Numismatic Library
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23 posts in this topic

The last two books I bought were both on large cents. The first was by Newcomb and the other was by Grellman. They are both similar in content dealing with variety attribution. I feel like Grellmans book is a little more user friendly, and then I use Newcombs book to help verify. I have only used it to attribute one coin so far with my large cent collection sitting at a whopping 2 coins. (One was already attributed, but I did verify with the books.) I do hope to grow my large cent collection in the future.

Edited by Lem E
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Several years ago, I was fortunate to find a wholesaler who was going out of business. I was able to pick up 29 different books on a wide range of subjects from Colonials to Peace Dollars to Gold coins to medals. Then, last year a member was selling some of his books, and I got 8 from him, also on a wide range of subjects. I have also picked up a few books by three of the authors who post on this board over the last few years, and have more in my sights. Lastly, I keep a watch on Abebooks for old and out-of-print reference books, and have scored a few there. I haven't changed my collecting direction or started anything new because of the books I have bought, but I have been doing some studying, and have some ideas for the future.

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On 4/17/2022 at 7:12 PM, Oldhoopster said:

My collecting interest have slowed and matured, so I tend to buy more generalized books like From Mine to Mint, and less specialized references.  

I had a bad habit of getting a couple of coins in a series then buying the reference volume.  It got worse when I started in ancients.  I would spend $150+ on a book to ID a few low grade, late Roman bronzes.  But I learned a lot and have a decent library

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You mean you don’t just randomly ask people questions on a discussion board? LOL!

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I have been picking up a lot of reference books as of late. Mostly focused on variety attribution across bust and seated coinage with a few exceptions. I’m in the market for some copper reference material. I have little knowledge and reference materials for early copper, and I need to remedy that. 
 

As an aside has anyone heard any updates on the new volumes of cherry pickers? At this point it’s kind of a joke to even ask any more. 

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Coin books seem to age slowly, but once outdated, they are more confusing than useful. Anything older than 25 to 30 years has to be researched to see if it is worth buying and if it is of practical use. Some books, such as the Bowers silver dollar volumes remain useful although significant portions are obsolete.

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On 4/17/2022 at 8:36 PM, VKurtB said:

You mean you don’t just randomly ask people questions on a discussion board? LOL!

I didn't have this library when I started collecting.  In the 70s and 80s reference books were hard to find, so If it wasn't in the redbook, it was a mystery.  I can remember asking lots of questions at the local coin club.  It's a lot simpler now that people can access knowledgeable collectors on a daily basis instead of waiting until the first Monday of the month for the club meeting.

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On 4/17/2022 at 8:32 PM, Oldhoopster said:

I didn't have this library when I started collecting.  In the 70s and 80s reference books were hard to find, so If it wasn't in the redbook, it was a mystery.  I can remember asking lots of questions at the local coin club.  It's a lot simpler now that people can access knowledgeable collectors on a daily basis instead of waiting until the first Monday of the month for the club meeting.

I guess I was lucky. Coin books were always available at local book stores, plus others could be accessed at the municipal library. 

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On 4/17/2022 at 8:12 PM, Oldhoopster said:

My collecting interest have slowed and matured, so I tend to buy more generalized books like From Mine to Mint, and less specialized references.  

I had a bad habit of getting a couple of coins in a series then buying the reference volume.  It got worse when I started in ancients.  I would spend $150+ on a book to ID a few low grade, late Roman bronzes.  But I learned a lot and have a decent library

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Very impressive collection. I have some numismatic scrapbook magizenes a very good friend gave me. I really enjoy reading the very interesting articles in them. I have RWBs book FMTM and a couple JNR issues he gave me thats very interesting. Got Mr Langes book thats very interesting. Got an older Don Taxay book Ive only read part of. Not sure how accurate it is but its still interesting. Also got a couple books from the 1800s. Havent read through them. Afraid to mess them up. Feel like they could be brittle. Mainly bought them for the collection. But thats all Ive got in my book collection so far. Cant wait to grow it and  read and learn from the future additions I plan to add. 

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I bought two books on Hard Times tokens before I bought my very first Hard Times token. 

Same with Ancient Greek pieces. 
 

I bought the Spink reference before I bought my first “serious” (not change brought home by family) British coin. I also bought a book on grading British coins first. 
 

I had a Swiss price guide (in German) before getting serious about Swiss coins, and my son bought a Russian coin guide (in Russian), yadda yadda. 
 

“Buy the book before the coin” is the best advice ever given, and it was meant to be serious, not ignored by people who simply have to jump in with both feet RIGHT NOW!


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By the way, there’s “another” Red Book. 

Edited by VKurtB
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Two focuses in the last year or so for me:

(1)  Auction catalogs, some ancient (Menjou) some recent (Duckor/Morse).  Some useful information but also curiosities.  More recent catalogs may have commentaries in print that are only available online from deceased numismatic experts like David Akers.

