I'd like to put in a good word for a recent Whitman Guidebook that I finally had a chance to read through - Paul Rynearson's Collecting Ancient Greek Coins - A Guided Tour Featuring 25 Significant Types. Published earlier this year, the 255-page book is a very thorough and enjoyable read, and the illustrations are beautiful.
I found it to be an excellent down-to-earth overview of a complex and often daunting field. Part I consists of five chapters on the historical and artistic background of the coins, basic numismatic principles, approaches to collecting and advancing as a collector. Part II is a group of 25 short chapters explaining various significant ancient Greek coin types. I found this organization made the topics very approachable and "digestible".
And yes, numismatic bibliophiles, the author devotes a number of pages to references and recommendations for books on Greek coinage. Rynearson writes:
Selecting 25 principal coin types of the ancient Greek world was difficult; picking 25 of my favorite books is just as challenging. Some might surprise you.
Earlier in this issue I reviewed the Mike Byers book on error coins, and in a previous issue I reviewed Dave Bowers' new Colonial coin encyclopedia. Those two books are at opposite ends of a publishing continuum. The Byers book is loaded with gorgeous photographs and light on text; the Bowers book is heavier on text even though it also has a great number of photographs. Each book has its own niche.
Reading the Rynearson book I was struck with the thought that it strikes a perfect balance between these extremes. In every respect I kept coming back to the word "balanced". It's not too heavy and not too light. Like Goldilocks, I thought Rynearson's book was "just right". In summary, I have to say it's one of the best written and presented numismatic books I've ever read.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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