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The Red Books March On

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Or how an old book always manages to keep its appeal


I bought my first Red Book back in 1968 when I started collecting wheatback Lincolns to place in Whitman folders. I kept the doubles and triples in a plastic sewing box purchased at Woolworth's. The rounded troughs where the spools went were the perfect shape for placing rows of unrolled Cents. The bottom of the sewing box provided storage for my Red Book, my partially filled albums, and other misc. items. The whole package came complete with a handle for toting around my treasures. I even scored 1889, 1896, and 1922 Silver Dollars from my Grandparents. I was a 10 year old with a collection for the ages.


I remember reading that 1968 Red Book from cover to cover and just marveling at the wonderful world of U.S. coinage. In fact, I have bought a Red Book every year since then and always take the time to read the book thoroughly. Now these days, the price guide is mostly of value in establishing a baseline of comparison and a lot of the information, especially for the older coins have not changed much over the years but the Red Book Editors always manage to add a little more content and I always love to peruse mine while on the train or even in the bathroom (to much information there).


I have kept a Redbook for 1958, 1968, 1978, 1988, 1998, and 2008 (see the trend) but I give all the others away to anyone that expresses even the slightest interest in coins and the hobby. The 2012 Red Book is coming out soon. Gotta order my copy.



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