Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded this note about the new 2014 Red Book. Thanks!
A formal media release for the 2014 Red Book will go out next week, but I wanted to give E-Sylum readers advance notice about some new features this year.
Of note to numismatic bibliophiles: we’ve revamped appendix B, “Collectible Red and Blue Books.” Our new layout presents the Red Book in a way that’s logical for collectors and makes sense from a market perspective. We list the classic hardcover Red Book (1947 edition to date) in its own chart, instead of combining hardcover, softcover, spiral, and other formats together in one long chart. This is convenient because the hardcover is the most popular format for collecting. The other mass-market formats (softcover; spiralbound softcover; spiralbound hardcover; Journal Edition; and Large Print Edition) are discussed under separate headings, with narrative pricing instead of charts. For example, softcovers are described like this:
The first softcover (trade paperback) Red Book was the 1993 (46th) edition. The softcover binding was offered (alongside other formats) in the 1993, 1994, 1995, and 1996 editions; again in the 1998 edition; and from 2003 through 2007. All are fairly common and easily collectible today. Values in New condition range from $2 up to $3–$4 for the earlier editions.
The leather-bound editions are cataloged in a separate chart, with notes. This includes the leather-bound 1947 Tribute Edition Red Book, and the two super-rarities of the Limited Edition series—the 2008 Numismatic Literary Guild, and the 2008 American Numismatic Society. A new feature: we list the print runs for each leather-bound edition. Did you know that the first Limited Edition (2005 cover date, issued in 2004) had a print run of 3,000, while this year’s (the 2014) is limited to only 1,000 copies?
Special Editions also get their own chart, covering collectible Red Books like the 1987 Special ANA Cover (valued at $1,400 in New condition), the 2010 Philadelphia Expo special edition, the 2011 Boston Numismatic Society special edition, and a dozen others. The most recent special edition is a version of the 2013 Red Book (printage: 250) that was distributed at the American Numismatic Society banquet last month, marking Roger Siboni’s being honored with the ANS Trustees’ Award.
“The Blue Book as a Collectible” is discussed as well, in narrative and charts giving valuations for select past editions.
A few other items of interest:
A new appendix on the $10 million record-breaker. A new appendix essay delves into “The Most Valuable U.S. Coin Sold at Auction,” with illustrated coverage of the 1794 Bust dollar that recently sold for $10 million. It also tells about the famous coin that was knocked off the world-record perch, the 1933 double eagle once owned by King Farouk of Egypt.
A listing of ANA clubs: As a service to the hobby we’ve included another new appendix that tells readers about the American Numismatic Association, and lists contact information for ANA member clubs by state. Our hope is that—given the massive number of Red Books sold yearly—this will help boost membership in the ANA. (The appendix also mentions the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association.)
The bibliography: I feel it’s a good sign for the health of the hobby that the Red Book’s four-page bibliography includes 25 standard references published within the past five years, six of which are from 2012.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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