Setting values for collectible newspapers…

September 19, 2008 by  
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We are often asked “What’s my newspaper worth?” in phone calls and email messages. As one might suspect, there are many factors which determine value and much like a jeweler cannot give a value of a diamond by an email or telephone inquiry, our ethics do not permit us to place values on newspapers without seeing the issues in hand.

Many factors determine value. The more important include condition, desirability among collectors, extent of coverage, completeness of the issue, proximity of the city of publication to where the event happened, time lag between the event date and the reporting date, dramatic appeal (more so with 20th century issues), and location of the report within the issue (front page? page 3?). Other factors come into play with more significant events but those noted are the prime determinants of value.

From a personal perspective setting values has been an interesting process, as no guide book of values existed 30+ years ago when I started the business. I priced an item in my catalog for $10 and if I had twenty orders for it I knew the price was too low.  If no one ordered it the price was too high. Through the years, and by data basing sold prices (on index cards prior to the computer!), I’ve honed my own “price guide” based on actual sales, and it is this now-sophisticated database which we use to set values for new inventory as it arrives.

Do values continue to rise? In general, yes, but we are careful to never recommend the purchase of early newspapers for investment purposes. As is true of most collectibles, rarity and desirability determine where prices will be for the future.

But providing an historical perspective from our own files, back in October of 1981 we sold in our catalog #26 the NEW YORK HERALD of March 5, 1865 reporting the inauguration of Abraham Lincoln, very nice condition, for $70. Just four months ago we sold another issue of the NEW YORK HERALD of March 5, 1865, also in very nice condition, for $535.

This is the first in a series of posts where we will compare the past and present values of newspapers based on actual sales. Stay tuned for more.

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Comments

463 Responses to “Setting values for collectible newspapers…”

  1. Linda Barrett on September 10th, 2017 4:04 pm

    I have complete Salt Lake Tribune newspapers dated Sunday February 13, 2000 and Sunday February 20, 2000 and Monday February 14, 2000. All are in excellent condition. It’s as if they have never been opened.

  2. Cheryl Dietert on September 13th, 2017 11:15 am

    I need help in acquiring value of several newspapers. Number one. Fort Worth Star telegram dated August 31, 1997 headline princes Diana dead
    2. Stars and stripes Henline throngs mourn. RFK date June 11, 1968
    3. Stars & Stripes November 4, 1972 headline is four more years in 49 state sweep
    4. Stars & Stripes dated November 9, 1972 Nixon is a real acted by landslide margin
    5. Stars & Stripes November 8, 1972, headline wide it rains failed to Curb turn out of voters in US
    6. Fort Worth Star telegram headlines Jacki Onassis dad at 64
    7. SAN ANTONIO light August 9, 1974, headlined Gerald ford becomes 38th president today
    8. Stars and stripes dated September 7, 1972 Denmont loss
    9. Stars and stripes dated January 24, 1973 headlines Vietnam peace pact reportedly initiaLed
    10. SAN ANTONIO and Express dated August 9, 1974 headline Nixon goes asks nation heal wounds

  3. Angela L Nugent on September 20th, 2017 4:55 pm

    I have a few Toledo blade Sat Nov 23 1963 and Sunday Nov 24 & 25 1963 Kennedy news papers and I also have a the Detroit free press Saturday Nov 23 1963..am I able to sell these. I also have a princess diana toledo blade sept 1-7 sept 1997. Also I really would like a idea on how much my Boston daily globe April 16,1912, Titanic sinks 1500 die and also the evening addition

  4. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:38 am

    🙂

  5. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:40 am

    Hello Angela – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  6. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:44 am

    Hello Cheryl – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  7. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:44 am

    Hello Linda – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  8. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:45 am

    Hello Kevin – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  9. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2017 8:53 am

    Hello Teresa – Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  10. Earl on October 17th, 2017 4:59 pm

    What is this paper worth? The tampa tribune 11/25/1963 worth.Grievingu.s buries kennedy today.

  11. GuyHeilenman on October 26th, 2017 7:48 am

    Hello Earl: Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  12. Joseph on November 4th, 2017 5:12 pm

    I have a LA Daily Times newspaper from December 4 1881. Can anybody tell me a price for that?

  13. GuyHeilenman on November 6th, 2017 11:15 am

    Hello Joseph: Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding what you have to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

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