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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 53, December 31, 2006, Article 6

BOOK REVIEW: "TRIBUTE EDITION" REPRINT OF FIRST REDBOOK

The 1947 first edition of R.S. Yeoman's Guide Book of United States
Coins has been reprinted by Whitman Publishing.  We've discussed it
quite a bit in earlier E-Sylum issues (see links below).  I was pleased
to receive a copy from my wife for Christmas this week.  As described
for us by publisher Dennis Tucker, the book's dust jacket is an image
of a lightly (but obviously) used copy of an original 1947 edition.
A "1st edition commemorative reissue RED BOOK!" label cleverly covers
the 1947 date on the spine of the dust jacket, but the book cover itself
is indeed a fairly faithful 100% reproduction of the original.  There
are subtle differences that a trained die-variety collector would pick
up on as key diagnostics to differentiate the reissue from the original.
On my copy, one telltale sign are several filled letters in the gilt
printing of author R. S. Yeoman's name.

The main difference, of course, is the 32-page full-color section of
new material at the back of the book.  Six of those pages are ads,
another feature not found in the original.  The 1947 edition listed
valuations for about 3,400 different coins, tokens, sets and other
items.  The 2007 edition covers more than 6,000 items.

The introduction section reviews the history of the book, and notes
that mintage figures were originally in a section at the end, rather
than beside each individual listing.  There are pros and cons to this
arrangement.  Concise, tabular mintage tables can be more convenient
depending on the question the reader is trying to answer.  Perhaps
these could be reinstituted as a special feature of the deluxe version
of future editions.

The remaining sections are organized as the Red Book is - Pre-Federal
coins and tokens, Copper and Nickel coins, Silver, Gold and others.
Each section discusses the differences between 1947 and today: in the
book itself, in the hobby, and in valuations.  Tables at the front of
each section list the total number of pieces cataloged in the 1947 and
2007 editions, and show price differences for selected coins.  For
example, a Fine 1722 Rosa Americana halfpenny listed for $5.00 in 1947
but is $2,500 today.  The final section, 'The Red Book: Yesterday and
Today' walks the reader through the changes in the hobby decade by decade
up to the issuance of the 2006 Benjamin Franklin silver dollars.

One other nice feature I'd like to mention are the drawings by Chuck
Daughtrey of editors R.S. Yeoman and Ken Bressett on the back dust
jacket flap.  All in all, a nice addition for the libraries of
bibliophiles and ordinary collectors alike.  I've actually bought and
sold several copies of the 1st edition Red Book over the years, but
didn't save a copy for myself.  I do have two nice high-condition
examples of the 3rd and 5th editions that I just couldn't part with -
these are not as valuable as the 1st edition, but more rare.  There
can only ever be one "first", and the new Tribute Edition is a fine
way to honor the inaugural 1947 edition of Dick Yeo's gift to numismatics.

 "TRIBUTE EDITION" REPRINT OF FIRST REDBOOK PUBLISHED
 esylum_v09n45a04.html

 THOUGHTS ON THE FIRST EDITION RED BOOK
 esylum_v09n46a05.html

 MORE ON THE FIRST EDITION RED BOOK REPRINT
 esylum_v09n47a07.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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