Cover image for The coin collector's survival manual
The coin collector's survival manual
Travers, Scott A.
Personal Author:
Fourth edition.
Publication Information:
Chicago : Bonus Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxii, 267 pages : illustrations (some color) ; 23 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CJ81 .T73 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area
CJ81 .T73 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



The Coin Collector's Survival Manual has been called "one of the most important coin books ever written" by The New York Times and has sold more than 80,000 copies. It has received six awards from the prestigious Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG), including "Book of the Year", and was the only work ever to receive NLG's "Best Consumer Protection Book" award.

Author Notes

Scott A. Travers is a regular contributor to numismatic periodicals, and his expert opinions are often sought by Barron's, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal, and the Federal Trade Commission. A frequent guest on television and radio talk shows, Mr. Travers has gained an impressive reputation not only as a coin expert, but also as a forceful consumer advocate for the coin-buying public. He is president of Scott Travers Rare Coin Galleries, LLC, in New York City

Table of Contents

Preface to the First through Third Editionsp. xv
Preface to the Fourth Editionp. xvii
Introductionp. xxi
1 Refining Your Method of Looking at Coinsp. 1
Coin-viewing attitudes and techniques
Testing your dealer
How to handle coins
2 Magnification and Lightingp. 9
Magnification for grading
Magnification for authentication
3 The Grading of United States Coinsp. 15
What grading is and why coins are graded
Certification services and grading
What constitutes grade
Coins made for circulation
How the certification services view eye appeal
Proof--A method of manufacture, not a grade
Grading guides
Numerical grading standards
How the marketplace defines the grades AU-58 through MS-70
Overgrading and undergrading
Small imperfections, big grade difference
Mintmade imperfections
White-collar overpricing
How to distinguish Mint State from About Uncirculated
Detecting doctored coins
4 Grading Servicesp. 55
A tale of two investors
The impact of grading services
Some important grading services
PCGS versus NGC: Analyzing the Certified Coin Market Indicator
Changes in grading standards
Premium-quality coins
A double dividend in 1998
Grading by consensus
A case for no industry standard
How grading services determine grade
How to protect yourself when you buy certified coins
Bombshell interview: A candid look at coin doctors
5 How to Tell Proof from Prooflikep. 103
How to tell Proof from Prooflike
The most difficult coins to confirm Proof status of
6 Altered and Counterfeit coinsp. 111
Altered coins
Cast Counterfeits
Die-struck counterfeits
For further assistance
7 How to Get the Most out of the Price Guidesp. 127
How the price guides are compiled
The Certified Coin Exchange
Numismatic economics
Commercial grading standards
The price guides
Calculating prices for beautifully toned coins and splitgrade coins
Common-sense tips
Information sources for coin values
8 The Coin Dealerp. 145
Earl's coin
Earl's mistakes
How to negotiate with a coin dealer
Types of coin dealers
9 Buying Coins on the Internet and by Mailp. 153
The risks of buying coins on the Internet
The "dos" and "don'ts" of on-line auctions
The risks of buying coins by mail
Mail-order coin guarantees
Confessions of a rip-off coin salesman
Your rights as a mail-order coin buyer
How to complain and get results
Legal aspects of on-line auctions
Interview with an eBay official
10 The Role of the Coin Conventionp. 179
Local club meetings
Local club shows
Seminational conventions: regional and state
National conventions
International conventions
Bourse-room etiquette
Security tips for the convention goer
Educational forums
Youth programs
How to design a winning exhibit
How to complain
11 How to Sell Your Coinsp. 191
Public auction
Private sale
Public sale
Consignment to a dealer for over-the-counter sale
Sale of slabbed coins
Coins and taxation
12 Cleaning Coinsp. 207
Abrasive cleaning
Cleaning that is abrasive only some of the time
Nonabrasive cleaning
Artificial toning
13 How to Choose the Right Coin Holderp. 219
Holders can damage coins
Preservation precautions
Coin conservation services
14 Safekeepingp. 227
Safe-deposit box storage
Home security
Photographs and digital images
Insurance and safekeeping after September 11, 2001
A Value Chart for United States and Canadian Silver Coinsp. 236
B Value Chart for Commonly Traded United States and World Gold Coinsp. 240
C Specifications for American Eagle Silver and Gold Bullion Coinsp. 246
D Calamity Insurance: Gold Coins as a Safe Havenp. 247
Glossaryp. 251
Indexp. 258