Hobby Legend Is Honored in the New 2019 Edition
(Pelham, AL) — Kenneth Bressett, longtime editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins (popularly known as the “Red Book”), has retired into Whitman Publishing’s newly created position of Editor Emeritus. The 2019 (72nd) edition of the Red Book, available now from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, features a 10-page illustrated tribute to Bressett. In addition, the hardcover format includes a commemorative gold-foil portrait and a facsimile of his famous signature on the back cover. Bressett will make appearances at several shows and events throughout the year to autograph books.
The Guide Book of United States Coins debuted in November 1946 (with a cover date of 1947) as the hobby’s only fully illustrated catalog with objective retail pricing for every U.S. coin. Prior to this, the Handbook of United States Coins (the “Blue Book,” first published in 1942) gave unbiased wholesale pricing—how much dealers were paying, on average, for U.S. coins. These two resources were both created by R.S. Yeoman and published by Whitman. Before them, collectors had to rely on lists written by individual coin dealers, which were seen as biased and did not have wide distribution. The first edition of the Red Book was so popular that it sold out 9,000 copies in a matter of weeks, requiring another print run in February 1947.
Kenneth Bressett, a young collector from Keene, New Hampshire, first met R.S. Yeoman at a coin convention in the mid-1950s. He mentioned several errors he’d found in the latest edition of the book. In 1956 Yeoman invited Bressett to be a freelance editor, and in 1959 Bressett moved with his family to Racine, Wisconsin, to officially join the Whitman Publishing staff full time. He worked closely with Yeoman—by that time one of the most famous numismatists in the world—developing the Red Book and Blue Book and many other hobby references and products. By the time Yeoman retired in 1970, Bressett had taken over many duties as “coordinating editor” of the Red Book. In the 27th edition he was credited as the book’s editor, and in the 66th edition he was elevated to Senior Editor, with Q. David Bowers and Jeff Garrett assisting as Research Editor and Valuations Editor, respectively.
Now, in 2018, after nearly 65 years of work on the Red Book, Ken Bressett is being promoted again, this time to the position of Editor Emeritus. Garrett is taking the reins as Senior Editor and Bowers is continuing as Research Editor. “Although Ken will step down from day-to-day management of the Red Book, we know his work in numismatics will continue,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker. “And of course his influence, like that of R.S. Yeoman, will be felt for as long as the book is enjoyed by hobbyists around the world.”
Tucker encourages collectors to buy two copies of the hardcover this year—one for day-to-day use, and one to have Bressett autograph as a numismatic keepsake. “Mr. Red Book” will be at the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, June 16–28, and the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia, August 14–18. He is scheduled to appear for a week of celebrations at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles 2018 Winter Expo, October 25–28.
“The story of the Guide Book of United States Coins is not merely a story about those who produced it,” Bressett has said. “It is a tribute to the thousands of individual contributors who have honed its contents to the point that it has become a numismatic standard and a valuable collectible in its own right. It is a success story that remains unparalleled by any other numismatic book.”
By R.S. Yeoman; Senior Editor Jeff Garrett, Research Editor Q. David Bowers,
Editor Emeritus Kenneth Bressett.
The 10-coin set is priced at $49.95 and contains the following proof finish coins produced at the United States Mint at San Francisco:
- Five silver America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coins honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin), Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota), Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia), and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (Rhode Island).
- One Native American $1 Coin with a reverse theme that commemorates the contributions of Jim Thorpe to American sports and culture. Jim Thorpe’s achievements as a football player and as an Olympian are depicted in the design. Inscriptions are “JIM THORPE,” “WA-THO-HUK” (Thorpe’s native name), “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and “$1.”
- One silver Kennedy half dollar
- One silver Roosevelt dime
- One Jefferson nickel
- One Lincoln penny
The quarters, half dollar, and dime contain 90 percent silver. Each 10-coin set comes with the Mint’s Certificate of Authenticity.
The United States Mint Silver Proof Set is also available for purchase through the Mint’s Product Enrollment Program. Visit https://catalog.usmint.gov/shop/product-enrollments/ for information about this convenient ordering option.
The Mint accepts orders at catalog.usmint.gov/ and 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order at 1-888-321-MINT. Visit us online at catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html for information about shipping options.
