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NEW BOOK: 100 GREATEST U.S. MODERN COINS

Whitman Publishing announces the release of 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins, by Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett. In this beautifully illustrated book, two celebrated numismatists take the reader on a guided tour of the circulating, bullion, and commemorative issues so avidly sought by collectors today. The book will be available February 21, 2011, online (including at WhitmanBooks.com) and from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide.

100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins is the eighth entry in Whitman Publishing’s 100 Greatest™ library. Preceding books showcase coins, paper money, medals and tokens, comic books, and stamps.

“The 100 Greatest were selected and ranked by the authors with input from leading coin dealers, researchers, and collectors, and a survey of current journals and periodicals,” said Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker.

Inside the reader will find prized and seldom-seen rarities—the scarce and high-valued pieces that collectors dream about. Some are die varieties, like the 1969-S doubled-die obverse Lincoln cent and various “No S” Proof coins. Some are errors, like the famous 2000 Sacagawea dollar / Washington quarter mule. A few are coins that shouldn’t exist, like the 1974 aluminum Lincoln cent and the mysterious 1964 Special Mint Set coinage. And many are coins with small mintages or poor distribution, or that saw low initial interest from collectors—factors that make them scarce and popular today.

The book also explores more readily available coins: pieces so beautiful or with such important and fascinating stories that everybody wants one. The 1999-S silver Proof Delaware quarter, the 1996-W Roosevelt dime, the 1983-P Washington quarter, the 1982 Washington commemorative half dollar, and dozens more are pictured in bold full color, with their stories told in engaging detail.

The book includes forewords by numismatic legends Kenneth Bressett and Q. David Bowers. An illustrated introduction answers the question, “What are modern coins?” (As a starting point, Schechter and Garrett discuss 1964 as a pivotal year for modern coinage.) The introduction also covers methods of modern coin manufacture and packaging; the differences between varieties and errors; how modern coins are graded; and how the 100 Greatest were chosen and ranked.

Throughout the book, Schechter and Garrett describe how to collect and enjoy U.S. modern coins, aspects of the marketplace, and smart buying.

Ken Bressett, longtime editor of the best-selling Guide Book of United States Coins, calls the book “compelling.” In his foreword he wrote, “You will be not only fascinated by the coins, but also thrilled to know that some can actually be found in your pocket change. They disprove the axiom that all the good coins are gone from circulation.”

Q. David Bowers, the “Dean of American Numismatics,” in his foreword wrote about the hobby’s growing passion for die varieties, the rebirth of the U.S. commemorative coin program, and other aspects of modern collecting. “I enjoyed reading about my own favorite coins,” he said, “but also came to appreciate many I had overlooked.”

Various Reverse Proof bullion pieces, the “Cheerios” Sacagawea dollar, the 2009 Ultra High Relief double eagle, Wisconsin’s “Extra Leaf” state quarters, “Godless” Presidential dollars, Speared Bisons, and more await the reader of 100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins.

The book is coffee-table-size, 128 pages, in full color, with photographs and stories for every coin. It also includes market values, field populations, certified-coin census reports, quantities minted, specifications, and design notes.

100 Greatest U.S. Modern Coins will be available February 21, 2011, online and from hobby shops and bookstores nationwide.

Authors: Scott Schechter and Jeff Garrett
Forewords by Kenneth Bressett and Q. David Bowers
ISBN 0794832563
Full color, illustrated, 128 pages.
10 x 12 inches.
Hardcover.
Retail $29.95

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Scott Schechter is the son of a collector and has been involved in numismatics since childhood. In his early teens, he started traveling to numismatic conventions around the country and began collecting U.S. commemorative coins. This area of numismatics remains a core interest. While still in high school, he had his first formal job in numismatics as an intern at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, working with the National Numismatic Collection. Throughout college, he cataloged ancient coins at the Semitic Museum. After graduating from Harvard with a degree in history of science in 2000, he joined Pinnacle Rarities and became a dealer in U.S. coins.

In 2005, he began work at Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, where he is now vice president. He has worked extensively on the development of the NGC Registry and online collection-management tools. He is particularly proud of his role in the project to upgrade the preservation of the National Numismatic Collection, which involved the creation of a custom conservation-grade holder for the Smithsonian’s coins, bringing his professional experience full circle.

He has lectured on modern coins for the Professional Numismatists Guild, contributed to Coin World and Coin Dealer Newsletter, and written extensively for NGC. He has also spoken about coin certification at many conventions in the United States and abroad, including the Beijing International Coin Expo in China and the World Money Fair in Germany.

Jeff Garrett began his coin collecting in 1969, when a family friend gave him a Lincoln cent board. Since then, coins have been the focus of his life. Growing up in the Tampa Bay area in Clearwater, Florida, Garrett became very active in several local clubs, serving as a junior officer of the Clearwater Coin Club in the 1970s. He was mentored at an early age by many of the area’s dealers, among them Ed French and Jeff Means. Garrett attended his first American Numismatic Association convention in 1974 in Miami with Ed French and has not missed one since. He has been a member of the ANA for more than 25 years, with life membership number 3124.

At the age of 17, Garrett was offered a position with Florida Coin Exchange, one of the dominant firms of the day. Two years later, he became a partner. In 1984, Garrett founded Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries, which continues to operate today. He is also co-owner of the Sarasota Rare Coin Gallery. During the 1980s, he was a partner in Mid-American Rare Coin Auctions, which sold many important collections and earned Catalogue of the Year in 1986 from the Numismatic Literary Guild.

Several years later, Garrett organized the Bluegrass Coin Club in Lexington, Kentucky. Because local coin clubs were so important in his early life, Garrett wanted to foster the same atmosphere of enthusiastic collectors that he enjoyed as a youth. Today, the club is very healthy, with more than 30 members in attendance each month.

Garrett describes his expertise as being a “dealer’s dealer.” With a network of professionals he has established over 25 years, he helps with financing, research, and acquisitions sales. Over the course of his career, he has handled nearly every U.S. rarity. During the American Numismatic Convention in 2003, he was one of the experts called upon to authenticate the long-lost 1913 Liberty Head nickel. In 2004, Garrett handled one of the greatest gold collections ever assembled, the famed Dukes Creek set of Georgia gold, which sold for nearly $4 million.

Another important aspect of his career is his membership in the Professional Numismatists Guild, to which he has belonged since 1982. Today, Garrett is a former president of the prestigious organization. In 2003 the PNG awarded him the Abe Kosoff Founder’s Award, that organization’s highest honor, for work promoting the hobby and organization. In 2003, the first edition of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins was given the highest awards of both the Numismatic Literary Guild and the PNG.

Although he spends most of his time buying and selling coins, Garrett enjoys research and the study of rare coins. He is coauthor of the Official Red Book of Auction Records and of the award-winning Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795–1933, a project done in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institution. Garrett is valuations editor for A Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book”), published annually by Whitman.

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