New book explores the 100 greatest U.S. coins of all time

100-greatest-4th-coverWhitman Publishing announces the release of the fourth edition of the award-winning 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. The hardcover coffee-table book will be available October 25, 2014. Before then it can be pre-ordered online (including at and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide for $29.95. It can also be borrowed for free from the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library as a benefit of membership in the American Numismatic Association (

In this beautifully illustrated book, numismatist Jeff Garrett, with fellow researcher Ron Guth, takes the reader on a guided tour of the American coins that have captured the imagination of generations of collectors. In the introduction Garrett asks the question “What makes a coin great?” His analysis explores factors such as rarity, value, quality, popularity, beauty, and history.

The introduction of the fourth edition has been expanded with more full-color illustrations and text describing the history of United States coinage, ways to collect U.S. coins, grading standards, determining values, and other facets of the hobby.

In the foreword, Mark Salzberg, chairman of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, notes that even though the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins are valuable, they’re undervalued in the broader context of rare collectibles. “The 250 highest prices paid for U.S. coins at auction total just less than $250 million in value,” he writes. “In context, that is a bit less than the sales price of the most valuable painting ever sold, Paul Cezanne’s The Card Players.” Kenneth Bressett, longtime senior editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins, writes, “Not all of the 100 Greatest U.S. Coins are unique specimens confined to one collection. A lucky numismatist could potentially find a 1955 Doubled Die Obverse Lincoln cent in their pocket.”

The 100 Greatest U.S. Coins were voted on and ranked by members of the Professional Numismatists Guild. In the fourth edition, the celebrated 1804 silver dollar rose to the No. 1 spot (up from No. 5, and displacing the 1913 Liberty Head nickel at the top of the rankings). The unique 1851 Liberty Seated dollar struck over a New Orleans dollar dropped entirely from the list, and the 1974 aluminum Lincoln cent made its debut, at No. 88.

100 Greatest U.S. Coins, fourth edition, also includes illustrated biographies of the “Great Collectors of the Past,” from Harry Bass to William Woodin; a price history of the 100 Greatest, from 1960 to date; a chart of the top 200 U.S. coin prices realized at auction from 1990 to 2014; a breakdown of the 100 Greatest by denomination and coin type; a glossary; a bibliography for further research; and a detailed index. The book is coffee-table-size, 144 pages, in full color, with photographs and stories for every coin. It also includes historical photographs, market values, field populations, certified-coin census reports, quantities minted, specifications, and coin design notes.

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