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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 18, May 4, 2008, Article 8

YES, A GUIDE BOOK TO THE GUIDE BOOK

[Rich Mantia, an E-Sylum subscriber and major collector of
"A Guide Book of United States Coins" submitted the following
in response to last week's query by Gary Dunaier about an
upcoming Whitman publication. -Editor]

Regarding the question about the "Guide Book" being published
on the "Red Books", it is true that one has been in the works
for some time and is being produced. I was very briefly
interviewed about my collection and a specific one that I own.
I expect that other collectors have also been interviewed as
well. I haven't seen a draft of the book, but I hope that the
facts and information are accurate so that it maintains the
respect for Mr. Yeoman that he richly deserves.

As many collectors of Red Books know, there are regular
production books, unbound copies, proof sheets, interleaved
copies, and special presentation copies that are all "Official"
Whitman products. In addition, Whitman has begun since 1987
marketing "Official" special occasion "Guide Books" with
different covers and stampings. When adding in all the other
"Un-Official" Guide Books to the mix there becomes quite an
assortment of possible books to own. This is a topic that is
far deeper than most people realize and is extremely challenging
to collect in nice condition.

The "Blue Books" on the other hand are given less respect
because they have had traditionally less content and are
thinner overall, along with being self-covered paper bindings
for many issues. The first 10 issues have value based on their
age and cover varieties. Unfortunately they are considered
disposable and not worth collecting, which is the pity because
their survival rate in "New" condition is far less than for
the "Guide Book". As the esteemed Mr. Q. David Bowers has
stated often "Buy the book before you buy the coin!" Perhaps
now one should also "Buy the book before you buy the book!"

Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing adds: "Informally within
Whitman we refer to it as "The GBGB"! The author of the Guide
Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins is Frank
Colletti, a passionate collector of the series. Frank has done
a yeoman job compiling an in-depth, year-by-year, edition-by-
edition study of the Red Book, and has also written an engaging
history of earlier coin valuation guides, including the
Blue Book.

As you can imagine, the GBGB is rich with human-interest
stories about all the great names of recent numismatic history.
We're lucky to have Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers, and other
longtime contributors who can share their memories and paint
a picture of the Yeoman days (and beyond). The fur-covered
edition, the Braille edition, the one-millionth book, letters
from Yeoman to distributors --- it's all going to be in there.
We're still adding to the manuscript, and in the near future
Frank will be submitting a call for Red Book recollections,
stories, tall tales, anecdotes, and other feedback from
E-Sylum readers."

[No pun intended I'm sure, when Dennis said Frank is doing a
"yeoman job".  The shoes of founding author R.S. Yeoman were
big ones to fill, and Whitman was lucky to find Ken Bressett
to take over the job.  Frank has a big job, too - there will
be a lot to write about in covering the history and evolution
of the classic Guide Book.  I hope the book gives a good nod
to predecessors from Wayte Raymond and Stack's.  I collected
these for a number of years myself; some of these are just
as rare to find in top condition.  -Editor]

 A GUIDE BOOK TO THE GUIDE BOOK?
 esylum_v11n17a06.html

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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