(Pelham, Alabama) — The third edition of MEGA RED (the Deluxe Edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins) features different types of altered coins in several new appendices, including an eight-page illustrated study of love tokens. MEGA RED retails for $49.95 and is available online (including at Whitman.com) and from booksellers nationwide.

A love token is defined as a coin that has been smoothed flat on one or both sides and then hand-engraved, usually with a keepsake message for a sweetheart or family member. Typical messages included terms of endearment, anniversary dates, a lover’s initials, or a romantic symbol such as a heart, blue birds, or flowers.

The MEGA RED appendix is illustrated with photographs of more than 100 love tokens and related items, ranging from tiny half dimes and gold dollars to silver dollars and gold double eagles ($20 coins).

The popular tradition of engraving coins for sentimental or good-luck purposes goes back to Great Britain in the late 1600s. In the United States, the most commonly seen are Liberty Seated dimes (minted from the 1830s to the 1890s). Love tokens saw a resurgence in popularity during World War II, when women on the Home Front would wear “sweetheart jewelry” to honor their loved ones fighting overseas. Many examples were in the form of necklaces or bracelets of foreign coins engraved by soldiers and sailors, with silver coins of Australia being most common.

Because each love token is unique, retail values are difficult to standardize. To aid collectors, the MEGA RED appendix illustrates a catalog of pieces sold at auction in recent years, along with their auction prices. Examples include Liberty Seated and Morgan silver dollars, trade dollars, an Australian sweetheart bracelet, silver quarters and half dollars, foreign and U.S. gold coins, a Barber dime marking the death of President William McKinley, twenty-cent pieces, stick pins made from gold dollars, a so-called opium dollar, and more.

Other appendices in the third-edition MEGA RED discuss special modern gold coins (2009 to date), So-Called Dollars, hobo nickels, chopmarked coins, and modern U.S. Mint gold and silver medals.

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MEGA RED: A Guide Book of United States Coins, Deluxe Edition, 3rd edition
ISBN 0794845096
1,054 pages, full color
By R.S. Yeoman; senior editor Kenneth Bressett; research editor Q. David Bowers; valuations editor Jeff Garrett
$49.95 retail


Billed as the “biggest, most useful Red Book ever,” MEGA RED 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 8,200 items in up to 13 grades each, with 48,000 individual values and 15,400 auction records covering circulated, Mint State, and Proof coinage. The book is illustrated with 7,000 images, including 2,434 that are new to the third edition.

The third edition of MEGA RED officially debuted at the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo, March 30, 2017, and now is available nationwide. MEGA RED retails for $49.95 and is available online (including at Whitman.com) and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide. Whitman Publishing is the Official Supplier of the ANA, and Association members receive a 10% discount off all purchases.

About Whitman Publishing

Whitman Publishing is the world’s leading producer of numismatic reference books, supplies, and products to display and store coins and paper money. The company’s high-quality books educate readers in the rich, colorful history of American and world coinage and currency, and teach how to build great a collection. Archival-quality Whitman folders, albums, cases, and other holders keep collectibles safe and allow them to be shown off to friends and family.

Whitman Publishing is the Official Supplier of the American Numismatic Association. As a benefit of membership in the ANA, members can borrow the Red Book (and other Whitman books) for free from the Association’s library, and also receive 10% off all Whitman purchases. Details are at www.money.org.

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