1943penny 's Blog

01 Aug 2020

Blue Book review

Coins | 1943penny

Hey guys!
today I wanted to review the 2020 Blue Book. so, here is my review!

The blue book is the #1 best selling guide book on dealer buying prices. For people looking to sell their collection to a coin dealer it might be a helpful guide to get a quick estimate of what your collection will be bought for. When reading the book it is relatively easy to find most coins and only takes a couple of seconds. To test the accuracy of the blue book I went to several different dealers to see what they would buy my coins for. So I gathered 3 pairs of the same 5 coins. 1964 half dollar, 1939 half dollar, 1922 penny, 1926 buffalo nickel, 1850 large cent. and here is the prices that they paid for them;

Dealer #1

1964 half dollar = $1.25 under spot

1939 half dollar = $1.25 under spot

1922 penny = $6.00 under blue book price

1850 large cent = $5.00 under blue book price

1926 buffalo - $0.05 over blue book price

Dealer #2

1964 half dollar = $1.10 under spot

1939 half dollar = $1.00 under spot

1922 penny = $3.00 under blue book price

1850 large cent = $2.00 over blue book price

1926 buffalo - $0.20 over blue book price

Dealer #3

1964 half dollar = $1.50 under spot

1939 half dollar = $1.00 under spot

1922 penny = $4.00 under blue book price

1850 large cent = $1.50 under blue book price

1926 buffalo - $0.03 under blue book price

This was very fun to do :) even though it took me a full day. Anyways, none of these prices are exactly the blue book prices. But the blue book prices are kind of the average price that dealers will pay. You cant expect a book to keep the exact prices the whole year and to know what will be in demand. sometimes dealers will pay more for a coin if it is high demand in their coin shop. So, in conclusion I think the blue book is a accurate as it can possibly be for predicting the average price of the coming year. When using the red book to get an appraisal for your collection be aware that the prices may be off a few dollars per coin. If you want the most accurate price, I recommend going to a coin dealer and asking for an appraisal.

Thanks for reading!




Level 5

This was cool research 1943Penny ! I sometimes read the coin magazines and articles online. I also, like Mokie, have read that dealers use the CDN Greysheet extensively. What's the difference between the Blue book and the Red book? Just asking for a friend, ME ! LOL


Level 5

Yeah as you have pointed out, the blue book is a guideline and the prices rise and fall during the year based on many things. As you also mentioned the price might be higher if the individual dealer is looking for that particular coin for a potential sale. I personally never buy silver or gold from anywhere other than US Mint Proofs unless the price is down. If an annual coin I am interested in such as the 2020 ASE S were priced slightly higher due to ask price, I would suck it up and get one. However, I would not buy the same 2019 ASE S at a brick and mortar shop or the internet if the ask price were at say $30.00 an ounce vs $15.00-$20.00. Hey that's just me. Nice research and blog. Later!


Level 5

Nice work, and creative experiment! I think that I will go ahead and splurge on the blue book for 2020 ;) cheers, NumisMaster


Level 6

Fun idea. I do hope you told the dealers what you were doing and bought something from them. Don't want to waste their time to much. Thanks.


Level 5

I look at the blue book, red book, and online price guides. You can always negotiate a price with a dealer. Plenty of coins out there, so always negotiate a fair price. I wonder what dealers will pay for silver as price rises? It seems the higher the price, the more off spot they will pay?

All price guides are just that, guides. The Blue book and Red book are on the very high end of prices though. Anything made by CDN publishing is going to be the most accurate as far as a guide goes, but looking for how much something sold for on eBay and HA is a good place to see also.


Level 4

I have actually never read an issue of the blue book. Nice price comparison, usually the annually issued price guides will be off in value, because they have values from the beginning of the year.


Level 7

I take a combination of prices and come up with a fair market price. Sometimes you get surprised!.


Level 6

It is fun and interesting to study coin prices.

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Sounds like a day well spent. You also got another good piece of info with your recon mission. Dealer #2 is the go to guy! Thanks for telling me about a resource I didn't know existed.

It's Mokie

Level 6

Very interesting exercise 43P. I think the blue book is much like the red book, the prices shown should be taken with a grain of salt given the advance compilation of the prices before publication. Things like the CDN Greysheet are used much more extensively by dealers than the blue book. In fact, I would argue that professional dealers would never use the blue book to establish their buy prices.

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