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Difference between red book and blue book  

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Pillar of the Community
United States
1438 Posts
 Posted 10/18/2010  12:37 pm Show Profile Bookmark this topic Add hockingzig to your friends list Get a Link to this Message

other than the obvious cover color. I have a 2009 Red Book I use mostly for mintage,composition,type and general grading info. I use pricing info only in terms of relative value of coins. How is the blue book different? Is it worth having both?

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United States
32769 Posts
 Posted 10/18/2010  12:43 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add jbuck to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Blue Book has Wholesale (Dealer) prices, the Red Book is Retail (Consumer) prices. Other than that, I believe they are they same.
Valued Member
United States
294 Posts
 Posted 10/18/2010  8:59 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add omahaorange to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In simple terms, use the Blue Book prices if you're looking to sell your coins, as this will give you a more realistic idea of what you can expect to get from a dealer. Use the Red Book if you're looking to buy, to get a better feel of what you would pay a dealer. Keep in mind there are better, more up to date price guides, but these books will give you a general idea before you buy/sell.
Valued Member
United States
71 Posts
 Posted 10/19/2010  01:21 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add craig piette to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
While I agree with those who say red/retail and blue/wholesale ... I can't help but remind everyone that in order to publish these volumes annually, they are in fact published quite early in the year (I have had my 2011 set for at least 2 months. With the recent volatility in the precious metal markets, uncertainty in the world financial community and a fluctuating numismatic market; it would be naive to put much stock in anything other than the weekly gray sheet and/or personal research of current and recent price points.

I don't know a ton and I am a relative newcomer to the numismatic world. What I do know however, is people will take advantage of "lack of knowledge". Learn and be cautious ... I have personally learned some tough lessons in both business and in coins ... great luck to you !
Bedrock of the Community
United States
14641 Posts
 Posted 10/19/2010  11:55 am  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Rather already noted that using either for pricing is impossible. The Red Book is being sold already in April of one year and dated the following year. The 2011 has been out for about 6 Months now so unless the people at Whitman can forsee the future, any price they put on a coin is just a guess. The Blue book was orignially supposed to be the lowest possible price a coin should, could, might, would, etc sell for. The Red Book was supposed to be the highest possible price. Both are impossible unless they can forsee the future.
I think the really main difference is many people collect the Red Book but I've never heard of anyone collecting the Blue Book.
Another important thing to note is the Red Book now comes in a larger size for us old people. Also, a ringed version for those that don't want to bend the pages. Now that if versitility for you.
I'm sure there will soon be a key chain variety too.
just carl
Pillar of the Community
United States
1438 Posts
 Posted 10/20/2010  1:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add hockingzig to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And a "Kindle" version!
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