Red Book celebrates diamond anniversary
- Published: Feb 16, 2021, 9 AM
The Diamond Anniversary 75th edition of the annual Guide Book of United States Coins (popularly known as the “Red Book”) will debut from Whitman Publishing April 6.
Whitman officials say the new volume includes completely updated prices and auction data reflecting the current market for collectible U.S. coins, along with historical information and guidance on how to build valuable collections. The Red Book can be pre-ordered online (including at Whitman.com) in several formats. After April 6, it will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide.
The cover of the spiral-bound Diamond Anniversary 75th edition Red Book features three significant dollar coins: a Sacagawea golden dollar, an American Eagle silver dollar with the classic Heraldic Eagle reverse and a Morgan silver dollar. The hardcover Diamond Anniversary Red Book has silver-foil imprinting instead of the usual gold-foil, and its back cover features a silver-foil Diamond Anniversary emblem.
Senior editor Jeff Garrett coordinates the book’s support network of more than 100 professional coin dealers and researchers. According to a Whitman press release, he credits the Red Book’s 75 years of success to teamwork. “Whitman relies on a nationwide group of active retailers, auctioneers, historians, and other specialists with decades of experience,” he said. “Thanks to their expertise, we have the most current and accurate market information and recent scholarship for every coin series.”
Research editor Q. David Bowers has described the Red Book as a one-book library on American coins. “In a single convenient volume, you get photographs and details on every U.S. series from the 1790s to the current year’s commemoratives and circulating coins,” Bowers said. “The Red Book makes mintage data, coin designs, specifications, grading instructions, and market values easy to access and understand.”
Editor emeritus Kenneth Bressett has worked on the Red Book since 1959, and was the right-hand man to the book’s founding author, R.S. Yeoman. “Every year, the Red Book becomes more useful for coin collectors,” Bressett said of the newest edition. “Generations of hobbyists have found it indispensable. We are delighted to note that in its 75th year, the Red Book has crossed the 25-million-copies threshold.”
The 75th edition Red Book is 464 pages long and prices nearly 8,000 entries in up to nine grades each, with more than 32,000 retail valuations in total. The pages are illustrated by 2,000 photographs, including enlarged close-ups of rare and valuable die varieties.
The book will include 96 new Mint products added since the 74th edition. Mintages of circulating coins are updated across the board, using government-supplied data and the latest numismatic research.
Updates based on recent scholarship can be found in sections including pre-federal coins and tokens, and regular federal issues. Changes reflect research into the 1776-dated Continental Currency pieces, Flying Eagle cent mintages, 1974 aluminum Lincoln cents, and a newly listed doubled die obverse 2-cent piece.
A revamped commemorative coins and sets section has been revised to group together all products (single coins and sets) for each coinage program. The specific contents of each government-issued commemorative set have been reviewed and confirmed or updated.
A new section, “Other Collectible Sets,” includes special non-program sets like Coin and Chronicles sets and Coin and Currency sets.
There are 78 new photographs, including many silver and gold coins from the 1700s and early 1800s, including new close-ups of privy marks and lettering varieties, pattern coins, and private and territorial gold pieces.
As in past years, the book offers recent auction records for significant rare coins. Typeset throughout the charts are nearly 200 notable auction results. In addition, the appendix of the “Top 250 U.S. Coin Prices Realized at Auction” is fully updated. A record 118 auction sales were higher than $1 million each.
In a positive measure of the health of the hobby and ongoing numismatic research, the Red Book’s newly revised and updated bibliography includes more than two dozen standard references for further research published over the past five years.
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