(Pelham, Alabama) — The fourth edition of MEGA RED (the Deluxe Edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins) features an expanded coin-by-coin study of U.S. dimes—294 pages covering 845 varieties from 1796 to date. Its focus on dimes also includes 15 new appendices on different aspects of the coins. The 1,504-page MEGA RED is available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, as well as online (including at the publisher’s web site, Whitman.com). It retails for $49.95.
Whitman Publishing numismatic director Q. David Bowers, who serves as senior editor of MEGA RED, wrote the expanded feature and contributed to all of the related appendices. “United States dimes are extremely popular among collectors,” he said, “offering areas of specialization to accommodate almost any budget and level of interest.” He notes that MEGA RED presents the most comprehensive coverage of early dimes (the Draped Bust and Capped Bust types) ever made in a general-interest book.
Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker said, “Dave Bowers drew from many sources for this detailed study of U.S. dimes. He consulted specialized references, analyzed auction results, researched historical documents and contemporary news accounts, and collaborated with specialists from around the country. Of course, the foundation of his work was his own experience and insight from more than 60 years as a professional numismatist and coin dealer.”
The John Reich Collectors Society, whose focus is on early U.S. silver and gold coins, was a useful resource for pre-1838 dimes. “Back issues of their John Reich Journal are a goldmine of information and can make everyone an expert,” Bowers said. He called special attention to Barry Sunshine, a dedicated specialist of early dimes, who shared research and observations from longtime study. More than 50 pages are dedicated to Draped Bust (1796–1807) and Capped Bust (1809–1837) dimes. This includes nearly 300 photographs (including enlarged photos of every date, plus many die varieties); mintages; commentary on the market, collecting tips, physical characteristics, and other notes specific to each coin; certified population data (number certified, average grade, and percent in Mint State); and values in grades from About Good to multiple levels of Mint State. Bowers also provides grading instructions (with high-quality enlarged photos of coins in grades from AG to MS, plus Proofs), history and background on each coin type, biographies of their designers and engravers, and guides to collecting.
Bowers’s coverage of Liberty Seated dimes (1837–1891) is similarly detailed over the course of 90 pages, and illustrated by 457 large-sized photographs of this long-running series’ coins, plus historical images. Bowers spent many hours studying the availability of each coin in various grades. He gives a great amount of advice and guidance on smart buying and collecting, and shares insight and research from the Liberty Seated Collectors Club and other specialists.
For Barber dimes (1892–1916) Bowers presents another full guide to collecting, grading, history, surviving populations in circulated, Mint State, and Proof formats, die varieties, hub changes, strike sharpness, and other factors relevant to collectors. He consulted with John Frost, Phil Carrigan, and other members of the Barber Coin Collectors Society for research into each date and mint. Certification data and retail price charts show the market for coins from Good-4 up to Mint State–65, plus Proofs at multiple levels. Barber dimes comprise 42 pages of research and 241 photographs, including close-ups of die-variety diagnostics.
Winged Liberty (or “Mercury”) dimes of 1916 to 1945 make up 40 pages of the expanded catalog. Bowers explains the changeover from Barber coins to the new design, including patterns, release and distribution, and the public’s perception. His coverage of strike characteristics, Proof Mercury dimes, grading standards (including for Full Band details), retail prices in 12 grades, population data, die varieties, marketplace factors, and other details give collectors plenty to study. Bowers consulted with David W. Lange, Bill Fivaz, and other specialists for in-depth research. The coin-by-coin study is illustrated by 123 photographs, including many die-variety enlargements.
For Roosevelt dimes, Bowers lays out the history of the coin developed to honor President Franklin Roosevelt, who led the nation out of the Great Depression and through most of World War II, dying of a cerebral hemorrhage just weeks before Germany and Japan surrendered. Bowers gives an illustrated biography of Roosevelt, a history of the coin’s design (including the controversy over artist Selma Burke’s claim to be its designer), and information about production, hub changes over the years, tips for collecting, and grading standards (including for Full Torch details). His coin-by-coin study covers silver Roosevelt dimes of 1946 to 1964, including Proofs, plus the mysterious 1964 Special Mint Set coins. He discusses 1965–1967 SMS coins, and popular die varieties listed in the Cherrypickers’ Guide. Copper-nickel and silver Roosevelt dimes of 1965 to date are explored in charts and photographs of each. In total, 67 pages and 575 photographs are devoted to these popular modern coins.
