John & Nancy Wilson submitted the following review of the new Whitman publication United States Pattern Coins 2009 10th edition by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D. edited by Q. David Bowers. Obtaining information on pattern coins has certainly gotten easier with the new hardbound 2009 10th edition nited States Pattern Coins by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D. This "Official Red Book" was edited by Q. David Bowers with assistance from Research Associate Saul Teichman. This well-illustrated reference is 352 pages long and covers experimental pieces from 1792 to 2000. For the first time ever this J. Hewitt Judd classic text is illustrated in brilliant color.
Each design is shown along with a unique approach to understanding the pattern market. The grid gives the following: Judd Numbers, Metal used to strike the coin, Coin’s edge, Rarity, Number of times graded by ANACS, NGC and PCGS, Number of times sold at significant auctions since 1990, Auction house last sold, Date of the last sale, Selling price, Grade of the coin sold, and then prices you might expect to pay in three grade levels. Each line of the grid gives all the above information and each line is a different Judd number for that design. This concise grid allows the collector to compare all of the Judd numbers of that design based on the above characteristics.
Each design also has notes describing the issue as well as useful information needed to understand the pieces.
The section on die and hub trials and splashers is very comprehensive with much interesting information about each piece. Pieces not of mint origin are included in a special section so collectors can identify these pieces and learn something about them. The last section shows rarities and curiosities. Pictures and information on the Amazonian “Panorama” of 1872 are included in this section. Q. David Bowers, with help from other experts in the field, have once again brought to the numismatic hobby a “must buy” reference on America’s rarest coins, U. S. Patterns.
In summary, we feel this reference is a must for all collectors and dealers of pattern coins and those collectors who have a curiosity about numismatics in general. For information on purchasing this reference which costs 39.95 retail please contact: Whitman Books, LLC, 3103 Clairmont Road, Suite B, Atlanta, Georgia 30329, Call Center: 800-546-2995 or visit their web site at: www.whitmanbooks.com
I can second the Wilsons' recommendation for the latest edition of this classic of U.S. numismatic literature. The color images are a very welcome addition and worth the book's price alone. While it has a similar number of pages as earlier editions, the 10th edition is noticeably thicker than the 8th edition on my shelf, partly due to the use of thicker glossy paper to accommodate the photos.
One particularly interesting aspect of the book is the inclusion of images of die trial impressions on cardboard from the collection of the Library Company of Philadelphia (see Appendix A). I've said this before but it bears repeating - any serious student of U.S. numismatics MUST read this book. A familiarity and understanding of pattern issues is essential for understanding the history and evolution of U.S. coinage.
And if I were the next U.S. Mint Director, I think I would lobby Congress for changes to the laws to allow the Mint to again distribute and sell pattern coins. The greatest disappointment in the pattern book is not the fault of its authors - after 1885 the supply of patterns dried up, allowing only a scant few pages of listings of known modern patterns. The historical record of a century is nonexistent.
One recommendation I would have for future editions is to consider increasing the size of the book to allow for larger illustrations. A number of photos are reduced from actual size and to my aging eyes are difficult to see. I would prefer to have many of the images shown larger than actual size.
Congratulations to Dave, Saul and all the contributors, many of whom are E-Sylum contributors as well, including Mark Borckardt, Ken Bressett, Roger Burdette, David Cassel, John Dannreuther, George Fuld, Ron Guth, David Lange, Larry Lee, Dennis Loring, Joel Orosz, Andrew Pollack and David Tripp. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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