Thursday, September 29, 2016

Free Lecture on RARE MORMON BOOKS, Monday, October 3rd, 2016 in Provo, Utah

You're invited to my lecture this Monday, October 3, 2016 at the Shops at the Riverwoods in Provo, Utah at 7:00 pm.  This month's lecture is "BOOKS FROM THE PROPHETS' LIBRARIES".  I will show books and tell the stories behind books belonging to Joseph Smith, Brigham Young, Lorenzo Snow, Joseph F. Smith, Heber J. Grant, David O. McKay, Spencer W. Kimball, Ezra Taft Benson, Gordon B. Hinckley and Thomas S. Monson.  FREE EVENT.  Sponsored by Moon's Rare Books (Zion's Mercantile), 4801 N. University Ave. Provo, Utah 84604.  Please RSVP, seats are limited.  801-802-6064

Sunday, January 25, 2015

First Edition Book of Mormon? First edition King James Bible? Have I ever acquired a copy?

I am often asked, "Have you every found a first edition Book of Mormon?  A first edition King James Bible? "  The answer is, "Yes".  I'm a treasure hunter.  I have the best job ever!  This article in the Deseret News gives a brief overview of how I got to have such a great job.
You can see more of my treasures at:

Thursday, January 22, 2015

SEVEN first edition copies of the BOOK OF MORMON [1830] on display in Provo this weekend!

This Saturday (June 24, 2015) there will be seven copies of the first edition Book of Mormon [1830] on display at Zion's Mercantile at The Shops at Riverwoods (4801 North University Avenue, Provo, UT 84604).  Reid Moon, with Moon's Rare Books, will have these books on display for the public.  Bring your whole family! Mr. Moon will also be doing free appraisals on any old books, letters, documents, photographs or artifacts that are brought in to the store this Saturday from 10:00 am - 6:00 pm.  For more details go to:

Friday, January 16, 2015

First Edition BOOK OF MORMON [1830] for sale in Charity Auction: Opening Bid $69,950

A first edition Book of Mormon [1830] is currently for sale in a charity auction. .  The opening bid is $69,950.  The auction will benefit "GENERATIONS HUMANITARIAN".  They are  a 501©(3) Utah Nonprofit Corporation committed to transform street children toward an abundance of health, hope, and loving homes thereby breaking the cycle of scarcity for generations to come.  In their January 15, 2015 newsletter, they issued the following statement: 

"We are pleased to announce that a generous donor has gifted a First Edition copy of the Book of Mormon to Generations Humanitarian.  The donor (who wishes to remain anonymous) and Genhu have entrusted the rare book to Moon’s Rare Books of Dallas, Texas, to sell.  The proceeds from the sale will be used to provide food and shelter for street children in Peru and Colombia. With the donation, Genhu plans to increase the number of children we have at the Sunflower Orphanage in Cusco, Peru.

Friday, January 2, 2015

First Edition BOOK OF MORMON: Ten copies are now for sale in Provo, Utah!

The first edition BOOK OF MORMON was printed in 1830.  Martin Harris, a friend of Joseph Smith, mortgaged his farm for $3,000 to finance the printing of 5,000 copies.   The printing was done by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra, New York.  Now, 185 years later, as few as 500 of the original 5,000 copies have survived.  The first edition Book of Mormon is highly sought after.  The price has continued to increase.  When the book first came out in  1830 copies sold for $1.25 - $1.50.  In the 1950s you could buy a copy for $50-100.  By the 1970s the price had increased to over $1,000.  In 1989 the price was $5,000.  However, ten years later, copies were selling for $75,000!  In 2007, the first edition Book of Mormon first sold for over $100,000.  With the world-wide economic collapse, the price dropped in 2008-09 to around $50-60,000.  Now, in 2015, the price has rebounded to around $100,000.  In the attached photo, you will see TEN copies currently for sale--ranging in price from $85,000-$300,000.  By way of comparison, the first edition KING JAMES BIBLE [1611] in the photo sells for $150,000.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

First Edition BOOK OF MORMON: Why are some copies thinner than others?

I recently acquired a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon [1830] that was about 1/4" thinner than most copies that I acquire.  In fact, of the over 175 copies that I've either seen or acquired, only about five or six have been these extra-thin copies. So, here's the question, "What accounts for the difference in thickness?"  Well, fortunately I have friends and experts that I can go to for answers.  In this case I went to Joseph Adams (, who has a degree in "printmaking" about this phenomenon.  That's when he told me about "rolling machines".  These rolling machines were used to  flatten and consolidate the sections of a book before sewing.  At the time of the printing of the first edition Book of Mormon by E. B. Grandin in Palmyra, New York, these rolling machines were mostly in use in England--they had just been invented in 1827.

Now, the big question is, "Does this 'thinness' affect the value?".  Well, it depends--for the following reason: The first edition Book of Mormon has a well-known look (see  So, when a person is looking for a first edition Book of Mormon, they usually don't want to explain why their book "doesn't look like a first edition". Having said this, I actually like finding these "thin" copies.  They are typically very clean on the inside.  The text in these books is usually almost always free from the brown splotches (foxing) normally seen in first editions.  This leads me to believe that the leather binding--or more specifically, the chemicals used in tanning the leather--were partly, or mostly to blame for the foxing--but that's the subject of another blog.  In a way, it's a trade off.  So, if you would like a first edition copy of the Book of Mormon, that has a nice, clean white interior, look for one of the thin copies.  The "thin" copy shown is one of ten first edition copies of the Book of Mormon currently for sale at Moon's Rare Books in Provo, Utah.  These books are shown by appointment only.

Saturday, November 29, 2014

First Edition BOOK OF MORMON [1830]: What are the two most important factors in determining value?

There are several factors that influence the value of a first edition Book of Mormon [1830].  However, the two most important factors are condition and provenance. Almost everyone understands the importance of condition, however, the added value of the "provenance" is often underestimated.  Provenance is the history of ownership.  The history of "who" owned the book can make a big difference in its value.  

I was recently contacted by a television station back East.  They were doing a story on a woman who found a 150 year-old Bible in her attic that was supposedly worth over $100,000.  I was asked for my opinion before the story aired on TV.  My first question to the reporter was, "What's its provenance? Who owned the Bible?"  The reporter then responded, "Why do you ask?".  I told the reporter that there were over 100 million Bibles printed in the 1800s--that most Bibles printed in the 1800s sell for a few hundred dollars--except those with exceptional provenance.  I asked the reporter if it was Abraham Lincoln's copy.  When he said, "no".  I told him that the Bible he was inquiring about--without important provenance--would not be worth over $1,000.  I recommended he do a quick check of prices on eBay.  Long story short, the news story was cancelled.  Without any significant provenance, that particular Bible did not have much value.

I recently acquired a first edition Book of Mormon that belonged to Emily Partridge--one of Joseph Smith's plural wives and later a wife of Brigham Young.  This book, with Emily's name in ink, also has the very interesting notation that was later made by Emily's son, "Mother brought this book from Nauvoo and left her own behind as it was not so good".  A book like this--with its close association to the man who translated the Book of Mormon (Joseph Smith), and later the man who led the Mormons West (Brigham Young); which was also owned by the daughter of the first Mormon bishop  (Edward Partridge) has excellent provenance.  This provenance increases the value of this book substantially.