Monday, April 25, 2016

Book Review: Introduction to Coin Collecting

(Blogjob tags: coins designed as collection piecescoins worth more than face valueluster of coinsUncirculated coinvalue of coin collectionvalue of U.S. coins.)

Title: Introduction to Coin Collecting
Author: Mark Knight
Date: 1996
Publisher: Globe
ISBN: none
Length: 93 pages
Illustrations: black-and-white pictures, often blurry
Quote: “A recent otherwise common Indian Head cent...It was nearly perfect and seemed to be untouched by anyone or anything since being made. His asking price of $2,500 was 100 times what an only slightly inferior, Uncirculated piece of the same date normally costs.”
Yes, coins have some value no matter how much they’ve been handled, but if you really want to cash them in, you must not touch the surfaces of newly minted coins. That's what makes them capital-U Uncirculated. That’s one of the tips Knight has to offer coin collectors. Even clean fingertips contain enough oil to affect coins' "luster" and, thus, their collection value.
Of course, what raw beginners to coin collecting want to know is which coins have unsuspected value higher than their face value, and much of Introduction to Coin Collecting consists of pictures of uncommon coins. All real gold coins are worth more than their face value. Solid silver coins are worth more than their face value. Coins that were used for only a few years, like half-cent, two-cent, and three-cent pieces, are worth more than their face value. Ordinary American coins from some years are worth a little more than their face value, depending on their condition. Prices fluctuate. This book does not give collectors’ prices for recent coins, some of which were always meant to be collection pieces, like the Kennedy half-dollars, Bicentennial quarters, and state quarters that are still in circulation.
Coin collecting is an international hobby. Foreign coins can gain value with age, too, if they are rare, but Introduction to Coin Collecting discusses only U.S. coins. If you decide you want to bother with coins, you’ll probably want to invest in a more comprehensive book. After all, this one’s only an introduction.
It’s easy to read, using some specialized vocabulary but explaining these words as they appear. Introduction to Coin Collecting would be an excellent companion gift for a school-aged child who’s just received a collector’s set of foreign coins, state quarters, etc., and wants to know what other coins may be valuable.
"Mark Knight" is the name of a semi-famous musician. There seems to be no connection to the author. If someone wants to buy Introduction to Coin Collecting here, for $5 per book + $5 per package + $1 per online payment, I'll write to the publisher for further information about the author. This is a small book in any case; you could fit a dozen or more copies into a package (for a total of $65) or add it to the package with one or more Fair Trade Books.