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2020 U.S. Coin Digest interview with Richard Giedroyc

For nearly two decades, U.S. Coin Digest has provided a complete, comprehensive and easy-to-use, full-color guide to U.S. coins, striving to take the guesswork out of the myriad of questions surrounding how to identify and value U.S. currency.


The recently released 2020 U.S. Coins Digest (Krause Publications. $19.99), with its hard cover, lay-flat design, once again offers effortless searches, expert coverage and vetted values, all to assist beginning as well as established collectors.

The new edition features 2,000 color images and real-market coin values for all U.S. coin issues, as well as Colonial and Early American Coins and Tokens, Early and Modern Commemoratives, Bullion Coins, Private Gold Coins, Mint and Proof Sets and so much more.

Recently editor Tracy Schmidt spent some time with Richard Giedroyc, who as U.S. coin market analyst for Krause Publications is deeply involved in the book, to discuss not only the new edition of U.S. Coin Digest but the hobby in general.

Schmidt: What U.S. coin types seem to be the most active in the hobby? What do you think motivates the activity?

Giedroyc: Indian and Lincoln cents, as well as Morgan silver dollars are the most active in the hobby. There is easy access to these series, with a readily available supply of all but the rare dates from coin dealer. Lincoln cents still circulate and for this reason are a great entry point to the hobby.

Schmidt: Which U.S. coin has your favorite obverse? Reverse? Why are you drawn to those designs?

Giedroyc: My favorite obverse design is the Statue of Liberty on the Platinum American Eagle series. My favorite reverse is the buffalo on the reverse of the nickel of 1913 through 1938. I am drawn to these designs due to their being uniquely American themes.

Schmidt: What was the first U.S. coin that you purchased for your collection? Why was it attractive to you at the time and has it increased in value?

Giedroyc: My first purchase was a 1796 Draped Bust Large cent I acquired from the individual who discovered it in upstate New York. The classic design for the period as well as the early date for a US coin attracted me. The fact it had been found in the ground was also intriguing. I no longer have the coin, but yes it has since increased in value.

Schmidt: There is a great deal of U.S. history and heritage represented in our coinage. How do you think that resonates with collectors?

Giedroyc: History and heritage in our coinage resonates with collectors, especially those that are interested in American history. I have noticed a significant number of collectors are also interested in genealogy and how their family history is intertwined with U.S. history and with our coins as artifacts from our past. Coins that help tell our history appear to draw a lot of attention among collectors.

Schmidt: In your opinion, what are the most notable coins being released in 2019?

Giedroyc: The Apollo 11 50th anniversary coins put their footprint on U.S. coins in more ways than one. The design features a footprint. Space has proved to be a popular subject not only with collectors but with the general public. Since this is a major U.S. achievement being celebrated it means a lot of things to a lot of people. It also reflects back on the “Tranquility Base” theme on the reverse of the 1971 to 1978 Eisenhower and the 1979 to 1981 and 1999 Susan B. Anthony dollar coins.

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine. >> Subscribe today.

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