In addition to these detailed studies of individual dimes, of MEGA RED’s 25 appendices Bowers coordinated 15 that each focus on a specific dime-related topic. The richly illustrated “Carpe Dime! Dimes Seize the American Imagination,” by award-winning numismatic author Joel Orosz, explores dimes in popular culture ranging from music to literature, movies and other entertainment, commerce, banking, and other aspects of life in the United States. Other appendices show extraordinary error and misstruck dimes; pattern dimes and proposals that never became official coins; counterstamped dimes; dime scrip issued by banks, merchants, and towns; “paper dimes” from the U.S. Treasury Department; Civil War sutlers’ “dime” tokens; Civil War ten-cent store cards and dimes used as planchets for silver Civil War tokens; dimes recently discovered in the purser’s safe of the shipwreck SS Central America; the history of the famous 1894-S dime; a snapshot of the dime market in the 1940s; irradiated dimes; and an illustrated essay on the greatest U.S. dimes.
“With more than 1,600 high-quality photographs of U.S. dimes, this edition of MEGA RED is like having six beautiful coin collections laid out in front of you for in-depth study,” said Bowers. “Add to that 80 pages of related appendices with an additional 250-plus photographs, and you cannot afford to miss out on this edition.” Images are from the Whitman Publishing historical archives plus coins photographed by Heritage Auctions, Stack’s Bowers Galleries, NGC and PCGS, the Smithsonian, and individual hobbyists who answered Whitman’s call for dime photographs.
MEGA RED is billed as the “biggest, most useful Red Book ever.” It measures 7 x 10 inches and has 1,040 more pages than the regular edition. The larger size and increased page count combined make MEGA RED five times bigger than the regular-edition Red Book. It prices more than 8,000 items in up to 13 grades each, with 48,000 individual values and more than 15,000 auction records covering circulated, Mint State, and Proof coinage. The book is illustrated with thousands of full-color images, including thousands that are new to this edition.
MEGA RED is available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online.
1,504 pages, full color, $49.95 retail
By R.S. Yeoman; Senior Editor Q. David Bowers; Valuations Editor Jeff Garrett; Editor Emeritus Kenneth Bressett
855 Lots to be presented in first ever two-day event, including a special “Silver Dollar Day” auction
(April 20, 2018—Lincroft, NJ)—Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ 26th Regency Auction will be the firm’s largest and most impressive auction yet. The official auction for the May 2018 PCGS Member’s Show at Harrah’s in New Orleans, will take place on Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17, 2018. It will feature coins from very important collections showcasing some of the finest coins that the rare coin market has to offer; there is something for everyone.
The Wednesday, May 16th auction session has been billed as “Silver Dollar Day,” and is anchored by the P.F.M. Collection of Morgan Dollars and the Crow River Peace Dollar Collection. Selections from the Aurora Borealis Collection serves as the backbone to the event’s toned dollar section.
“The P.F.M. Collection is the current #6 set on the PCGS Registry, and features many exceptional gem quality coins,” explains Julie Abrams, the firm’s president. “and some are pedigreed to the great Morgan dollar collections like Jack Lee and Coronet. The Crow River Collection was assembled by the same collector who put together the record shattering set of $10 Indians that Legend Auctions sold last October.”
Highlights of Dollar Day include:
Lot 5 $1 1802 PCGS MS63+
Lot 22 $1 1879-CC Capped Die. PCGS MS65 From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 56 $1 1884-S PCGS MS63 From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 77 $1 1889-CC PCGS MS63 From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 89 $1 1891-O PCGS MS65 DMPL CAC From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 94 $1 1892-S PCGS MS65 From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 98 $1 1893-S PCGS AU58 From the P.F.M. Collection
Lot 203 $1 1904-O PCGS MS67 CAC
Lot 222 $1 1927-D PCGS MS66 CAC From the Crow River Collection
Lot 229 $1 1934-S PCGS MS66 CAC From the Crow River Collection
Day Two offers a wide selection of very high-end coins from early copper to gold and patterns. The session begins with The Premier Barber Collection (Proof Dimes and Mint State Quarters), which are duplicates from a world class collection assembled by a very picky collector client of Legend Numismatics. Every coin ranks towards the top of the population report and the vast majority are PCGS/CAC, including a 1900-O PCGS MS67+ GOLD CAC. From there, the auction session continues with exceptional toned Proof Indian Head Cents from the Aurora Borealis Collection. The David Poole Collection of Proof Three Cent Nickels features many of the finest examples of this obsolete series, and is a study in Cameo and Deep Cameo coins. A wide range of half dollars from Bust, Seated, and Walking Liberty (including Dale Larsen’s Collection of Toned Late Date Walkers) will delight any collector.
