Coin Pricing Guides – A Coin Collector’s Friend


Coin pricing guides come in a number of different forms, and some will appeal to a given buyer more than others. Which guide a person uses is not is not so important, but rather that he or she use some kind of guide before spending a lot of money to buy or trade for a coin. The following are some of the most popular guides devoted to U. S. coins.

A Guide Book of United States Coins, by R.S. Yeoman, edited by Kenneth Bressett. It is commonly referred to as the “Red Book” because of its color and is available in both hardcover and softcover versions. It has been the hobby most popular guide for at least 50 years. A proven winner! (Whitman coin Products, St. Martin’s Press)

The Insider’s Guide to U.S. Coin Values, by Scott Travers. Contains pricing info on relevant coins in both circulated and Mint state condition. It is a favorite of mine because it includes prices for very high grades as well as truly rare coins. (Dell Publishing, division of Random House, 1540 Broadway, New York, NY 10036)

Coin World Guide to U.S. Coins, Prices and Value Trends. Prepared by the editors of Coin World, a renowned weekly coin publication, it comes only in a softcover version. (Dutton Signet, division of Penguin Books USA, Inc.)

The Official Blackbook Price Guide of United States Coins  ราคา ตู้น๊อคดาวน์, by Mark Hudgeons. This pocketsize paperback provides values for U. S. coins, tokens, medals and other related collectibles. It also provides tips on buying coins and has a special section on grading. This is a favorite of many metal detector users because the variety of items covered, are related to finds they make. (House of Collectibles, division of Random House)

Yearly price guides like the four listed above cannot be completely up-to-date as values change frequently. However, they are close enough to the market to sound a clear alarm when grossly overpriced items are presented. Monthly price guides appear in two leading hobby magazines and provide more realistic up-to-date values of coins.

COINage publishes a section called “The COINage Price guide,” which provides current values for a variety of U. S. coins in up to 14 levels of preservation. (Miller Magazines, 4880 Market St., Ventura, CA 93003)

Coins Magazine offers a “Coin Value Guide” which takes regular coins and commemoratives and charts their price performance in up to nine levels of preservation. (Krause Publications, 700 E. State St., Iola, WI 54990)

Taking all printed price guides into consideration, those that appear weekly come closest to reflecting actual market values at a given time. These are prepared from a few days to just a few weeks in advance. While they are not as comprehensive as the yearly guides, they reflect today’s market very closely with its daily ups and downs. Weekly guides to U. S. coin values can be found in both of the two leading newspapers serving the hobby.

Coin World publishes a “Trends” section featuring current values. The comphrensive coverage provided here takes three weeks to cover all U. S. coinage. ( Amos Press, P.O. Box 150, sidney, OH 45365-0150)

Numismatic News Weekly has a “Coin Market” section that covers the popular coin series giving accurate data on current values. Only certain series are covered each of three weeks and the fourth week furnishes comprehensive listings for all the coins covered by this report. (Krause Publications, 700 E. State St. Iola, WI 54990)

All pricing guides–weekly, monthly, annually, serve a distinct function of proctecting the buyer of coins. Getting to know them will make it easy to choose which is best for you. I use the the Red Book two ways. If I am wanting to sell a coin, I use a 66-75% value of the Red Book listing as a gauge for selling. As a buyer, I use about 50% of Red Book value to determine what I am willing to pay for most coins. This is my own personal approach using just this guide, and I am a collector, not a coin dealer.

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