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The E-Sylum (6/27/2010)

Book Content

Ken Bressett submitted this item on the 150th anniversary of the Boston Numismatic Society and the accompanying special edition "Red Book". -Editor

Boston Numismatic Society 150th Anniversary Redbook This year the Boston Numismatic Society is celebrating its 150th anniversary marking it as one of the oldest United States groups dedicated to the study and enjoyment of coin collecting. Such an event deserves the attention and appreciation of all of us with kindred interests. It is rare achievement. The BNS has not only been a consistent leader in numismatic accomplishments, but has been an inspiration to countless other organizations that have followed in its footsteps.

Throughout the years the BNS membership has included many well known personalities that have contributed to the literature and advancement of numismatic knowledge. Some of the more prominent are Sylvester S. Crosby, William Sumner Appleton, Howland Wood, Malcolm Storer, Shepard Pond, James Clapp, Cornelius C. Vermeule and George Fuld.

In celebration of this historic event the BNS has issued a medal and will also be the host club for the upcoming ANA World’s Fair of Money© convention that is being held August 10-14, in Boston at the Hynes Convention Center. The sponsoring committee also managed issuing a special commemorative issue of the Guide Book of United States Coins (the 2011 Red Book).

Under the leadership of bibliophile Charles Davis, and through the cooperation of Whitman Publishing Company, a very special limited edition book has been designed and printed for the benefit of the BNS. The cover contains illustrations of Crosby, Appleton, and Arthur Fitts, along with the original BNS logo and the words “Boston Numismatic Society. 1860-2010. Commemorating 150 years”.

I was extremely pleased to get a copy of this commemorative Red Book and add it to my collection. It is very attractive and has some unique features not found in any other of the past similar commemorative Red Books. The “extras” include a letterpress bookplate and accomplishment card, and each book is individually numbered from 1 to 450, the total amount printed. Its closest rival is the one printed for the Milwaukee convention in 1987. That particular edition is considered a rare collector’s version that now sells for $1,000.

According to Frank Colletti, author of A Guide Book of The Official Red Book of United States Coins, the “Boston” Red Book now takes its place alongside only twelve other similar unique edition Red Books that have been made over the past 23 years as special events for various organizations.

With a “mintage” of only 450 copies the Boston edition has been eclipsed in rarity by only the 2008 Numismatic Literary Guild leather-bound, with 135 pieces, and the 250 similar pieces provided for the American Numismatic Society banquet in 2008. In a recent statement to me Frank opined “there is little doubt that this will be a sellout in a very short time, and that it will become one of the more popular Special Editions”.

The Boston Red Book is being offered for sale to collectors and attendees at the Boston ANA convention through Charles Davis, Numismatic Literature, Box 547 Wenham MA, 01984. The price has been set at $85 plus $5 shipping.

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