Collector Demand and Growing Interest in Die Varieties Drive Success
The sixth edition, volume II, of the Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties is making numismatic history as it approaches a sellout of its first print run. The release of this highly anticipated coin guide at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh from August 8 to 12, 2023, has created a buzz among collectors and dealers alike. The overwhelming demand has prompted Whitman Publishing to order a second print run, ensuring that collectors will continue to have access to this invaluable resource without interruption.
At the ANA show, sales were brisk but limited to one copy per customer due to the high demand. Whitman’s vice president of sales, Dawn Burbank, expressed her enthusiasm, stating, “The Cherrypickers’ Guide was one of our best sellers in Pittsburgh. Collectors and dealers bought every advance copy we had, and thousands more have shipped from our main inventory.”
One of the driving forces behind the success of this latest edition is the renowned coin dealer Larry Briggs, a die-variety specialist. Briggs served as the volume editor for the sixth edition, meticulously updating every entry and collaborating with other experts to incorporate new coins into the guide.
As part of the ANA’s “Money Talks” educational programming, Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker presented a talk titled “Cherrypicking Rare Coins in 2023 and Beyond.” During his presentation, Tucker highlighted several factors contributing to the growing interest in die varieties among collectors:
- Hot Coin Market: The overall coin market has experienced substantial growth over the past few years, igniting interest in all aspects of numismatics.
- Internet Accessibility: The internet has connected collectors worldwide, providing unprecedented access to information and high-resolution coin images.
- Resurgence in Book Publishing: A resurgence in book publishing and easy-to-use websites have empowered collectors to share knowledge and connect with like-minded enthusiasts.
- High Attendance at Coin Shows: Large coin shows, such as the ANA World’s Fair of Money, have witnessed record attendance numbers, attracting numerous active dealers.
- Competitive Registry Sets: Competitive registry sets offered by PCGS and NGC have fostered friendly competition among collectors, leading to increased demand and excitement for specific coins.
Tucker also shared his observations on the die-variety market, including the deletion of more than two dozen Barber dime varieties from the fifth edition due to waning collector interest and the emergence of gold coin die varieties as more significant contributors to coin pricing.
He emphasized the value of hobby clubs and organizations, such as the Liberty Seated Collectors Club and the Barber Coin Collectors Society, for their contributions to die-variety research.
In the sixth edition, volume II, most of the new die varieties are among Roosevelt dimes, Liberty Seated quarters, and Washington quarters. Looking ahead to volume III in 2024, collectors can anticipate entirely new chapters on Bust half dollars and an abundance of new die variety listings among Liberty Seated half dollars, Franklin half dollars, Morgan silver dollars, Peace dollars, and U.S./Philippine die varieties of 1903–1945.
While some die varieties, such as half dimes, twenty-cent pieces, trade dollars, and classic commemoratives, may be less popular these days, there are still new varieties to explore for dedicated collectors.
The 320-page spiralbound-hardcover Cherrypickers’ Guide is available for $39.95 online, including at Whitman.com, and can be found in bookstores nationwide.
About the Cherrypickers’ Guide:
The Cherrypickers’ Guide, authored by Bill Fivaz and Larry Briggs, assists collectors in identifying rare and valuable coin varieties through close-up photographs and text descriptions. This latest volume features more than 440 die varieties, including nearly 80 new additions, across various coin series, making it an indispensable resource for coin enthusiasts. Bill Fivaz, a highly respected authority on numismatic errors and die varieties, and volume editor Larry Briggs, a well-known dealer, author, and educator, have collaborated to create a comprehensive guide that reflects the evolving landscape of coin collecting.