Sunday, December 14, 2014

The Whitman "Red Book"

I bought my first Red Book ("A Guide Book of U.S. Coins" ) in 1956 and bought them every year from then up to 1977.  I have only 9 of those now; less than half.  The rest went missing over the years, lost or given away.

Those I still have vary in condition from almost new to quite worn.  Some seem almost untouched, others are nearly ready to fall apart.

A few years ago Whitman started publishing the prices of old Red Books in the current editions.  It's Appendix B in my 2014 book and I noted that most of these are not worth very much.

However, that doesn't mean that they are easy to find.  I searched Amazon and was not able to find any of the earlier dates at all and not very many even in the 60's and 70's.

By the way, if you want to search there, I found this works well:  

"GUIDE-UNITED-STATES-Illustrated-Catalog coins"

The first Red Book is dated 1947 and only 18,000 were printed.  My 2014 book (which I bought in the digital Kindle edition) says it is worth $300 - $1700 depending on condition.  That's a bit out of my price range, but in 2006 Whitman published a "Redbook Commemorative Guide Book of United States Coins" reprint of it. I bought one of those for $15.00.

It's fun to look through the older books, but not so much fun that I'd want a complete set as this guy did: "A Complete Collection of U.S. Coins Red Books"

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

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