What percentage of active coin collectors read hobby books....
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On 8/10/2022 at 3:25 PM, RWB said:

But....do collectors and others in the hobby read new books? Do they learn from new research and new approaches?

...no, the question posed was what % read those new hobby books nothing bout do they learn anything new...the answer is very few, %wise definitely not out of the single digits n most likely very low single digits...if the opposite were true the book publishers would be beating down doors...there is no money to be made selling a hundred or less copies of a book, hence private or subsidized publishing...the "red book" the old krause catalogs n QDB's books sold in the thousands because they were needed and/or interesting to both the specialist n the universal collector...i dont have actual records of sales but i would venture that DWL's books on money boards outsells most other specialized coin series books...if true there is a lesson there if not true then i am wrong....

 

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On 8/10/2022 at 3:44 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

[I cannot believe @GoldFinger1969 uttered the word "pedigree."

@VKurtB: Once again you've proven my assertion that you enjoy "unconditional immunity," whether other members believe you deserve to, or not.

@DWLange: Nice to hear your voice again.]  🐓 

...thats because goldfinger knows from whence he speaketh....

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On 8/10/2022 at 4:44 PM, VKurtB said:

I want to make it clear that “just” NARA letters would not make a compelling read for me. There has to be more, something ORIGINAL, some analysis, not just “lookyhere” what I found. Data without analysis and context is pretty unimpressive.

Example: the Membership and Outreach Committee of the ANA met over Zoom today. I am a member of that committee. The ANA’s membership is between 26,000 and 27,000 right now. So what? Now, if I tell you that’s a HIGHER NUMBER than during the silver boom of the mid-1960’s, that’s context. 
 

When was the zenith of ANA membership? When the ANA owned and ran the ANACS certification service. 

...operative word being ORIGINAL....

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With the demise of brick and mortar book stores it’s become hard to preview books to see if they are worth buying.  Coin books are even more challenging to find and I’ve found my LCSs only carry the red book and a handful of other books.

As a newer collector I bought a few books to get started.  I found a number of web sites, some with useful well written info, and many that look like my first attempt at creating a web site in 1993.  I’ve added the coin world grading book and Rogers book is on order as that topic is fascinating to me.  Plus my son and I joined ANA, and I’ve been reading past issues of the Numismatist. My local library is thin on coin books, but does have access to coin worlds magazine online.

What are good books for the beginner, intermediate and beyond collector? 

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Almost all public libraries participate in interlibrary loan (ILL). This means you can borrow a copy of any book from anywhere in the US and Canada. The common fee is $3.

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On 8/11/2022 at 11:46 AM, CoffeeTime said:

With the demise of brick and mortar book stores it’s become hard to preview books to see if they are worth buying.  Coin books are even more challenging to find and I’ve found my LCSs only carry the red book and a handful of other books.

As a newer collector I bought a few books to get started.  I found a number of web sites, some with useful well written info, and many that look like my first attempt at creating a web site in 1993.  I’ve added the coin world grading book and Rogers book is on order as that topic is fascinating to me.  Plus my son and I joined ANA, and I’ve been reading past issues of the Numismatist. My local library is thin on coin books, but does have access to coin worlds magazine online.

What are good books for the beginner, intermediate and beyond collector? 

As a member of the ANA you also have borrowing privileges at what might be the largest numismatic library we know of. 

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On 8/11/2022 at 11:46 AM, CoffeeTime said:

With the demise of brick and mortar book stores it’s become hard to preview books to see if they are worth buying.  Coin books are even more challenging to find and I’ve found my LCSs only carry the red book and a handful of other books.

As a newer collector I bought a few books to get started.  I found a number of web sites, some with useful well written info, and many that look like my first attempt at creating a web site in 1993.  I’ve added the coin world grading book and Rogers book is on order as that topic is fascinating to me.  Plus my son and I joined ANA, and I’ve been reading past issues of the Numismatist. My local library is thin on coin books, but does have access to coin worlds magazine online.

What are good books for the beginner, intermediate and beyond collector? 

