James Higby submitted these thoughts inspired by Dave Lange's item on the Library of Coins albums.
I can't wait to acquire and read a copy of David Lange's book on the Library of Coins albums. I remember as a teenager visiting the up-a-flight-of-22-noisy-wooden-stairs coin shop of one Mr. Rippberger in Rockford IL and seeing the entire collection of LOC albums on display on a high shelf. Indeed, I kept my own collection of Lincoln cents in them! Those albums are handsome, but somewhat fragile; if not handled and stored carefully, their taped bindings will quickly rack, especially now after half a century of glue deterioration.
An interesting feature of those albums was that they normally included "everything" that had a Redbook listing, or at least close to everything. Thus did the Indian cent album call for an 1856 flyer, while the Lincoln cent albums called for both a 1922-P and a 1955 doubled die. If one had started collecting those series in the blue Whitman folders (who didn't?) and then "graduated" to the LOC, his want list would immediately grow by three very expensive coins!
Toward the end of the LOC era (late 1960s) a new series of albums was released, apparently in very low press runs considering their scarcity today, to include albums for most all series of U.S. coins. The pair of albums for large cents is of particular interest to me, in that it calls for most (but for some reason not all) of the Redbook varieties, 128 coins in all.
There are some toughies in there, such as the 1793 liberty cap and the 1803 large date, small fraction, but it is still possible to finish this "complete" set even today. The half cent album, on the other hand, supplies two openings each for both 1796- and 1802-dated coins. Perhaps the Coin & Currency Institute editors were dreamers, perhaps they were sadists, but it was close to impossible then, and it is close to impossible now to fill the holes for 1796 no pole and 1802, reverse of 1800.
Users of this album series to collect and house the early silver issues will find multiple varieties required of those difficult and expensive dates in the 1790s. I wonder how many such people there really are, or if they just collect the albums out of nostalgia.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
THE LIBRARY OF COINS AND TREASURY OF COINS ALBUMS
Wayne Homren, Editor
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