Whitman Publishing announces the release of A Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents, by Q. David Bowers. The 576-page book (number 19 in the popular Bowers Series) can be ordered from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online (including at, for $39.95. It can also be borrowed for free as a benefit of membership in the American Numismatic Association (ANA), through the Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library.

Copper half cents and large-size one-cent coins were the early pocket change of the United States.

“Thanks to their variable toning, and differing levels of craftsmanship by the Philadelphia Mint’s engravers, there are hundreds of enjoyable varieties for collectors,” Bowers says.

These popular copper coins were made from 1793 (the year after the Philadelphia Mint was founded) into the late 1850s, shortly before the Civil War started. In the Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents they are given the famous Q. David Bowers treatment: insightful die-by-die study of 832 varieties, rich historical background, and detailed data analysis. The text is illustrated with more than 1,600 images. Bowers–the “Dean of American Numismatics” and the most prolific numismatic author of all time–tells collectors how to evaluate quality, determine value, understand the market, and make smart purchases.

Bowers provides a wealth of information including mintages, existing populations, grading standards, values in up to 11 grades, auction records, and keys to collecting. Historical background sets the coins in the broader context of American life from the 1790s through the 1850s, showing how war and other national events affected the coins’ designs and production.

The Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents includes a history of the first and second Philadelphia Mints; biographies of important Mint figures of the 1790s through the 1850s; a history of half and large cent collecting, including biographies of many important 20th-century collectors; and strategies for building a significant collection.

Numismatic researcher Harry E. Salyards says, “I believe that this book will become the first work in the field of American numismatics since Sheldon’s Penny Whimsy to be dipped into, time and time again, not just for the technical details on some particular coin, but for sheer reading pleasure.”


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