A Journey Through Time with Whitman Publishing 

The Origins of the Legendary ‘Red Book’ and ‘Blue Book’


A Vision Unfolds
Over 80 years ago, the illustrious journey of Whitman Publishing, the leading firm in numismatic book-publishing, was born. Initially rooted in children’s book production, destiny intervened when Richard Sperry Yeo, a versatile commercial artist, joined the company’s ranks. Owing much to his pivotal involvement, the company swiftly ascended to eminence within the numismatic field.

As a child, his passion for coin collecting ignited when he received an Indian Head cent while working as a newsboy. Now a part of Whitman, he popularized a line of coin boards and folders that gained immense popularity for organizing, storing, and displaying coin collections.

A Luminary Emerges
In addition to Yeo’s passion for coin collecting, he became a prolific author and visionary. With intense purpose and precision, he compiled information on the coin collecting market and current values. Based on the data, Whitman published the Handbook of United States Coins (Blue Book). In 1946, Whitman began publishing the annual Guide Book of United States Coins, (the Official Red Book) the primary reference guide for coin collectors. These works propelled him to become a luminary in the field under the pen name R.S. Yeoman.

Whitman acquired the rights to the Coins of the World catalogs from the estate of Wayte Raymond. These catalogs were integrated into the renowned “Brown Book” authored by Yeoman. As this publication grew in scope, the section devoted to foreign coin series was eventually separated into a distinct volume within the series, titled Current Coins of the World.

Yeoman’s creative genius and unwavering dedication shaped the numismatic landscape, imprinting a mark that endures to this day. His contributions elevated Whitman Publishing to the vanguard of numismatic bookpublishing as well as the foremost global provider of premium numismatic supplies.

Continuing the Journey
Since its inception, Whitman Publishing’s commitment to providing invaluable retail resources for coin collectors, enthusiasts, and hobbyists has remained unwavering. Other Whitman entities include H.E. Harris & Co. (stamps), Cowens (supplies), and the Whitman Expos.

Now joined together with CDN Publishing, the leader in data-driven wholesale publications, the journey continues, guided by innovation, passion, and a commitment to preserving the art and joy of coin collecting.