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Three Books Needed by U.S. Coin Collectors

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Condensed ffrom: http://www.coin-newbies.com/articles/3_books_need.html

 

Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins

The History of United States Coinage as Illustrated by the Garrett Collection by Q. David Bowers.

The U.S. Mint and Coinage by Don Taxay.

 

The Breen Encyclopedia changed the landscape of American numismatics. The Breen Encyclopedia brought academic scholarship to American numismatics. Breen footnotes his claims with supporting evidence from primary sources. This is how we learned to write term papers -- and the Breen Encyclopedia is nothing if not a 750-page term paper (with 4000 illustrations). The Breen Encyclopedia came out in 1988. In the last 12 years, some new facts have surfaced. These little amendments cannot detract from the overpowering value in the Breen Encyclopedia.

 

The Garrett Collection looks like a coffee table book. Once you look beneath the patina, you realize that you are are reading a gem of a book. Two appendices present the 19th and 20th century correspondences of the Garrett family collectors with dealers and other collectors. This book is as much about the history of American coin collecting as it is the history of American coinage.

 

America's coins come from America's Mints. Donald Taxay lays out the history of the Mint. This book has become a primary reference because of Taxay's careful and deliberate investigations. For all of that, the writing is lively.

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Guest Stujoe

I own all 3 and I agree totally that they are indeed very good references to have. Although the subjects are mostly the same, the focus and presentation of each is very different.

 

As a tip...They can sometimes be picked up quite cheaply on the used book market. I think I paid 15 or 20 delivered for the Bowers and less than 10 for Taxay. Breen I was lucky enough to get as a gift but I see it for around 40 or 50 dollars every once in a while. So for 75 dollars, you can have a comprehensive library of US info if you shop around.

 

Abebooks.com and Amazon.com are good places to start.

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I was trying 2 guess which 3 U picked b4 this page loaded...missed my 1st two picks. hehe

I thought U would say Red Book and PhotoGrade 4 sure. I will get those, soon. especially the Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins .thx

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I have two of three (Breen and Taxay) and they are indeed excellent. The Taxay I also see occasionally used so it's areal bargain. Breen I think spent $90 on via abebook.com or bookfinder.com.

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I agree with you on the Taxay and Bowers books, but I found the Breen (I've owned several of his books - hated them all) to be a rather blatant attempt by a megalomaniac to "sell" his convoluted coin numbering system. I'll never buy a Breen book again. What a waste of money.

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I know that Whitman has published a new History of the US Mint book. I've not heard anything about the quality or how it compares with the Taxay book. It should be interesting to find out.

 

Anyone have the new book?

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I don't own Breen, but I do have the other two and agree with their importance. I would add Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921 to the list. It extends the depth of Taxay's study and two additional volumes are planned. I would add Numismatic Art in America by Cornelius Vermeule to the list as well.

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I agree with you on the Taxay and Bowers books, but I found the Breen (I've owned several of his books - hated them all) to be a rather blatant attempt by a megalomaniac to "sell" his convoluted coin numbering system. I'll never buy a Breen book again. What a waste of money.

 

I agree. Breens books are not easy reads.

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Guest Stujoe
I agree. Breens books are not easy reads.

 

 

I think of Breen more as reference than reading book. Interesting stuff spread throughout but not something I would sit down and try to read cover to cover.

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I thinks Stu will agree,Bowers is the finest numismatic writer out there.My only quibble with him is that he considers $20 Double Eagles "affordable"!

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I thinks Stu will agree,Bowers is the finest numismatic writer out there.My only quibble with him is that he considers $20 Double Eagles "affordable"!

 

:ninja: For him they are!!

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I would add Burdette's Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921 to the list. It extends the depth of Taxay's study and two additional volumes are planned. I

This is currently available in a promo from the ANA to members for $59 plus the $6 shipping. Didn't see the book available at Amazon at all.

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Guest Stujoe
I thinks Stu will agree,Bowers is the finest numismatic writer out there.

 

Absolutely! He is a story teller as well as a numismatist.

 

My only quibble with him is that he considers $20 Double Eagles "affordable"!

 

:ninja:

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This is currently available in a promo from the ANA to members for $59 plus the $6 shipping.  Didn't see the book available at Amazon at all.

 

I came across it by accident and then had a hard time finding it for sale. Amazon listed it as currently unavailable. I found it at Amos and at American Numismatic Rarities. It is supposedly available from the publisher, but they had no information on how to order. I bought from Amos before I saw it at ANR (same price). The ANA offer is a pleasant surprise and the price is the best I've seen. Now that I've read some of it in more detail, I am very happy with the book.

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:ninja: For him they are!!

 

Well put Art!

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Interesting thread!

 

Does anyone know where I might buy the Ahwash book on seated liberty dimes? It's out of print on amazon.com ... :ninja:

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Guest Stujoe

Welcome to the site!

 

It looks like AbeBooks might have some varying in price. Not sure of the book myself so I can't comment much further than that or even say for sure they are the one you are looking for, but here is the link:

 

http://dogbert.abebooks.com/servlet/Search...hwash&y=19&x=22

 

AbeBooks is kind of like Amazon's Used Books or Half.com. Individual sellers selling used books. I have used it a lot for various out of print coin books.

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Thanks, Stujoe! Great site. :ninja:

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