The best place to browse for new numismatic books is the Wizard Coin Supplies place, whether it’s live at a major coin show (my preferred way) or (if you feel you absolutely MUST) (/rolls eyes HARD) over the Internet. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 8/11/2022 at 12:46 PM, CoffeeTime said:

What are good books for the beginner, intermediate and beyond collector? 

It all depends upon your interests.

The only coin books I bought recently were purchased directly from the author.  But then, he collects the some of the same coins I do.

If you are interested in generic information to collecting, many books out there with most of it seeming to be about US coins written by US based authors.  If you are interested in learning a specific US series, everyone except maybe SQ and later has one. 

If you are interested in non-US coins, it depends.  Most non-US series don't have reference books.  Most of these "reference" books are inaccurate price guides useful for attribution but not much else.  Many aren't written in English and some are quite dated too.

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On 8/10/2022 at 2:08 PM, VKurtB said:

No, that’s not correct at all. Not even close. They had to relent because some bureaucratic I-d-I-o-t had incorrectly issued an export certificate. Keep in mind that many thousands of gold coins only exist today because they “fled the country”. Otherwise, they’d be part of Ft. Knox bars today. 

Then why not argue the coin was illegal and the only reason there was an Export/Import License was some bureaurcratic i-d-i-o-t screwed up ?  The government clearly felt that without controlling the venue (i.e., judge shopping) and with discovery and other facts open to being included....they might not win. 

They MIGHT win -- but they might NOT.

I don't want to go into the whole 1933 DE again and hijack the thread...but this whole thing assumes that Switt or whomever got them out of the Philly Mint did so illegally and/or STOLE them.  No proof of either has ever been shown. 

That's why I always thought a settlement was fair to both parties.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 8/10/2022 at 3:04 PM, VKurtB said:

Here’s the basic problem, Hoop. Coin people IGNORE THE LAW!!!  Goldfinger and his past posts are illustrative. “There was no proof beyond a reasonable doubt that the coins were stolen.” True, but irrelevant.  “The Government should have had the burden of proof.” Well, too bad, they didn’t as a matter of law.  These are the things that matter, to the law but not to coin people.  There is almost no dispute on the facts in the Langbord case. The coins COULD CONCEIVABLY HAVE BEEN EXCHANGED COIN FOR COIN IN ACCORDANCE WITH PAST PRACTICES. The problem is that is irrelevant and coin people don’t accept its irrelevance.  There was only one finding that matters, and the only question the jury needed to answer: “Is it more likely than not that the coins left the Mint by surreptitious means, by ANYONE, not necessarily the Langbord’s ancestors?” Once you understand the ONLY question before the trial court, the ballgame is over. 

I agree with you here.  But I disagree on who should have had the burden of proof and other procedural rulings and so-called "findings of fact."

Plus, there's lots of other stuff that I agree probably shouldn't have been entered into court but showed the garbage thrown out by the government (i.e, threatening Roy Langbord with imprisonment).

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On 8/11/2022 at 1:59 PM, RWB said:

Almost all public libraries participate in interlibrary loan (ILL). This means you can borrow a copy of any book from anywhere in the US and Canada. The common fee is $3.

...true but some of the books in question were not bought by any libraries, hence none to loan....

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On 8/11/2022 at 3:18 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Then why not argue the coin was illegal and the only reason there was an Export/Import License was some bureaurcratic i-d-i-o-t screwed up ?  The government clearly felt that without contolling the venue (i.e., judge shopping) and with discovery and other facts open to being included....they might not win. 

They MIGHT win -- but they might NOT.

I don't want to go into the whole 1933 DE again and hijack the thread...but this whole thing assumes that Switt or whomever got them out of the Philly Mint did so illegally and/or STOLE them.  No proof of either has ever been shown. 

That's why I always thought a settlement was fair to both parties.

There is no judge shopping in the United States District Court for Eastern Pennsylvania. That constitutes a smear on your part. I’ve been in that court. Judges are assigned by the President Judge. The factual case was a jury trial. Under the Rules of Civil Procedure, judges must seek to insulate a jury from all testimony that is not probative of the case. That’s what the judge is there for. If there were ANYTHING untoward about the judge’s rulings on the admissibility of evidence, that would have been raised on appeal. There was an appeal, but no allegations on admissibility were part of it. It was about forfeiture. Really, dude, you really should be circumspect about smearing federal judges. 
 

