Sunday, December 29, 2013

New video on collecting rare Mormon books posted to YouTube.

I just posted a new video to my YouTube Channel.  This video talks about the first edition Doctrine and Covenants which was printed in 1835--five years after the first edition Book of Mormon.  For every ten surviving copies of the first edition Book of Mormon, there is only one surviving copy of the original Doctrine and Covenants

Friday, December 27, 2013

Besides the first edition Book of Mormon, there were four other editions printed during the life of Joseph Smith: the second edition in Kirtland [1837], the third edition in Nauvoo [1840], the first European in Liverpool [1841l] and the fifth edition in Nauvoo [1842]. The copies shown (1837, 40, 41, 42) are some of the finest surviving copies in the world.
I've started a new blog:  This new blog will chronicle my search for RARE BOOKS, great FOOD and TRAVEL to interesting places around the world.  

I would like this First Edition Book of Mormon blog to stay focused on the Book of Mormon and related topics.  

Thanks for reading.  Best, Reid

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Did you know that there was no 3rd or 4th Nephi in the first edition Book of Mormon?

There were, however, the following books:

First Book of Nephi
Second Book of Nephi 
The Book of Nephi: The Son of Nephi, Which was the Son of Helaman
The Book of Nephi: Which is the Son of Nephi, One of the Disciples of Jesus Christ.

In 1879, at the recommendation of Orson Pratt, 3rd and 4th Nephi were added to the chapter titles for clarification.  If you look at a modern printing you will see that the the complete titles are now as follows:

The Son of Nephi, Who Was the Son of Helaman


Who is the Son of Nephi--One of the Disciples of Jesus Christ

The 1879 edition is also the first time that the chapters are divided into verses.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Joseph Smith, Jr., the translator of the Book of Mormon, was born 208 years ago today on December 23, 1805 in Sharon, Vermont.  I've attached a link that shows his tiny pocket Bible:

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Did you know that the FIRST EDITION BOOK OF MORMON has BLUE-SPECKLED edges?   The clarity of the blue speckled edges is a distinguishing feature to look for when comparing first edition copies of the Book of Mormon [1830]. The two copies on the left are typical of most surviving first copies. The copy on the right, however, has superior color--and is one of the finest examples of this seldom recognized feature.

Friday, December 6, 2013

First Edition BOOK OF MORMON - Are there any "Perfect 10's"

Of the original 5,000 copies of the first edition BOOK OF MORMON that were printed in 1830, only about 500 copies have survived.  Over the past twenty years, I've either owned or handled about 150 of those. 

From my experience, if all first edition copies of the Book of Mormon were rated on a 1-10 scale, the results would look something like a "bell-curve".  By extrapolating the results of my own ratings--which are based on my viewing almost one-third of all surviving copies, I would estimate that about 300 of these 500 copies would rate somewhere in the middle--as "4s", "5s" and "6s".  These copies, which are typical of the majority of books that show up on the market, are textually complete, the covers are well-worn, and the original label on the spine if often missing or the gold lettering on the black label has disappeared.  These copies may also have a few torn pages and show signs of damp staining.   

I would estimate that about another 100 copies would be in much worse condition.  These copies are often missing the title page, show damp staining, lack all or part of the original binding, and have various missing pages.  

On the other end of this "bell-curve" are the "100 Finest Surviving Copies".  These are copies that I would rate as a "7" or above.
These copies have the original binding, title page and label on the spine.  The "BOOK OF MORMON" is still visible on the black, red or tan label.  The text block is tight and square.  The original binding is present.  And the pages show less foxing (brown spots) than the previously mentioned copies.  There are probably 60 or so books that would rate a "7", about 25 that would rate an "8", about 10-12 that would rate a "9" and in my opinion, there are only 2 or 3 copies that could claim the distinction of being an almost "perfect 10".  

I've had the fortune of owning two "almost perfect 10s".  Peter Crawley (author of A Descriptive Bibliography of the Mormon Church) saw one of these copies and said that it was the finest copy he had ever seen.  He had originally seen the copy that I acquired in 2010 almost forty years earlier in Northern California.     I've had one other comparable copy.  These "almost perfect 10s" have a nice honey-colored original binding, the "blue speckled edges" are vibrant, the label is crisp and clean, the seven double bands in gilt are present, the text block is tight and the corners are square.  There is little to no foxing, and the front and rear end sheets are present.  These copies show just enough age--yet maintain all of the important distinguishing characteristics of a first edition Book of Mormon.  

I've attached a photo from the label of this "almost perfect 10" copy of the first edition Book of Mormon.

Friday, November 29, 2013

I've been selling rare books for over twenty-five years.  Occasionally you run into someone who tries to sell you a stolen book--in this case, a first edition BOOK OF MORMON [1830].  This happened last year.  The local Dallas paper did an interesting write up on the events surrounding the disappearance of the book:

This story has a happy ending.   Helen, the 89 year-old owner of the book, was eventually reunited with her book.  This story tells how the story ended up:

Thursday, November 28, 2013

I can APPRAISE your first edition BOOK OF MORMON.  As part of my business, I do appraisals on a regular basis.  I'm an allied professional with the Appraisers Association of America

I appraise individual books and entire collections.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

Reid Moon

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

I'm an antiquarian book dealer specializing in rare Mormon books. I've spent the past 25 years traveling around the country tracking down the first edition BOOK OF MORMON and other rare books and documents.   I plan to share what I've learned about the first edition Book of Mormon in this blog.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Do You Want to Buy or Sell a First Edition Book of Mormon?

I've decided to start a blog about the FIRST EDITION BOOK OF MORMON.  My name is Reid N. Moon and I am the owner of in Dallas, Texas.

 I've prepared the following informational video on the first edition BOOK OF MORMON

Tips on buying or selling a first edition BOOK OF MORMON

You can find more information at 

I also have a Pinterest page:  ---where I have posted several photos of the first edition Book of Mormon.