Identifying and Appraising Coins and Paper Money
For the convenience of those people who possess colonial-era coinage and bills, old bank notes, Civil War currencies, tokens, scrip, or modern United States or foreign issues, a list of popular references and price guides is provided on this site to assist their investigations. Researchers, however, should keep in mind when consulting older references that price ranges given in those guides are dated and are reliable only for determining approximate values. In the field of numismatics, as in other areas of collecting, the market values of most currencies rise, sometimes substantially, over the years. For that reason, it is prudent to refer to the most recent titles when seeking to determine the potential sales price or purchase price of any piece of currency.
A word of advice: Physical condition of a specimen dramatically affects its value to collectors. Any attempt to clean or otherwise alter the appearance of a numismatic item almost certainly reduces its desirability and its value, often substantially.
This list is a basic one, and many additional references for identifying and pricing currencies can be found in on-line searches. It should be noted, too, that most references on this list include the publication's International Standard Book Number (ISBN). By providing that number to employees at bookstores or libraries, they can confirm the title and specific edition of any publication and can often locate it elsewhere if that facility does not have the needed reference. It should be noted as well that books published before the 1970s do not carry an ISBN.
Early American Paper Money and Coinage
Bowers, Q. David. Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2009. (ISBN-13 978-0794825416)
Breen, Walter. Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins. New York: Doubleday, 1988. (ISBN 0-385-14207-2)
Gilboy, Frank F. The Milled Columnarios of Central and South America: Spanish American Pillar Coinage, 1732 to 1772. Regina, Canada: Prairie Wind Publishing, 1999. (ISBN 0-96852-060-X)
Newman, Eric P. The Early Paper Money of America. Fifth edition. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2008. (ISBN 0-89689-326-X)
Bechtler and Charlotte Mint Gold Coins
Barfield, Rodney and Keith Strawn. The Bechtlers and Their Coinage. Raleigh, North Carolina: North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, 1980. (ISBN 0-86526-175-X)
Kagin, Donald H. Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States. New York, NY: Arco Publishing. (ISBN 0-66804-830-1)
Winter, Douglas. Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint, 1838-1861. Third edition. Irvine, California: Zyrus Press, Inc., 2008. (ISBN-13 978-1-933990-19-4)
Antebellum or "Obsolete" Paper Money
Bowers, Q. David. Whitman Encyclopedia of Obsolete Paper Money, Volume 6. (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina). Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2015. (ISBN 0-79484-340-9). There are other volumes covering different states.
Haxby, James A. Standard Catalog of United States Obsolete Bank Notes. Third volume (New York, North Carolina, Ohio). Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 1988. (ISBN 0-87241-043-2). There are other volumes covering different states.
Horner, Paul and Jerry R. Roughton. North Carolina Numismatic Scrapbook. Quarterly publication that carries articles related to antebellum and Civil War issues, primarily those associated with North Carolina. Kenansville, North Carolina: Horner and Roughton, 2001-2015. (No ISBN). UNC-CH's Wilson Special Collections Library has a complete set.
Pennell, Jr., J. Roy. Obsolete Banknotes of North Carolina. New York: Sanford J. Durst, 1986. (ISBN 0-94266-629-1).
Roughton, Jerry R. Academy Due Bills of North Carolina : For the benefit of seminaries of learning. Kenansville, N.C.: Black Crow Press, c1990. (no ISBN)
Roughton, Jerry R. Moore County, North Carolina Dewberries Picker's "Ticket" Scrip: including material on "wagon auction 'ticket scrip'". [Morehead City, N.C.]: Black Crow Press, c1982. (no ISBN)
Civil War Currencies and Bonds
Ball, Douglas B. Comprehensive Catalog and History of Confederate Bonds. Port Clinton, Ohio: BNR Press, 1998. (ISBN 0-93160-58-4)
Cuhaj, George S, ed. Confederate States Paper Money: Civil War Currency from the South. Twelfth edition. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2012. (ISBN 1-44023-086-2)
Fricke, Pierre. Collecting Confederate Paper Money - Field Edition 2014. Pierre Fricke, 2014. (ISBN-13 978-0984453498)
Nelson, Dave. Confederate Treasury Bonds: An Illustrated Price Guide and Catalog. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2013. (ISBN-13 978-1477688762)
Roughton, Jerry R. North Carolina County Scrip of 1861-62 of Camden, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and the Corporation of Elizabeth City. [Morehead City, N.C.]: Black Crow Press, c1986. (no ISBN)
Shull, Hugh. An Official Red Book: A Guide Book of Southern States Currency. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2006. (ASIN B01MA5229H)
Tremmel, George B. A Guide Book of Counterfeit Confederate Currency. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2007. (ISBN 0-79482-290-8)
United States Paper Money, Coinage, and Tokens
Bowers, David Q and David M. Sundman. 100 Greatest American Currency Notes. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2005. (ISBN-13 978-0794820060)
Cuhaj, George S. and William Brandimore. Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money. Thirty-third edition. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2014. (ISBN-13 978-1440242359)
Doty, Richard. America's Money - America's Story. Second edition. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing, 2008. (ISBN-13: 978-0794822576)
Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg. A Guide Book of United States Paper Money. Atlanta, GA, Whitman Publishing, 2019. (ISBN-13 978-0794846350)
Kelly, Don C. National Bank Notes: A Guide with Prices. Sixth edition. Don C. Kelly, 2008. (ASIN B001Q5F7UQ)
Rulau, Russell. Standard Catalog of United States Tokens, 1700-1900. Fourth edition. Iola, Wisconsin: Krause Publications, 2004. (ISBN-13 978-0873419895)
Yeoman, R. S. The Official Red Book: A Guide Book of United States Coins. The book is updated and re-issued every year. Atlanta, Georgia: Whitman Publishing. (ISBN 0-79482-267-3). This reference is not just a price guide for modern coinage; it also lists American colonial coins and tokens, including the 1694 Carolina Elephant Token, as well as gold coinage struck in the 1800s by the Bechtler family and at the branch of the United States Mint in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Foreign Paper Money and Coinage
Various authors. Standard Catalog of World Coins. Krause Publications. There are several different publications covering different eras. Check the Internet for listings.
Various authors. Standard Catalog of World Paper Money. Krause Publications. There are several different publications covering different eras. Check the Internet for listings.
General References and Care of Collections
Bresset, Kenneth (ed.). Official ANA Grading Standards for United States Coins (Official American Numismatic Association Grading Standards for United States Coins). Whitman Publishing, 2013. (ISBN-13 978-0794838249)
Travers, Scott A. The Coin Collectors Survival Manual. Seventh edition. House of Collectibles, 2010. (ISBN-13 978-0375723391)