Now, venue per se. The Eastern Pennsylvania District was perfection. Both the Mint AND Jeweler’s Row on Samson Street in Philly, where Switt’s place was, are LITERALLY less than a five minute stroll from the courthouse. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 8/11/2022 at 12:46 PM, CoffeeTime said:

What are good books for the beginner, intermediate and beyond collector? 

It depends on what you want to collect. Defining your interests or wishes a bit better on a site like this one will be well worth your effort. There are so many good books out there ready to expand your horizons. 

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On 8/11/2022 at 4:01 PM, Zebo said:

It depends on what you want to collect. Defining your interests or wishes a bit better on a site like this one will be well worth your effort. There are so many good books out there ready to expand your horizons. 

My mental model was for folks here to suggest books for the person new to collecting.  Granted many nowadays will just google “coin collecting “ and go from there.  

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On 8/11/2022 at 9:04 PM, CoffeeTime said:

Granted many nowadays will just google “coin collecting “ and go from there.  

I threw up in my mouth a little when I read that. You’re right, of course, and that’s as good of a proximate cause for our decline as a civilization as any other. 

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On 8/11/2022 at 10:04 PM, CoffeeTime said:

My mental model was for folks here to suggest books for the person new to collecting.  Granted many nowadays will just google “coin collecting “ and go from there.  

The red book series is a great place to start along with a book on grading. From there it depends on your interests. The Bower series of red books are a good introduction into many different series and they contain much more information and history than the standard red books, but the standard red books are still a great place to start. There are also the Mega red books.
 
As you progress and begin to define the series that interest you - there are more specialized books to add. We all could recommend many books, but I think most would agree to start with the red books. The main objective is to read as much on the subject as you can before diving in with both feet.

Are you interested in world coins? That’s a bit different.

 

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@RWB I think your question is difficult to answer.  Maybe, for me, the question is, "Do people read books?"  I read a lot... Business books, pleasure books, reference materials.  I do use Numismatic books daily, and I break them into two categories:

  1. Background and History Reference
  2. Variety and Die State Reference

When I started two years ago, I bought both indiscriminately.  Frankly, I had to.  I didn't know anything, so everything is an improvement.  I have now found that the first category provides interesting stories, but really doesn't help me in the longer term.  The one exception to this is your book From Mine to Mint.  I am not trying to gas-you-up on that, but I found that book to be critical to understanding the minting process.  It's likely the only background book that I would read a second time, cover-to-cover. 

Books with lots of pictures of varieties and dies states are books that are in my lap while I look to buy coins everyday.  Some might look at this as "picture book reading" and to a degree, they are correct.  However, books either help me along in a series, or they do not.

I am a reader.  I like paper books (preferably hardbound).  I take notes in the margins and flag pages.  This is the way I learn best.

I realize I didn't answer your question - "What percentage of collectors?"  I think I need to know the definition of "collector".  I would think most "casual collectors", people who look at their change, don't read books.  In fact, many of them may not even have the Red Book.  I think most collectors who are engaged in completing difficult series, or are expanding an "easier" series to contain varieties do own at least one book on the series.  

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
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On 8/11/2022 at 9:23 AM, zadok said:

...no, the question posed was what % read those new hobby books nothing bout do they learn anything new...the answer is very few, %wise definitely not out of the single digits n most likely very low single digits...if the opposite were true the book publishers would be beating down doors...there is no money to be made selling a hundred or less copies of a book, hence private or subsidized publishing...the "red book" the old krause catalogs n QDB's books sold in the thousands because they were needed and/or interesting to both the specialist n the universal collector...i dont have actual records of sales but i would venture that DWL's books on money boards outsells most other specialized coin series books...if true there is a lesson there if not true then i am wrong....

Some people might not be into reading anything, let alone coin books even if they are a collector.

As a Saint and Double Eagle fan, there aren't that many books out there.  To me, you have to get Bower's Red Book on DE's, the dated but classic Akers/Ambio book on Indian Heads & Saints, and of course Roger's Saints DE book which is the modern Bible on Saints. 

There are estimated about 25,000 serious or type collectors of Saints....how many have bought any of those 3 books ?

