April 27, 2016
If the Coinflation website had an official "manual", this would be it! Last year we reviewed the first edition of this handy book, and the new second edition is much enlarged and improved in all respects. The page count has gone from 84 to 154 (almost double!) and the new edition is more comprehensive and informative in every way.
While nearly all of the previous chapters have been augmented with new information, the sections on Early U.S. silver coinage, Canadian Silver coinage, Modern Bullion issues, and U.S. base metal coinage are new. As usual, Brian Smith explains all relevant facts and issues surrounding these topics succinctly and clearly. Plenty of useful illustrations are included as well. Plus the simple, direct writing style is a pleasure to read.
While the book will be most useful for novices or casual coin collectors, even more experienced numismatists will find new facts they probably didn't know. One of the most interesting sections discusses the effect of wear on junk silver coins. It might surprise you how much weight is lost when a coin circulates for 30 or 40 years.
The book concludes with a useful table of weights, clearing up much of the confusion surrounding the use of the troy and avoirdupois systems. How we got into having both troy and avoirdupois ounces I'll never know, but whoever is responsible should be beaten with a scale.
This is a great little book, and really does tell you about everything you'd ever want to know on the subject. If you're considering buying some junk silver, or if you already have a holding, I'd highly recommend this book. And even if you have a copy of the first edition, get this new one! It's inexpensive, and well worth the read.
The book is available on Amazon.com, and a generous preview is included in the listing.