What is "The Book?"

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by cdc, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. cdc

    cdc Member

    It has been said here "Buy the book before the coin". So what book is that?

    I like Buffalo nickels and Indian head cents BTW.
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  3. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    Any numismatic book.

    Red Book: A Guide to U.S. Coins
    Red Book: A Guide to Morgan Silver Dollars
    Red Book: A Guide to Buffalo and Jefferson Nickels

    Etc., etc.
  4. jatallman87

    jatallman87 I am Jay

    "The Book" ,also known as the "Red Book" is The United States Coins price guide. You can find them at any coin shop but you can probably get them cheaper online somewhere like Amazon.com. I wouldn't necessarily go by the prices in that book. They are not always accurate. Research prices online. However, that book has a LOT of useful information on error coins and varieties along with several pictures and just general information. Very good book to own if you are in any way serious about coin collecting as a hobby. Heck even if you are not serious about it you should still get one.
  5. tdogchristy90

    tdogchristy90 Dieu et les Dames

    I have a quick question about the red book. Is it really.... worth getting. I know it gives basic information but does it go into much detail about how to grade each coin type, Morgan, peace, merc, slq, ect...even in ms? Or it is a generic grader? What about history and how such and such coin came about, and who designed them etc. Aside from a "useless price guide" and a generic overview is there a more detailed reason to get one?
  6. Boxeldercoin

    Boxeldercoin New Member

    As long as I have one red book that is enough. Use the red book for the weight of the coins, the mintage, ect. but use the Gray sheets ( The Coin Dealers Newsletter) for the prices of the coins.
  7. BUncirculated

    BUncirculated Well-Known Member

    For new collectors, as well as experienced ones, it is well worth it to have a Red Book.

    Do you need to buy one every year? Not unless you're putting together an annual collection of them.

    I usually buy one every 3 years or so.
  8. Lon Chaney

    Lon Chaney New Member

    The other option really is to buy 3 or 4 Krause World coin books, but that'd put a much bigger dent in your wallet. And I'm not sure if all the colonials are in the 1701-1800 book.
    For your US coins, the Red book is the way to go.
  9. jloring

    jloring Senior Citizen


    I'm WAY overdue, lol.

    [​IMG]
  10. ikandiggit

    ikandiggit Currency Error Collector

    I agree with the "Red Book" but also any book specific to your focus in coin collecting, eg. Lincoln cents, Barbers, Large cents etc..

    What is meant by "Buy the book before the coin" is that you should educate yourself before spending any money on coins so you know what you're buying.
  11. Chiefbullsit

    Chiefbullsit CRAZY HORSE

    I agree with all the above....BUT if all else fails you can always...............

    . google.jpg
  12. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball Cannot Re-Member

    There are any number of books that may be necessary depending on what you want to collect. I have the following: Red Book of US Coins, Red Book on Morgan Dollars, Red Book on Peace Dollars, ANA Grading Standards, Photograde, Cherrypickers Guide, Mint Errors, US Tokens, Krause books, Kennedy Half Dollar, Ike Dollar, VAM Bible, Lincoln Cent Varieties, So-Called Dollars, Mercury Dimes, Olympic Medals & Coins, Classic Commemoratives, Numismatic Photography and a dozen or more general reference books.

    Chris
  13. hontonai

    hontonai Registered Contrarian

    That's the essence of the adage.

    It's all relative. I have books that I find invaluable which would be worthless to a collector of only US or European coins, and to me the Red Book lost all its value when I stopped collecting US coins.
  14. rickmp

    rickmp USDA PRIME Supporter

    Yes, it goes into much detail. It will give you specific info as to size, weight, composition and a brief history of each US coin. It will also give you mintage figures. There is a section for each series that will help you in grading your coins, too. The Red Book does have a guide to coin prices, but as with any other price guide, it is just that, a GUIDE, not gospel.
  15. Kasia

    Kasia Be the person your dog thinks you are.

    Exactly. It is acquiring knowledge first. In other words don't go in blind, either for purchasing or price.

    Can't say I always pay attention to that. I've been known to purchase something without knowledge, and figured it out afterwards. Some times it works out (the feeling that I've gotten something for a fair price for what it is, or that it is authentic and valuable beyond the price I paid, and turns out that way) and sometimes it doesn't (basically bought junk and have wasted my money).

    But knowledge beforehand is definitely priceless.

    Read. Read. Read.

    Read about things you may not really be interested in right now, but could in the future. Read about the things you are interested in. Find ways to bridge the gap and translate that knowledge about things you're not particularly interested in that can help you with the things you are. Figure out what people are asking for real, authentic items, and how it relates to the price guides you see. Figure out what is valuable and worth pursuing and what is nice if you like it, but won't have much of a value if you decide to sell it later.

    Help others on here and other sites if they ask questions about what an item might be. You don't know if that will help you later, but it certainly will stretch your ability to acquire valued information if you have your own research to do. People think in different ways and have resources that aren't available to you. Perhaps someone you assisted will come back to help you with a problem you're stuck with.
  16. cdc

    cdc Member

    Thanks for the replies.
  17. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    "The Book" varies depending on what "The Coin" is.

    What Aaron Feldman meant by "By the book before the coin" was that before you start buying coins in a particular series you should get the reference or references for that series and read them to know more about the coins so you don't go in blind when you start buying them. An informed buyer is an intelligent buyer.

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