I recently came across a book about US commemorative coins of which I was previously unaware. I collect books about my favorite series and, over the years, have come to know about all of the major titles -- and even many of the minor ones -- published since 1922. So, coming across a new title is always a bit exciting!
The book in question is Collecting United States Commemorative Coins
by Nicholas J. Bruyer; the title page states it was published by Ahlcrona Graphics, Inc. of Minneapolis, MN but I strongly suspect the mail order coin dealer Preferred Customer Service (also of Minneapolis, MN) was behind the small volume; their contact information is on the back cover. Pure conjecture on my part, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that PCS used the volume as a "bonus" gift for customers who purchased US commemorative coins from them, believing it a way to keep new customers engaged in the series and keep them purchasing coins from PCS.
The book itself is clearly meant to be an introduction to the series vs. a definitive reference, but I believe it serves its purpose effectively. It is well-written and presents brief but accurate historical information about each of the commemorative coins issued by the US Mint from 1892 to 1990 (yes, it includes the modern issues that had been released by the time the book was published). It also includes information on the Norse-American medals of 1925 and the Young Astronauts Program medals of 1988 (the author had a personal connection to the latter).
The book has 83 numbered pages and is 5.5" x 8.5". The included B&W pictures of the coins are clear and are generally presented in "actual size;" the $1.00 gold coins are enlarged.
At the back of the book is a checklist a collector could use to track his or her collection. All of the releases are included and space is available to record the date of purchase, purchase price and grade.
It's a nice little book about the US commemorative series that provides a fine introduction to each coin. The book can't match the current A Guide Book of United States Commemorative Coins
that is published by Whitman
, but when it was published in 1991 the " Red Book
" of US commemorative coins didn't exist! And so, in context, it was a worthwhile purchase for those who wanted to learn more history than what was presented in the general " Red Book
" of the time. (Context is always key!)