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On 8/12/2022 at 10:27 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

There are estimated about 25,000 serious or type collectors of Saints....how many have bought any of those 3 books ?

For my primary series, the print run for Gilboy's "The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America" was 500.  I bought mine in 2002 for $65 off eBay.  Recently, I understand it sells for about $400.  Not sure if the 500 copies are all available now though.

Yonaka's books (others for my series), probably in the hundreds.  Quite confident it's not over 1000 or less than 100.  These are more recent (versus 1999 for Gilboy's).

Type collectors and many if not most "investors" have no use for reference books.  So even if the actual collector base for Saints is 25,000, I doubt many more will buy it than buy mine.  I'd have to see what's actually in it to form a better opinion.

Most US series should have a potential market for several thousand, but I still doubt more than a few (if any) actually sell that many.

Edited by World Colonial
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On 8/12/2022 at 10:27 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Some people might not be into reading anything, let alone coin books even if they are a collector.

As a Saint and Double Eagle fan, there aren't that many books out there.  To me, you have to get Bower's Red Book on DE's, the dated but classic Akers/Ambio book on Indian Heads & Saints, and of course Roger's Saints DE book which is the modern Bible on Saints. 

There are estimated about 25,000 serious or type collectors of Saints....how many have bought any of those 3 books ?

...agree regarding coin book readers, i suspect less than 1% of collectors, hence minimal publications in certain areas of numismatic publications n the reason for private limited numbered publications...and again there is that term "serious collectors", at best undefinable...last but not least, "bible", on a weak day i might concede to "readers digest" ....

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On 8/12/2022 at 12:04 PM, World Colonial said:

For my primary series, the print run for Gilboy's "The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America" was 500.  I bought mine in 2002 for $65 off eBay.  Recently, I understand it sells for about $400.  Not sure if the 500 copies are all available now though.

Yonaka's books (others for my series), probably in the hundreds.  Quite confident it's not over 1000 or less than 100.  These are more recent (versus 1999 for Gilboy's).

Type collectors and many if not most "investors" have no use for reference books.  So even if the actual collector base for Saints is 25,000, I doubt many more will buy it than buy mine.  I'd have to see what's actually in it to form a better opinion.

Most US series should have a potential market for several thousand, but I still doubt more than a few (if any) actually sell that many.

...totally agree that in many areas of "numismatical" reference material it is a virtual desert...especially if u venture out into non-US colonial material, the books r almost unobtainable n expensive when they do show up, most printed in 100 or 200 editions...the areas u specialize in, Central n South America almost never show up on the US market, my non-US areas Ireland n North Atlantic territorial issues r the same, some of the early Ireland reference materials were published in editions of only a few dozens...u literally have to wait for someone to die to obtain the books.... 

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On 8/12/2022 at 12:04 PM, World Colonial said:

Most US series should have a potential market for several thousand, but I still doubt more than a few (if any) actually sell that many.

Yes, I would think runs of a few thousand are appropriate.  But I think the RED BOOKS might be larger or they do succesive mini-runs because lots of people starting out will go to those books as a starter for knowledge.  Even thought it's getting dated, the 2004 1st Edition of Bowers DOUBLE EAGLE RED BOOK is still worthwhile as an easier read than Roger's magnus opus.  I do wish they'd do a 2nd Edition, though.:) 

The Akers and Bowers books on Saints were constructed nicely -- each book contains sections on other gold coins (Indian Heads, Liberty DEs) so you attract potential buyers other than Saints.  (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Is anyone starting to understand why specialty purveyors of used numismatic books such as Kolbe & Fanning exist? They assiduously move older volumes from the estates of past owners into the hands of collectors who want them. Not cheap, and their annual sales at the NYINC show are legendary. 

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On 8/12/2022 at 1:43 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Yes, I would think runs of a few thousand are appropriate.  But I think the RED BOOKS might be larger or they do succesive mini-runs because lots of people starting out will go to those books as a starter for knowledge. 

Good point on Red Books.  I forgot about those.  Last one I have is dated 1998, I think.  That's the last time I returned to collecting, one of multiple "sabbaticals".

