With Black Friday just passed and the holiday season just around the corner, it’s time to start looking for gifts for your family and friends. If you have a friend who is a collector, these are some of the perfect gifts that you really can’t go wrong with.
The Guide Book of United State Coins
The Red Book is often considered the “bible” for coin collectors, and for good reason. It’s essentially the number one book for any collector and should be the first book in any collector’s coin library. These books are updated and released every year, so the holidays are a great time to give the collector in your family the newest version. Do make sure that he/she has not already purchased the book, however, since they are released much earlier in the year. There are many different versions of these books. There is the Standard Edition, which comes in hardcover, spiral, and hidden spiral, but my personal favorite is the spiral version, which makes it easy to flip through and keep open to a certain page. The hardcover looks nicer, but isn’t easy to keep open and the hidden spiral just looks strange. There is also the super awesome and super huge Mega Red edition. This version costs significantly more, but is definitely worth the cost and worth considering. These books can easily be found both online and at your local Barnes & Noble (and probably many other booksellers as well). The Blue Book is another great option that is geared towards dealers, but can be helpful for any collector.
Coin Magazine Subscription
Magazine subscriptions are often very popular gifts during the holidays, so this is a great and simple way to make the numismatist happy. My two favorite magazines are The Numismatist (free with ANA membership) and Coin World. Just because you already subscribe to one doesn’t mean you can’t subscribe to the other. They both have different and awesome information.
Whether or not you should consider purchasing coins for a family member or friend differs depending on the collector. Everyone collects different things and, that being said, giving the gift of a coin may sound great, but may not actually be. If someone is working on their Peace Dollar collection, for example, and you decide to give them a Silver American Eagle, they may be grateful, but not really have much interest. For me personally, I would rather receive a great book, some sort of coin storage item, etc. If you do decide to go with coins, though, figure out what the person likes and stick to the modern “easy” stuff, like the Silver Eagle or a Proof/Uncirculated Set. If you find out the person is working on a collection of Barber Halves, do not go out, find any sort of Barber Half Dollar and give it to them. Chances are, it won’t fit in their collection, won’t be the right condition, etc. I’m not trying to be mean, but don’t even try to “help” with a set, unless you are both collectors, know each other’s collections just as well as your own, and are best friends. In that scenario, you will know enough to make a great purchase and gift.
A type of coin that you can find for the collector are commemorative coins. If you find a coin commemorative something of great interest, that would be a great choice and also show that you know the person you are buying for. There are coins commemorative baseball, Apollo 11, the National Park Service, Mark Twain, Civil Rights, the US Army, Boy Scouts, Law Enforcement, Olympics, and the list goes on. These coins would be my recommendation if you are planning to buy a coin for a collector.
Supplies are not fun purchases. Buying a coin feels great, but spending the same amount on a case for your coins just isn’t the same. Supplies are great and easy gifts, as long as the collector has told you what they need/want in terms of supplies. That can be a new loupe, a slab box, some 2x2 flips, a safe, etc. Some of these items can be very affordable, while others can be quite expensive.
Other Great Coin Books
“Buy the book before the coin.” This is a common saying that is very important to keep in mind. Learning about coins allows you to make the best purchases and investments, and also allows you to get the most out of a collection. Here are just some of my top picks for some super great books:
Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins (7th Edition) by Kenneth
The Expert's Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins: Secrets of Success by Q. David Bowers
The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual by Scott A. Travers
Numismatic Forgery by Charles M. Larson
Standard Catalog of World Coins by Colin R. Bruce
Coinage and History of the Roman Empire by Robert Hoge and David L.
Double Eagle by Alison Frankel