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Publisher: Whitman Publishing$19.95
Making sense of coins
Coins have been coveted throughout history as both useful art objects and symbols of power. But as international currencies become smaller, lighter and more homogenized, coin collectors thrill at uncovering rarer forms of money, a hobby and history lesson in one that can provide an annual return of 12 percent and sometimes turn a modest investment into millions. Q. David Bowers, award-winning author and principal in the rare-coin firm American Numismatic Rarities, who was named a "Numismatist of the Century" in a poll in COINage magazine, shares smart moves and insider tips developed over a 50-year numismatics career in The Expert's Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins. Using interesting, real-life case studies illustrated with black-and-white photographs, Bowers shows novices how to collect every kind of rare U.S. coin from early American and colonial to modern examples, in categories including copper, nickel, silver and gold, pattern coins, proofs, commemoratives, tokens and medals, as well as the current hot market for obsolete bank notes and Confederate paper money. The book helps beginners identify market fads, trends and cycles; judge prices; and determine quality and value by focusing on grading and rarity. Bowers also covers how to spot fakes, how to buy and bid at live and online auctions, how to display and protect your coin investment, and how to sell smart when the time is right.