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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 7, February 15, 2009, Article 2

BOOK REVIEW: GOLD COINS OF THE CHARLOTTE MINT: 1838-1861 THIRD EDITION

Dave Ginsburg submitted this review of Doug Winter's "Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint: 1838-1861" (Third Edition). -Editor
Winter, Gold Coins of the  Charlotte Mint I received my copy of the hardbound third edition of Doug Winter's Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint: 1838-1861 last week and I'm very happy with it. Unfortunately, since this is the only edition of the book I have, I can't compare it to the two previous editions. However, I can say that the book appears to be well-bound, lays flat easily when open and is printed on fairly heavy glossy paper. (The paper appears to be heavier than that used for the 2006 edition of Winter's Gold Coins of the New Orleans Mint: 1839-1909 which was also published by Zyrus Press.)

This edition features full color pictures throughout and detailed close-up pictures of each die variety, which I find a vast improvement over relying on a written description (as in the New Orleans book). This book uses the same format as the New Orleans book (and, I believe, the 2003 edition of the book on Dahlonega gold coins). In addition to a section on each coin produced by the Charlotte Mint, the book includes, for each denomination, three very useful summary tables that show: a) the estimated population in four grade ranges (VF, EF, AU and MS); b) a rarity ranking by date and major variety; and, c) a high-grade (AU + MS) rarity ranking by date and major variety.

The book includes a chapter on "How to Collect Charlotte Gold Coins", with advice on assembling a denomination set, basic and expanded type sets, sets of each of the three denominations and, finally, a complete set of Charlotte gold coins. In addition, I've contributed two short chapters to this edition, one discussing the Mint's officers and the other detailing the sources of the gold deposited at the Mint.

I'm also pleased to say that I only noticed one omission: Doug makes reference, in his Introduction, to a Bibliography that isn't there (at least in my copy). To help remedy that, allow me to point to two sources: The United States Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina: Its History and Coinage by Clair M. Birdsall (Southern Historical Press, 1988) and The Establishment of the Charlotte Branch Mint, A Documented History by Anthony Joseph Stautzenberger (self-published, 1976). Overall, I think this edition is a very nice step forward in Doug's series of books on southern mint gold coins that Zyrus Press has published over the past five years, and I hope it points the way to additional improvements in future editions of the series!



Wayne Homren, Editor

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