Coin Update continues its series dedicated to reflecting on the long history of Whitman Publishing’s Guide Book of United States Coins, also known as the Red Book, now in its 72nd edition. “Red Book Recollections” features personal reflections written by Red Book contributors, collectors, and others with the aim of providing different perspectives on the long-lived reference work.
Our next narrative comes from Mary Sauvain:
I first met Ken Bressett in 1980 when we were both employed by Donald Kagin in Des Moines, Iowa. Due to my interest in Gobrecht dollars, I asked to update that section in the Red Book. I enlisted Robert Julian due to his great U.S. Mint research capabilities, and my first contribution to A Guide Book of United States Coins became a joint effort to revamp the 1984 Gobrecht dollar section of the Red Book. By that time Ken was the director of ANACS (American Numismatic Association Certification Service) in Colorado Springs, and communication on this work was conducted long distance with both Robert and Ken. This section remained the same until slight modifications in the 2004 edition, mainly adding die alignments as defined in Q. David Bowers’s works.
Over the years my main work with Ken each year on the Red Book has been joining him and other individuals to help compile and tabulate all figures submitted and gathered by the numerous contributors into the final columnar figures used for the annually released Guide Book of United States Coins.
It is always an experience to see how auction prices realized as well as day-to-day transactions figure into Red Book tabulations. Of course, another experience is to meet the last-minute deadlines that are always part of the process!