Coin Books

by blackspanielgallery

New coin books, with the next year's date, often come out in the spring. Understanding this can be important.

Coin books contain a wealth of information. Many include mintage figures and prices. The problem with prices is they change regularly, so the question comes up whether a coin book is current. The answer is it depends on the coin.

Some coins change slowly on value. In particular, copper, bronze, and nickel coins often are slow to change in value. Of course, extremely rare coins can fluctuate as the latest coin of a kind to be sold at auction resets the expected value.

Precious metal coins that are not extremely rare are not so stable. Value can change overnight. No coin book can be accurate for coin values tracking the precious metals market. In addition to the precious metals market one must also take into account that the mintage figures can be misleading, since many common precious metal coins can be melted down when their metallic value soars.

Coin Books Often Are Released in the Spring

It is now the spring of 2019.  Many coin books for 2020 are already out.  These books are first found on pre-sale, then available for delivery.  They cannot always give mintages, and certainly not values, for coins of the current year.  But the next year books are being published.

Current Year Books

Current year books are not that much out of date, but they were more current a year ago.  Realistically, mintages of former year coins do not change, so they are still accurate.  Varieties of coins from the past are also still accurate, such as the number of tail feathers the eagle has in the first year Morgan dollar coins.  So, this is a time for bargains.  Currently 2019 coin books are being offered at reduced prices by some sellers.  If the books remain unsold too much longer they will no longer be worth the same as they are now.  But the bargains must be accompanied by a warning.  The current year books are already not the most current issues.

Some Books Are Stable

Coin books are not all price guides.  Some discuss in detain specific coins.  These are not required to be updated annually.  Coins that have ceased being minted, like the Morgan dollar last minted in 1921, will have little or no new information just because a year or two have passed since being compiled. 


Other stable books are books that cover older coins, and no current coins.  Ancient coins fall into this group.  Yes, there can be a new discovery, but the books change little or not at all as time goes on.

Error Books

Beware of error coin prices for recent coins.  Mints do not know, so they cannot record, the number of coins with a certain error that got past quality control.  Price depends on availability.  When an error coin is detected that was not previously known the question is how many will eventually surface.  Initial values can be too high, or too low.  Error coins are a wait and see game.  So, the pricing of the error coins for the latest year covered in a book may still be in a state of flux.  Information in error coin books should be viewed with a sense that patience is important.


re advantages in buying the most current coin books, and advantages in buying a slightly older issue.  It depends on the needs of the individual coin collector.


This article contains links to affiliate programs and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


The introduction image is an image we have taken.

Updated: 05/04/2019, blackspanielgallery
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?


Only logged-in users are allowed to comment. Login
blackspanielgallery on 09/02/2019

The Morgan initially had two versions, probably because the mint decided to change the look. The easiest way to determine which variety one has, and they are worth different amounts, is to count the tail feathers. The Morgan ceased for a lengthy period, and when more dollar coins were minted in 1921 it was revived, but shared the year with the next silver dollar, the Peace Dollar. why? Perhaps the new design was not ready in time.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/30/2019

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for the practicalities and products.
How many tail feathers are on the eagle in first-year Morgan dollar coins? Why did the number vary? Why was the Morgan dollar coin last minted in 1921?

You might also like

Starting a New Coin Blog

I have launched a coin blog, and the experience is rewarding me with an incre...

Art Contest with Collectible Coins

The State of Alaska has an interesting art contest annually. The winning des...

Disclosure: This page generates income for authors based on affiliate relationships with our partners, including Amazon, Google and others.
Loading ...