Gold coins make up a great portion of the sale. A complete set of Classic Head quarter eagles, the Oak Crest Collection of Carson City Half Eagles, and individual high grade and rare date gold coins broaden the depth of the offering, including a decent selection of early half eagles. A newly graded 1861-O $20 in PCGS AU53 CAC and a GEM 1907 High Relief in PCGS MS66 are additional single coin highlights. Rounding out the sale is the Steven Cook Collection of Patterns, Part 1—a collection of 150+ patterns being sold in two parts, the first 77 in the May 2018 Regency Auction.
“The diverse nature of Thursday evening’s Regency Auction session has elicited a strong collector response,” said Greg Cohen, Senior Numismatist of Legend Auctions. “Whether you collect early type coins, 19th century proofs, rare date gold, or neat pattern coins, there is a wide range of coins at all price points. Collectors will have, in some cases, once in a decade (or more) opportunities to acquire great coins for their cabinets.”
Thursday’s highlights include:
Lot 257 10C 1914 PCGS PR68 CAC From the Premier Barber Collection
Lot 269 25C 1900-O PCGS MS67+ GOLD CAC From the Premier Barber Collection
Lot 302 1/2C 1855 PCGS MS65+ RD CAC
Lot 329 1C 1881 PCGS PR66 RD CAM CAC From the Aurora Borealis Collection
Lot 356 1C 1935 PCGS MS68+ RD CAC
Lot 288 3CN 1866 PCGS PR67 DCAM From the David Poole Collection
Lot 467 H10C 1859 PCGS MS68+ CAC
Lot 470 10C 1796 PCGS MS63 CAC
Lot 474 10C 1836 PCGS MS67+ CAC
Lot 509 25C 1867-S PCGS MS67 CAC
Lot 525 25C 1916 Standing. PCGS MS67 FH
Lot 579 50C 1887 NGC MS65 GOLD CAC
Lot 607 50C 1945 PCGS MS67+ CAC From the Dale Larsen Collection
Lot 665 25C 1883 Hawaii. PCGS PR67 CAM CAC
Lot 695 $3 1878 PCGS PR63+ DCAM CAC
Lot 710 $5 1871-CC PCGS AU58 CAC From the Oak Crest Collection
Lot 715 $5 1876-CC PCGS AU58 CAC From the Oak Crest Collection
Lot 747 $20 1861-O PCGS AU53 CAC
Lot 756 $20 1903 PCGS MS66+
Lot 812 25C 1870 J-939. NGC PR65 From the Steven Cook Collection. Ex. Eliasberg-Simpson
Lot 821 50C 1870 J-970. PCGS PR64 CAM CAC From the Steven Cook Collection.
Lot 829 25C 1871 J-1099. PCGS PR65 CAC From the Steven Cook Collection
Lot 831 $2.50 1872 J-1234. PCGS PR63 DCAM From the Steven Cook Collection
Lot 836 10C 1877 J-1498. PCGS PR65 BN CAC From the Steven Cook Collection
Lot 851 $1 1872 J-1214. PCGS PR65+ CAM CAC
For more information about, or to bid on these and all 855 lots in the 26th Regency Auction, being conducted at Harrah’s New Orleans on May 16 and 17, 2018, go to www.legendauctions.com. If you have any questions regarding viewing lots, or any other arrangements regarding Regency Auction 26, contact us at email@example.com. To consign to any upcoming auction sale, email Greg Cohen at firstname.lastname@example.org or Julie Abrams at email@example.com.
Episode Six in the “Making Money” series looks at how the West Point Mint produces bullion coins.
Watch on YouTube at https://youtu.be/27B1N23jzKc