Numismatic Bookie column from July 20, 2015, issue of Coin World:
Just how “deluxe” have editors Ken Bressett, Q. David Bowers, and
Jeff Garrett made Whitman Publishing’s new A Guide Book of United States Coins: Deluxe
Edition, the beloved “Red Book”?
How about jumbo deluxe, nearly 3 inches taller and 2 inches wider
than the standard issue Red Book, with more than three times the page count.
If you combined the 2013, 2014, and 2015 Guide Books, you’d still be
162 pages short of the Deluxe Edition, which tells you how it got the
nickname “Mega-Red.” The Deluxe Edition stands 10 inches tall, 7
inches wide, and 2.5 inches thick.
From the very first Guide Book in 1947, to the 68th edition in 2015,
Whitman has used the same 7.75-inch by 5.25-inch wide covers,
increasing only the number of pages as the years have passed. It has
remained easy to use, whether at home or on the coin bourse.
Portability, however, is the enemy of comprehensiveness. To stay
compact, the Red Book had to omit thousands of details about every
series of U.S. coins.
Therefore, if you get serious about collecting, say, early quarter
dollars, you need to buy more in-depth references. For example, Ard W.
Browning’s The Early Quarter Dollars of the United States
1796-1838, which provides information on relative rarity, die
varieties, and illustrative photographs, must be added to your library.
Often, though, such specialized references are intimidating to the
novice collector, complicated to use, difficult to find, and sometimes
out of print.
Enter Mega-Red, which includes a novice-collector-friendly
specialized reference book for every American coin series. Take large
cents: the 2015 Red Book offers a respectable 15.5 pages on the big
coppers dated 1793 to 1857. Mega-Red devotes a whopping 267 pages:
literally a book within a book!
For each year, full color obverse and reverse color photos introduce
compelling commentary on the cent’s history, rarity, and major
varieties. Will this replace the standard large cent references?
No, but it will provide a bridge for the novice to cross on the way
to becoming an expert. And this, remember, describes only the large
Mega-Red’s back cover tells “the tale of the tape” of this new
undisputed heavyweight champion of coin reference books: 8,018 items
priced; 50,205 individual values; up to 12 grades; 5,750 full-color
images; 16,000 individual auction records. You can still take the Red
Book to your local coin show, but you need Mega Red for deeper
reference on your home bookshelf. The Deluxe Edition is an entire
numismatic library between a single set of covers.
And, it retails for only $49.95!