Within the larger world of book collecting, the market for Mormon books has become a very active field in the past 20 years.
The 1830 first edition of the Book of Mormon has always been the cornerstone. Its appeal as the first printing of the scripture of a major world religious denomination, released just days before the official establishment of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is obvious.
While first editions of the Bible or Koran are beyond the reach of collectors, the Book of Mormon can be found at auction perhaps once or twice a year, with other copies showing up regularly in the retail market.
Published from Joseph Smith’s manuscript by a country printer in Palmyra, New York, the Book of Mormon is unusual among the world’s most collectible first editions, as almost every copy is unique.
At least 41 printing variations have been spotted on various pages of the first-edition volumes, and the uncorrected and corrected sheets were bound together in so many combinations that there may be no two copies with completely identical text.