World_Coin_Nut's Blog

18 Jul 2018

Numismatic Literature

Coins | World_Coin_Nut

We have all heard the phrase “buy the book before you buy the coin”. Well some people take this to another level. Collecting numismatic literature is a very popular part of our hobby. Even during portions of my life where I wasn’t active in numismatics I was always a book worm.  As I have aged my tastes have changed, I couldn’t tell you the last time I read a novel. Now, everything I am reading is either coin related or a book on history.

At this time my numismatic library is in excess of 200 titles which is small when compared to many collectors. Part of the beauty is that there are always titles coming to my attention that I don’t own. My focus is book on world coins written in the English language.  That is harder than it sounds. Many of the standard references are written in other languages. 

There are some fantastic numismatic book sellers available to us. Several of them set up at ANA conventions. Not many have brick and mortar stores anymore but they do have very nice web sites. Several offer periodic auctions but the majority are simply fixed price sites.

Of course, the ANA library is a wonderful resource. Many of our books were printed in limited quantities so a library may be the only way to get a physical copy in your hands. Much like rare coins, rare books can get expensive also.

The prize of my collection is “Provincial Coins, Tokens & Medalets” by James Conder published in 1798. This is the man and book the series is named after. It’s an out of date reference but I still get a thrill knowing that I have a copy in my collection.

Collecting books is not much different than buying coins. Condition is important. Supply and demand affect the prices. Just like coins, buy what you like and you can’t go wrong.

By the way, the pictured book shelf is a photo from a few years ago. It now has nothing but books on it and it is more than full.



Level 6

Nice library. I too enjoy having the book in my hand. I especially lust for your favorite book. I have it printed from on-line. It's way not the same... Thank you!


Level 6

Great collection of books! I'd love to look through the one written by James Condor. I think I have about 50 assorted Coin/Currency reference books. Love them all! Thanks for a fun blog!


Level 6

My biggest mistake in the hobby is when I sold 90% of my library when I moved after retirement. You might think your library is small, probably bigger than most collectors, and most city libraries.

I hope to get a nice collection of numismatic literature at some point. I am hoping to go to a numismatic book sale in august near Columbus, Ohio.


Level 6

There is nothing like an old-fashioned reference book! I have a small library myself but nothing like yrs.

I like your circular book shelf. I'm a sucker for a coin book. Sometimes on a boring afternoon I'll enter "coin book" on ebay and scroll for hours.

When I was a young collector back about 70 years ago, there were very few reference books available to the collecting public. For US collectors there was the Red Book, the Blue Book and the Black Book. Seaby had very scanty catalogues of Ancient and British Coins. There were some collection catalogs like Weber, Dumbarton Oaks, the various British Museum collections, etc, but very little on general foreign coins. The growth of coin publications has opened many of the great diversity of collecting topics to the general population. Now with the internet, much more esoteric information is readily available. The down-side is that it greatly reduces a young persons odds of finding a Connecticut half cent in a Ten Cent box of "Junk Coins" or an Unc very scarce George IV Official Coronation Medal in a Fifty Cent box. Knowledge used to be needed to get ahead of the game. Now it is required just to stay up with the game.


Level 7

I think your library is very nice and has every book you need to do your work on your hobby. I wish everyone had one like yours. The net and Wikipedia is ok. But you know me and books. You find information you would never find on the net. Books are the answer and I have seen some of your coins and with out those books you wouldn't have the beauties you have. Thanks or the information and the advice. Mike.


Level 4

I LOVE old coin books! Haven't gotten to collecting them yet though, sticking to coins for now ;) ~Matt

We use cookies to provide users the best experience on our website. If you continue without changing your cookie settings, we'll assume that you agree to receive all cookies on money.org. You may disable cookies at any time using your internet browser configuration. By continuing to use this website, you agree to our privacy policy and terms of use. To learn more about how we use cookies and to review our privacy policy, click here.