John and Nancy Wilson submitted this review of the new edition of Ken Bressett's book on United States Currency. Thanks!
United States Currency, Large Size, Small Size and Fractional, An Official Whitman Guidebook, 5th Edition, 2012, by Kenneth Bressett, Foreword by Q. David Bowers, Reviewed by John and Nancy Wilson, NLG
The revised and updated 5th Edition of United States Currency covers large and small size currency, along with U. S. Postage and Fractional Currency, was compiled and authored by well-known numismatist Kenneth E. Bressett. The Foreword was done by Q. David Bowers. Few in the hobby are as well-known as these numismatic legends. This soft cover 352 page reference (6X9) has 100s of full-color illustrations. Treasury Notes of the War of 1812, uncut sheets, error & star notes, and different varieties are also covered. The book utilizes the Friedberg numbering system which is the standard for paper money. Prices are given in seven different grades. A guide for detecting counterfeits is included.
The preface gives the sources this reference is based on. They are, the United States Large Size Paper Money 1861-1923 (6th Edition), by William P. Donlon; A Guide Book of United States Fractional Currency, by Matt Rothert (1963) and A Guide Book of Modern United States Currency 8th Edition, by Neil Shafer (1979). It also draws from more recent references including: A Guide Book of United States Paper Money, by Arthur and Ira Friedberg (2011), and the Whitman Encyclopedia of U. S. Paper Money, by Q. David Bowers (2009).
Large Size Currency has the terms of Treasury Officials, information on the signers of the notes, errors and misprinted notes, and star-numbered notes. The Acts that authorized the different issues or series of notes, face and back designs, and signature combinations are covered.
United States U. S. postage and fractional currency in both regular issue and proof or specimen notes are covered along with the fractional currency shields. Forerunner issues, postage currency envelopes, postage currency notes, encased postage stamps and counterfeit fractional currency (with notes), complete this area.
The small size currency section covers papers and inks; plate manufacture; currency manufacture; the COPE process; notes from test plates; serial number system for U. S. currency; star or replacement notes; block letters, Treasury officials (and chart of concurrent terms served) along with catalog values in up to seven grades. World War ll and Hawaii overprints as well as the Experimental R and S are covered.
Q. David Bowers states, “Many coin collectors have discovered that paper money offers many opportunities with scarce and rare pieces priced quite reasonably, including in high grades.” Whitman publisher, Dennis Tucker, states, “It appeals especially to beginning and intermediate collectors, but its engaging numismatic text and solid market information are valuable for longtime collectors and dealers as well.” We think this 5th Edition is an excellent resource for anyone who has an interest in the monetary system of our country from 1861 to present. We highly recommend it and know it will make you a, “better informed collector, dealer or researcher.”
For information on purchasing the Guide Book of United States Currency, 5th Edition priced at $19.95, you can contact the publisher at: Whitman Publishing, LLC, 3103 Clairmont Rd., Suite B, Atlanta, GA. 30329 or visit their web page, www.whitmanbooks.com or call, (800) 546-2995.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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