I found this old coin book at Half Price Books and I am having a
hard time understanding it.
It has a guide that tells you what the letters stand for but for
some strange reason it does not help me.
Anyway, the name of the book is United States Copper Cents
1816-1857 by Howard R. Newcomb.
Is there an updated book on this series that is easier to
understand or do I have to knuckle down and force myself to
understand this one?
By the way, it is a third edition, dated 1963, well before my time.
I’ve been in this hobby for 18 years and I am still a newbie, just
trying to learn everything I can.
Thanks for any help you may be able to provide.
We turned to Joel Orosz, who writes Coin World’s numismatic
literature column, “Numismatic Bookie” for an answer.
“You have bought Howard Rounds Newcomb’s classic book on the middle
and late date large cents. Classic, but highly confusing to use. Some
old-timers still like it, but it has been superseded by other publications.
“I’m not sure about the third edition, but I know that the first one
was literally handwritten.
“Two recommendations for you. First, go to http://www.eacs.org
and then click on the Books and Resources button on the right side
of the homepage.
“You don’t need to be a member of the Early American Coppers
organization to use this resource, which has a great set of
recommendations on books for early, middle and late date large cents.
“Another idea is to look at the four auction catalogs for the Dan
Holmes Collection sold by Ira and Larry Goldberg Auctioneers.
“Visit the firm’s website at www.goldbergcoins.com and click
on the Archives button at the far right side at the top of the page.
“On the Archives page, scroll down to find the online catalog and
prices realized for each sale beginning with Part 1 Sept. 6, 2009;
June 1, 2010; Sept. 19, 2010 and the final sale on Jan. 30, 2011.
“These catalogs have superb pictures of copper coins, and careful
descriptions of the various varieties. Call the auction firm toll-free
800-978-2646 to see if there are still catalogs available for sale. If
not, consult numismatic literature dealers.
“Of course, the middle and late dates are tough to attribute no
matter what kind of great references you have on hand. It sure makes
it challenging — but fun when you master it!”