(2)  Creation of PDFs for online/smartphone reading that encompass niche focuses for Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles.  Everything from Saint hoards by year...Akers Commentaires...Heritage information year-by-year....etc.  

Best addition to my library was RWB's Saint-Gaudens book, sections of which I'd like to have transposed like the items in (2) above.

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On 4/17/2022 at 8:42 PM, RWB said:

Coin books seem to age slowly, but once outdated, they are more confusing than useful. Anything older than 25 to 30 years has to be researched to see if it is worth buying and if it is of practical use. Some books, such as the Bowers silver dollar volumes remain useful although significant portions are obsolete.

That's why I am still wondering why Whitman hasn't done an update/2nd Edition on the Double Eagles Red Book.

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On 4/18/2022 at 8:06 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

That's why I am still wondering why Whitman hasn't done an update/2nd Edition on the Double Eagles Red Book.

The cost of work might outweigh the profit on estimated sales.

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On 4/18/2022 at 8:10 PM, RWB said:

The cost of work might outweigh the profit on estimated sales.

I think the heavy lifting work was done in the 1st Edition.  While alot of the numbers have changed, that's not as time-consuming relative to starting a book from scratch, I would think.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The last year I've added a few old Ukrainian banknote references, it's a real pain in the arse to have to read them using google translate but I am working on learning the language. I've also picked up a few books on series that I do not collect, the latest edition of Paper Money of the United States which I acquired so I can chat more knowledgably with U.S. collectors and Mexican Beauty / Belleza Mexicana Un Peso Caballito just because I was interested in the coin and it looked like a good read. I highly recommend both of those books. I've also been picking up old IBNS journals on the side. :ph34r:

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I hear ya Fenntucky, on trying to read books in other languages. I collect Moroccan coinage (and books about such), and all of the best references are in French or Spanish (as they were the Colonial powers which tricked the country into subjugation for a period). I studied Latin in high school, so I can sorta piece things together, but its tricky. 

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On 4/18/2022 at 8:59 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I think the heavy lifting work was done in the 1st Edition.  While alot of the numbers have changed, that's not as time-consuming relative to starting a book from scratch, I would think.

I understand, but there is a tendency to underestimate the time required for research. For the S-G book - one which is much shorter than a comparable Liberty DE book - I had source materials collected over the previous decade+ and it still required over a year to fill gaps, correlate, and add new research. From my perspective, the 1st edition is superficial and largely repeats prior knowledge. Like all the other Guide Book series, it is intended as a general introduction and reference, not anything comprehensive. Printing pricing in a book is always a questionable practice - it automatically outdates the day the book hits shops. In the Liberty DE book, prices are more of a relative indicator for future use.

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On 4/19/2022 at 9:50 AM, physics-fan3.14 said:

I hear ya Fenntucky, on trying to read books in other languages. I collect Moroccan coinage (and books about such), and all of the best references are in French or Spanish (as they were the Colonial powers which tricked the country into subjugation for a period). I studied Latin in high school, so I can sorta piece things together, but its tricky. 

Several glasses of good Madeira make translation easier.... :) ....especially from Portuguese.

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On 4/19/2022 at 11:02 AM, RWB said:

I understand, but there is a tendency to underestimate the time required for research. For the S-G book - one which is much shorter than a comparable Liberty DE book - I had source materials collected over the previous decade+ and it still required over a year to fill gaps, correlate, and add new research.

Interesting, thanks for the feedback.

On 4/19/2022 at 11:02 AM, RWB said:

Like all the other Guide Book series, it is intended as a general introduction and reference, not anything comprehensive. Printing pricing in a book is always a questionable practice - it automatically outdates the day the book hits shops. In the Liberty DE book, prices are more of a relative indicator for future use.

Maybe they would just do a Kindle/on-line version if they thought they could get 75% of the sales at 20% of the cost or something like that ? 

Since there was such a long time between the 1st and potential 2nd editions, you might get alot of people to buy a paperback version simply because they realize that a 3rd Edition is not likely to come out anytime soon, unlike the ANA Grading Books and the Morgan Silver Dollar Red Book. 

Of course, I'm just speculating.:)

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 4/19/2022 at 10:04 AM, RWB said:

Several glasses of good Madeira make translation easier.... :) ....especially from Portuguese.

That’s absolutely true! It’s amazing how much high school German comes back after a few German beers. 

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I only collect US coins.  I tend to buy the type coin, then buy the reference book(s) before buying another in the series.  Of course, I am eaten-up with Half Cents... so, I have every half cent book I know of.  

I have moved into collecting auction catalogs of famous Half Cent collections (Partrick, Tettenhorst, Reiver, Davy, etc.).  They provide great photos, and financial references that are helpful.

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