This is my first blog for reviews of numismatic books. I hope I can do more in the future. Today I will be reviewing “100 Greatest U.S. Coins,” by Jeff Garrett and Ron Guth.
The introduction talks about what makes a coin great. The book says that rarity, value, quality, popularity, beauty, and history are all important in making a coin great. The top ten coins are described with a full page photo and a full page description. In addition to the description, the historical values are listed for all one hundred coins.
Now, what is the greatest U.S. coin? According to this book, the 1804 Silver dollar is number one. Since only fifteen of these coins exist, they are worth millions of dollars.
My favorite of the top ten coins is number six, the 1894–S Barber Dime. This is also a very expensive coin. This is my favorite because only twenty-four coins were minted, and three were given by the mint superintendent to his little daughter, Haillie. Supposedly, Haillie spent one of the dimes on ice cream and saved the other two.
Coins 11-80 are not described as much as the top ten coins, but still have a full page and photo dedicated to them.
My favorite coin from this group is number fourteen, the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent. If you have ever collected wheats, you have probably heard of this coin. It is my favorite coin because I started coin collecting by going through cent rolls looking for wheats with my dad. In fact, we still do this today. This is the rarest and most expensive of wheat cents with only 484,000 minted. The coin’s designer, Victor David Brenner, put his initials on the reverse of the coin, but the public and mint officials did not like that, so they had them removed.
Coins 81-100 have a half page description with a smaller photo. Even though less space is devoted to these twenty coins, it is still enough space to describe these great coins.
My favorite coin from this group is number eighty-three, the 1893-S Morgan Dollar. It is my favorite because I like Morgan Dollars. Only 100,000 of these coins were minted.
Coin number one hundred is actually three different patterns. They are the 1879 “Schoolgirl” Silver Dollar Pattern, the 1879 “Quintuple Stella” Pattern in Gold, and the 1882 “Shield Earring” Silver Dollar Pattern.
Although I don’t own any of coins listed in “100 Greatest U.S. Coins,” I think it is a great book. It is very fun to look at and read about all of these valuable coins.