CoinWeek Staff Reports….
A Guide Book of Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters, and Liberty Walking Half Dollars
by Q. David Bowers.
2015, 310 pages. Illustrated. Spine #18. $29.95 MSRP.
The Mercury dime, Standing Liberty quarter, and the Walking Liberty half dollar coin series were the last of their respective denominations to feature an allegorical representation of Liberty on the obverse. The Mercury–or, more precisely, Winged Liberty–dime was replaced in 1946 by the memorial coinage of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. The Standing Liberty design type went on what was then thought to be a temporary hiatus in 1931, but was permanently replaced by the circulating commemorative design struck in 1932 to celebrate the Bicentennial of the birth of America’s first President, George Washington. The Walking Liberty type met its end in 1948, with the release of the short-lived Benjamin Franklin half dollar design.
All three series are striking change and have solid collector bases today. As is the case with many 20th century issues, they also remain affordable to the vast majority of collectors.
As for Bowers’ new Guide Book, space constraints provide only for a truncated treatment of each design type’s backstory. Date-by-date and mint-by-mint information is provided for each of the book’s three highlighted series. Certified populations provided for each issue, but collectors should note that the population totals are derived solely from NGC’s pop reports.
A Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents: History, Varieties, Populations, and Values
by Q. David Bowers.
2015, 564 pages. Illustrated. Spine #19. $39.95 MSRP.
Collectors who bought Whitman’s A Guide Book of United States Coins, Deluxe Edition (2015, 1503pp, $49.95 MSRP) may experience a double-take at Whitman’s new Bowers Series book on half and large cents (we certainly did). Starting on page 193 and running through to the end, Whitman’s new guide to early federal coppers is a verbatim repackaging of the material provided in the company’s debut edition of Mega Red.
What’s different is a 120+ page-long survey of the history of American Numismatics and how the shift from large coppers to small coppers fueled the growth of coin collecting in the United States, starting in the mid-19th century.
These insights are typical Bowers: insightful and helpful. Devotees to the series will likely have other more expensive reference material to turn their attention to, but for collectors looking for an affordable and easy-to-follow reference to guide them from the beginning to the intermediate stages of these two popular coin denominations, A Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents is a worthwhile option.
You can read CoinWeek’s take on Mega Red by clicking here.
Whitman Encyclopedia of Mexican Money Volume 2: Modern Coins of Mexico, 1905 to Date.
by Don and Lois Bailey.
2015. 474 pages. Illustrated. $39.95 MSRP.
Mexican coinage is an area of specialty that has excited American collectors for generations. Through a publishing partnership with Whitman, Don and Lois Bailey have worked together to create a mainstream standard reference for Mexican coins. The first volume provides collectors with a colorful history of Mexican coinage, from cacao beans, to the colonial period, and to the present. The second volume, retraces some of those steps, but provides readers with an in-depth take on Mexico’s modern issues, starting in 1905.
For collectors of modern material, this second volume is an ideal introductory reference into the broader area of Mexican numismatics. It’s 470+ pages are copiously illustrated and filled with explanatory text and background information on each issue and series. Pricing tables are also provided. Equally handy is Bailey’s explanation of Mexico’s myriad coinage reforms.
All three of these titles can be purchased at a discount from the following CoinWeek sponsor:
- A Guide Book of Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters, and Liberty Walking Half Dollars –
$29.95. $22.99 at Wizard Coin Supply
- A Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents: History, Varieties, Populations, and Values –
$39.95. $29.99 at Wizard Coin Supply.
- The Whitman Encyclopedia of Mexican Money Volume 2: modern Coins of Mexico, 1905 to Date –
$39.95. $29.95 at Wizard Coin Supply