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On 8/12/2022 at 3:40 PM, World Colonial said:

Good point on Red Books.  I forgot about those.  Last one I have is dated 1998, I think.  That's the last time I returned to collecting, one of multiple "sabbaticals".

I think they are up to the 7th Edition for Morgans but like I said above, they are still on the 2004 1st Edition for Liberty and Saint Double Eagles, which is frustrating.

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On 8/12/2022 at 5:58 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think they are up to the 7th Edition for Morgans but like I said above, they are still on the 2004 1st Edition for Liberty and Saint Double Eagles, which is frustrating.

...u mite need to reconsider n accept that the saints series doesnt warrant a second edition per se...its more likely that there could be an addendum or an annex to it, not all that much has been discovered that would entice any publisher to go to the expense of publishing an entire edition when a simple addendum would accomplish the desired results, in any case due to the limited possible sales it most likely will have to be privately published if at all, the bottom line will be...will publishing this edition or addendum create increased or continued sales for these coins at auction....

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On 8/12/2022 at 6:37 PM, zadok said:

...u mite need to reconsider n accept that the saints series doesnt warrant a second edition per se

They're still selling the 1st Edition, not sure if they are actually printing new ones or dipping into inventory.

But I know that a revised and updated edition has to be less time-consuming for whoever does it than the initial edition.  You have to update the price grids....replace dated statements of fact no longer valid....give new information on the coin for various years....maybe include a new chapter or two on the big Saint events since the 1st Edition (the 1933 Saint and coin booms-and-busts come to mind).

But it's got to be less time than writing the initial book.  You have an outline already in place.  And I suspect that many of the buyers of the 1st Edition a long time ago would purchase the 2nd Edition -- I know I would, and that's with RWB's book out there, too.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 8/12/2022 at 9:48 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

They're still selling the 1st Edition, not sure if they are actually printing new ones or dipping into inventory.

But I know that a revised and updated edition has to be less time-consuming for whoever does it than the initial edition.  You have to update the price grids....replace dated statements of fact no longer valid....give new information on the coin for various years....maybe include a new chapter or two on the big Saint events since the 1st Edition (the 1933 Saint and coin booms-and-busts come to mind).

But it's got to be less time than writing the initial book.  You have an outline already in place.  And I suspect that many of the buyers of the 1st Edition a long time ago would purchase the 2nd Edition -- I know I would, and that's with RWB's book out there, too.

...and all of which supports an addendum or a small supplement to the original edition...its not so much as to the time consumption its more a question of "how many copies will sell"...im sure HA knows how many copies actually sold, they may have given away to their big spenders as many as they sold??...if, n a very big if, there are 25,000 "serious" n even non-serious collectors of saints out there one would have thought the book would have been sold out, i doubt this is the case...as i postulated before im estimating that only 1% of collectors even buy books related to their hobby, so 250 copies?...now QDB's book on same subject probably sold 20 times that number, maybe more n there r several reasons for that, not the time nor place to go into that...as for the '33 saint, it probably would be better served in a stand-alone "novella" publication n would outsell the original edition, maybe u could entice vkurt to accommodate :)....

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On 8/13/2022 at 9:05 AM, zadok said:

...and all of which supports an addendum or a small supplement to the original edition...its not so much as to the time consumption its more a question of "how many copies will sell"...im sure HA knows how many copies actually sold, they may have given away to their big spenders as many as they sold??...if, n a very big if, there are 25,000 "serious" n even non-serious collectors of saints out there one would have thought the book would have been sold out, i doubt this is the case...as i postulated before im estimating that only 1% of collectors even buy books related to their hobby, so 250 copies?...now QDB's book on same subject probably sold 20 times that number, maybe more n there r several reasons for that, not the time nor place to go into that...as for the '33 saint, it probably would be better served in a stand-alone "novella" publication n would outsell the original edition, maybe u could entice vkurt to accommodate :)....

I know HA gave out copies of either Roger's book or the earlier Morse Saints book to certain buyers at past auctions.  They may have sent it to their Platinum client list but they didn't advertise that if they did.  The book retails for $100 so I am sure they don't want to mass-mail it to a good chunk of their mailing list and/or buyers.

God, I sure hope more than 250 were sold.  You sure have many more than that who have outbid me on coins over the years ! xD

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