WAYNE HOMREN'S RED BOOK RECOLLECTIONS
Martin Kaplan spotted this article from Coin Update's Red Book Recollections series. I'd totally forgotten I'd written it! Thanks. I added images of the
actual coin from the Stack's Bowers auction archives. -Editor
Why collect outdated editions of the Guide Book? Aside from the fun you’ll have marveling at the antiquated pricing levels and grading systems, the books provide valuable
pricing history that can guide collecting decisions today.
I recall the day I was walking through a coin show and spotted a special coin in a dealer’s case—a Scott restrike of the Confederate half dollar. To me, it was the most
interesting piece in the whole show, and I decided to buy it. But the $2,000 price tag gave me pause: Was I willing to spend that much on a single coin for my collection? I knew
the dealer and asked if I could put a deposit on the coin while I slept on my decision, and he agreed. Back at home that night, I raced to my library and pulled out all of the old
Red Books I could find. I grabbed a piece of paper and charted the price history of the coin. Not once did the value ever go down—year after year the value increased, at a fairly
steady and impressive interest rate. Seeing the figures in black and white made it clear to me that I could easily justify my purchase as an investment. Mind you, I didn’t have a
wife to convince in those days, so it would have been an easy choice regardless. But the Red Book convinced me.
The next day I returned to the show and purchased the coin. Several years later I sold it along with the rest of my Civil War numismatic collection, where the coin realized
$8,625. Those old Red Books helped me more than quadruple my numismatic investment.
To read the complete article, see:
Red Book recollections: Wayne Homren
To read the complete lot description, see:
1861 Confederate States of America half dollar. Scott Restrike. Breen-8002. MS-62 (NGC).
Wayne Homren, Editor
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