value of common, low-grade issues, but in general coins with average eye appeal have softened slightly due to the weak economy. While many collectors and investors focus on bullion, rare coins offer tremendous value at today's prices."

Research Editor Q. David Bowers, commenting on the book's continuing popularity (more than 22 million copies have been sold since 1946), noted that "Even in the Internet age, the Red Book remains solidly the collector's best and first choice for instant information."

Modern coin series have been updated with new photographs, including the current Shield Reverse Lincoln cents, National Park quarters, Presidential dollars, Native American dollars, bullion coins, and commemoratives. Missing-edge-lettering errors are now mentioned among the Presidential dollars. The National Park quarters section includes a complete roster of coins to be released through 2021, listed by park and state. Older coins that have additional or updated photographs include Flying Eagle and Lincoln cents; Shield, Liberty Head, and Buffalo nickels; Draped Bust and Liberty Seated coinage; and the 1996 Olympic commemoratives.

The "Pre-Federal Issues" section covers colonial and post-colonial coins and tokens as well as Continental dollars and other early contract issues and patterns. The 65th edition continues to price these items in the expanded lower- to middle-range grades introduced in the 64th edition. "Many beginning collectors find Good and Very Good to be affordable jumping-in points for exploring these popular coins," said Bowers, author of the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. "Keen-eyed collectors will notice new information like the expanded text on John Adams Bolen's 19th-century copies of the Bar copper."

The "Bullion" section includes updated information and photographs for the U.S. Mint's latest issues, including the America the Beautiful™ five-ounce silver bullion coins, new First Spouse gold, and Proof platinum.

Mintage figures for all circulating coins and commemoratives have been updated as currently as possible with official data from the U.S. Mint.

The "Type-Coin Value" charts at the front of each denomination have been removed from the 65th-edition Red Book. "The higher-grade values previously covered in these charts are now covered in the Professional Edition Red Book, an advanced volume for the more experienced collector and specialist," said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker.

In addition to the 65th-Anniversary 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. "We've tracked auctions through early 2011," said Garrett, who noted a jump of more than $17,000 compared to the 64th edition's chart. "Last year's 250-ranked coin sold for $356,500," Garrett said. "To make it onto this year's list, the 250-ranked coin (a 1921 double eagle) sold for $373,750." Garrett also noted that two more individual coins broke the $1 million mark, for a total of 42.

To help guide collectors of high-grade coins and rarities, details from significant auction sales are listed throughout the Red Book's coin charts. Coins with new auction-record listings this year include the Continental dollar, large cents, several Draped Bust and Liberty Seated series, and Liberty Head and Saint-Gaudens double eagles.

Appendix B, "Collectible Red and Blue Books," has been expanded with more details. Coverage of recent collectible Red Books includes the 2011 Boston Numismatic Society Special Edition, currently valued at $100 in New condition.

The 129 listings in the Red Book's numismatic bibliography include more than a dozen references published from 2008 to 2011.

About the Guide Book of United States Coins

A Guide Book of United States Coins is the world's most popular annual retail price guide for U.S. coins, tokens, and other numismatic items. More than 22 million copies have been purchased since 1946, making it one of the best-selling nonfiction titles in the history of U.S. publishing.

For the 65th edition, more than 140 professional coin dealers, scholars, and other numismatic experts contributed their knowledge under the direction of Editor Kenneth Bressett, Valuations Editor Jeff Garrett, and Research Editor Q. David Bowers.

The 65th edition of the Red Book is available in April 2010, online and at bookstores and hobby shops nationwide. In addition to offering a Large Print Edition and several formats of the regular edition, Whitman Publishing is also taking pre-orders for the leather-bound Limited Edition (1,000 copies autographed by Bressett). For more information and to order, the Whitman web site is The publisher is offering free shipping on every order placed online that includes a 65th-edition Red Book, through April 5.

# # #

432 pages
Full color
By R.S. Yeoman; edited by Kenneth Bressett
$14.95 spiralbound
$16.95 hardcover
$19.95 spiralbound hardcover
$29.95 Large Print Edition
$69.95 leather-bound Limited Edition (1,000 copies)

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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