As Pink E book Celebrates 75 Years, a Take a look at How Right now’s Version Will get Made

By Jeff Garrett, particular for CoinWeek ……

The Guide Book of United States Coins (the Red Book) is without doubt one of the most iconic manufacturers in all of numismatics. The e book was first printed by Whitman in 1946 and was written by R.S. Yeoman. Greater than 25,000,000 copies of the Pink E book have been printed because the first version made its debut, and this 12 months marks an essential milestone – its seventy fifth anniversary.

Almost all would agree that Whitman folders and the Pink E book have been among the many most essential drivers for numismatics for a lot of many years. Most numismatists, together with myself, had been launched to the interest by these two superb merchandise. Whitman folders and a Pink E book are nonetheless must-haves for many who enter the interest for the primary time.

R.S. Yeoman labored on the Pink E book till he retired as Editor in 1970. His assistant on the time, Ken Bressett, took over as Editor for nearly the following 50 years. He retired in 2018 and handed the reins over to his long-time assistant, yours really.

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My relationship with Ken dates again to 1974, the 12 months I gained a scholarship to attend the ANA Summer time Seminar. Ken sponsored my scholarship that 12 months and I took his class on United States Colonial coinage. I used to be solely 16 on the time and had no concept that Ken would show to be one of the crucial essential numismatic mentors in my profession. It could have been exhausting for me to think about that I might later fill his sneakers as Editor of the Pink E book some 45 years later.

I started engaged on the Pink E book round 15 years in the past when my first numismatic e book was printed, 100 Greatest U.S. Coins. The books in Whitman’s “100 Greatest” sequence are targeted on the superb tales that make these cash nice, however in addition they embrace costs. I additionally began to assist with pricing for numerous different Whitman books as they had been printed.

My work on Pink E book pricing targeted on gold coinage for the primary a number of years. United States gold is certainly one of my core specialties, and dealing with the opposite contributors for this part was pretty straightforward. On the time I believed my work was simply serving to out, nevertheless it later proved to be my apprenticeship for what was to come back.

After a number of years of engaged on Pink E book pricing with Ken and his workforce, I used to be named as Pink E book Valuation Editor in 2013; Q. David Bowers was named as Analysis Editor. Having my identify moved to the duvet of the Pink E book was an enormous honor and thrill, to say the least. It was additionally superb to be listed with two of the best names within the historical past of the interest – Ken Bressett and Dave Bowers.

Right now, the Pink E book is a tremendous supply of numismatic information. It’s the accumulation of many years of numismatic scholarship by sensible writers and lots of of contributors. Earlier than the web and the proliferation of specialty numismatic books, the Pink E book was the go-to supply for uncommon coin data. The Pink E book has maintained its significance by staying related with correct information that’s helpful to specialists and rookies.

I’ve been requested many occasions in regards to the course of of manufacturing the Pink E book annually. Between the knowledge required for Pink E book and the large Mega Red, it’s an enormous job that requires a whole lot of teamwork.

The next is a short description of what goes into publishing the lots of of hundreds of copies of the Pink E book which might be distributed annually.

Shortly after the Pink E book deadline annually round January 15, the e book is headed to the printers. The workforce nearly instantly begins to build up updates and modifications for the following version. Lots of the upcoming modifications are due to area constraints. We might resolve to incorporate some data on a rotating foundation to make room for brand spanking new numismatic scholarship or articles within the introduction part of the Pink E book. New data retains the e book contemporary and helps patrons justify the price of shopping for new editions yearly.

One other huge process is protecting monitor of mintage figures. The Pink E book is taken into account by everybody because the go-to supply for correct mintages. The United States Mint offers data on present points, however surprisingly, this could be a transferring goal that requires frequent updates and corrections. Critical numismatic students additionally typically flip up new data going by means of archival data that require a brand new examination of mintage figures which have been used for many years. Whitman Publishing may be very cautious about altering this sort of data and a whole lot of analysis and dialogue is carried out earlier than making a choice.

There may be additionally an almost year-round seek for new images to enhance the books. The Pink E book is now in shade. The perfect {photograph} exhibits the small print of the coin clearly and is, ideally, within the most interesting state of preservation. Deeply toned cash are averted as a result of they don’t current nicely within the restricted area at precise dimension. That is very true for small denomination coinage. The brand new seventy fifth version of the Pink E book has a number of new images and the purpose is to enhance the standard of the e book yearly.

For me, pricing for the Pink E book and Mega Pink is the most important process of the 12 months. There are actually tens of hundreds of costs listed in both e book. This course of begins round October and continues till the final minute when the e book is distributed to press.

My first process is to deconstruct the Pink E book and Mega Pink pricing into separate spreadsheets for every denomination and sequence. That is finished from the ultimate pricing recordsdata which have been despatched to Whitman from the earlier 12 months. The recordsdata despatched to Whitman for example can be “Silver {Dollars} 1794 thus far”. I want to interrupt out early {dollars}, Liberty Seated {dollars}, commerce {dollars}, Morgan and Peace {dollars}, and trendy {dollars} into particular person recordsdata for the contributors to work on. The work is tedious and takes a number of days for all the e book.

