Monday, December 15, 2014

Book Review: A Guide Book of United States Coins Professional Edition

Speaking of Red Books as we did yesterday, I did not know this "Professional Edition" existed. I found out about it because I was reading back issues of The Numismatist. 

Let me quote from the introduction:

Its combination of more photographs, detailed higher-grade valuations, listings of additional varieties and rare early Proof coins, certified-coin population data, auction records, and other resources provides a wealth of information on every coin type ever made by the U.S. Mint. The Professional Edition is not an exhaustive study of die varieties, though it does expand (with close-up photographs, valuations, and chart notes) on the regular edition’s coverage of such coins. Rather, it is a handy single-source guide that educates its users in auction and certification trends, retail valuations, and similar aspects of the marketplace.

I bought the digital edition as I do with almost books where I have a choice.  This, however, is a case where I'll recommend that you buy the physical book.

It's not that the digital edition is badly formatted - that's actually done well. It's that the mintage and pricing tables are done as pictures that are somewhat fuzzy and do not zoom well.  These are probably much easier to read in the print edition.

That quibble aside, the content is excellent. This goes into much more detail than the traditional Red Book, though I do have to ask why publish both? There are unlikely to be many extra sales - I would think that, going forward, people will buy one or the other, not both.

The 5th edition shown here didn't cover Colonials, Tokens or Modern Commems - neither does the 6th edition (available now).  It seems odd to leave those out.

Note:  All my coins are in a safe deposit box.  I keep nothing in my home. 

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