Coin Books Provide Information
Coin Books Are Not All Alike
Coin books are important in numismatics, which means coin collecting. There are several types of coin books available, and which ones a person buys depends on what information is desired. Some, such as the Red Book, give a short introduction to each coin type, list the years and mintmarks issued by the mint, and give a general guide for prices. In some cases, there is a brief description of what is needed for a coin to meet a given grade. Such books are often needed by any serious collector.
The first disclaimer is that the prices are often old. Coin books are large, and must be compiled very early on. Many coin books come out quite a few months before the year printed on their covers even starts. And, the books are compiled even before that. So, you may have a current book with prices of a year or more old. This is a minor concern for base metal coins that move slowly, but any coin with a precious metal content can change significantly in value over a short time.
The first question one must ask is for what country will the coins be collected? And, for a general foreign coin book one must ask over which time period will the collection span.
Mega Red Coin Book
There is now a version of the Red Book with a significant amount of information.
Ancient Coin Books
Collecting Ancient Coins
Ancient coins have their own books. But, Roman, Byzantium coins, Celtic coins, older Chinese coins, or Israeli coins are so numerous that they cannot be combined into a single book. There is an interest in Biblical coins, which might include Israeli coins and some others mentioned in the Bible. Each collector must match books to collecting interests.
Coin Books for Type Coins
Many Coins Have Their Own Book
If a numismatist has a special interest, such as Buffalo Nickels, a book written for Buffalo Nickels can give much more information than a book with a wider scope. Finding a book on a specific coin type is often possible provided the coin type is a United States coin type. Unfortunately, foreign coin types do not always exist.
Coin Books for Special Interests
Some coin collectors prefer to collect error coins. This is a specialty that requires information beyond the scope of many general coin books. Yes, some double die and double date or mintmark errors are often shown in such literature as the Red Book, but only those that are significant. To find the details of what has been reported, and get an idea of errors that can be found, a special book for that purpose is the best resource.
Another special interest is die types. A die can have a slight, but determinate, distinct difference from every other die used for a given coin. There are people interested in such minute details.
After obtaining a general coin book and deciding on a collecting interest, it is time to consider learning more. Select a book or several books carefully, and become an expert.
The books shown above are a sample of what is available.
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