An 1850 numismatic book related to the California Gold Rush sold for $10,625 on Sept. 21 as part of Bonhams’ Fine Books and Manuscripts auction in New York City.
21 auction by Bonhams’ Fine Books and Manuscripts in New York City of
a copy of the 1850 book New Varieties of Gold and Silver Coins,
Counterfeit Coins, and Bullion; with Mint Values by Jacob Reese
Eckfeldt and William E. Du Bois for an astounding $10,625 is an illustration of the
power in the marketplace of numismatic literature.
Not all books, however, qualify as classic works, as columnist Joel Orosz explains in his “Numismatic Bookie” column in this issue. He cites The Profit March of Your Coin Investment, 1935–1971, written by a man Joel describes as “the Barnumesque” George Haylings. Haylings was wildly optimistic in his 1960 book, in which he predicted that a roll of 1950-D Jefferson 5-cent coins would be worth $10,000 in 1971. They were actually worth $50.
Numismatic literature can inspire, inform, educate and, on some occasions, give bad advice. For collectors, a good library is a vital tool in their hobby.
Read any good books lately?