The subsequent step is to e-mail these recordsdata to our over 100 Pink E book contributors. The contributor system for the Pink E book is what makes it really particular. No different numismatic e book has so many world-class specialists working to supply correct data. Contributors are recruited for his or her experience in a sequence or particular part of the e book.

A lot of the contributors are requested to work on the recordsdata for about 30 days in November. Every contributor is required to look at the file of their specialty and e-mail it again earlier than the December 1 deadline. They’re required to spotlight any modifications in shade in order that I could rapidly determine their ideas. These recordsdata are printed out and used as I assault every part for closing pricing.

A phrase about pricing might be essential. Uncommon coin pricing can typically be very tough. No two cash are precisely alike, not even for these in the identical grades. Uncommon coin costs realized rapidly illustrate this reality. Contributors are requested to enter costs for the theoretically “common” coin.

Extraordinary cash that commerce at public sale are not the idea of most uncommon coin worth information valuations. The Pink E book and Mega Pink do record individually the public sale data for chosen rarities. These costs are probably the most related for tremendous rarities and condition-census examples.

I usually begin Pink E book closing pricing from the entrance of the e book again. My focus is on the cash that contributors have steered main modifications to. Earlier than updating into the brand new recordsdata, these are examined and doubled checked towards current public sale data. Additionally it is very useful that I deal with thousands and thousands of {dollars}’ price of cash annually myself and it’s my enterprise to know present market valuations for a variety of points.

When bullion costs change dramatically (resembling they did final 12 months), it’s an enormous process to regulate the entire widespread points within the Pink E book to replicate present costs. There isn’t a “straightforward button” for this, and each line of each spreadsheet is up to date for accuracy.

One other sophisticated job is the numerous new points produced by the U.S. Mint. These want new line entries, together with present retail pricing. The Mint strikes extra new points than most collectors notice, and the job of getting every part listed together with images is a whole lot of work. The Whitman manufacturing workforce does a wonderful job. The protection of latest points is without doubt one of the causes that the Pink E book is a must have yearly.

I’m additionally very happy with the “again of the e book” points which might be featured within the Pink E book. The Personal and Territorial gold part is the usual reference for that crucial sequence. Philippine coinage can be listed together with cash from Hawaii and different territories. There may be even a piece on accumulating classic Pink Books and Blue Books.

One of many final steps within the Pink E book manufacturing course of is the “creator question”. Senior Editor Diana Plattner will ship me questions, part by part, about inconsistent costs, lacking information, public sale data, and different points which have come up within the closing modifying. This continues till closing press time. Sometimes, we uncover one thing after the e book has gone to press that additionally requires a last-minute change on the printers.

I assume by now you can see it’s a considerably tense operation getting the e book accomplished.

Probably the most often requested questions on producing the Pink E book is how will we resolve so as to add new die varieties to the books. Including new cash to the common Pink E book is an enormous choice that impacts how folks accumulate cash. It can also have an effect on what cash are included in Whitman folders. When somebody asks for a coin (often a spread) to be included within the common Pink E book, I ask for an e-mail making the case. I then share that data with Ken Bressett and David Bowers. I often defer to the infinite knowledge of those two strolling numismatic encyclopedias. Extra typically, many ideas find yourself within the Mega Pink, which has greater than triple the web page rely and due to this fact permits rather more flexibility.

I’ve typically been requested what new issues may be anticipated in future editions of the Pink E book. Since situation performs such an important function in pricing, I wish to see an expanded part for grading with illustrations for rookies. We’ve included related sections within the Blue E book’s full-color chapter lately. Many new to the interest are confused after they see big costs for Gem cash. They don’t perceive that their worn coin is price drastically much less. Higher protection on this topic is on my want record for future editions.

What makes the Pink E book really particular to me is that brand-new collectors discover it helpful and that almost all professional collectors and sellers have a replica on their desk. For 75 years the e book has stayed related and important. The job of making the Pink E book and Blue E book annually is actually a workforce effort. Together with our superb professional contributors, the next Whitman employees go above and past every to make it occur:

Foremost Whitman associates who work on the Pink E book:

  • Mary Burleson, President
  • Dennis Tucker, Writer
  • Diana Plattner, Senior Editor
  • Matt Heller, Compositor (Typesetter)
  • Matt Jeffirs, Designer
  • Thinh Bui, Designer and Manufacturing Artist
  • Sydney Cromwell, Senior Affiliate Editor
  • Brandon Corridor, Senior Affiliate Editor
  • Janet Hatfield, Vice President, Manufacturing and Stock
  • Daybreak Burbank, Senior Director, Gross sales

In our Pelham and Florence places of work, we now have some nice individuals who help with proofreading and numerous artwork manufacturing duties, promoting design, warehouse administration, and so forth.: Jeri Burke, Michelle Hudson, Montana Kitterman, Brad White, Tammy Lawrence.

The enduring Pink E book is sweet fingers with Whitman Publishing, and I’m certain that future editions will proceed to be must-haves for everybody concerned within the interest for years to come back.

Jeff Garrett bio

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