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

400 Responses to “Setting values for collectible newspapers…”

  1. Daria Piczak on October 21st, 2016 6:13 pm

    Hello, I have to The Geographic magazines dated May 1, 1893 and May 7, 1894 in very good condition. I would like some guidance to get an appraisel or are you interested. Thank you

  2. GuyHeilenman on October 25th, 2016 10:23 am

    Hello Dari: We do not deal in magazines. Try: http://www.periodyssey.com/

  3. Karen Petit on October 30th, 2016 10:03 am

    I have the last edition of The National Observer newspaper dated July 11, 1977. I was wondering if it was of any value? It is in pretty good condition.
    Thank you.

  4. Robert easson on October 30th, 2016 2:41 pm

    I have the final news of the world edition in pristine condition as I bought two that last day one to read one to keep does anyone have any idea how much it would be worth

  5. Jim Davis on October 30th, 2016 4:22 pm

    I have a certified May 8th 1930 New York Herald Tribune newspaper….any idea what it could be worth?

  6. GuyHeilenman on October 31st, 2016 11:40 am

    Hello Karen: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  7. GuyHeilenman on October 31st, 2016 11:41 am

    Hello Robert: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  8. GuyHeilenman on October 31st, 2016 11:41 am

    Hello Jim: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  9. Joey on November 1st, 2016 8:14 pm

    I have a 1941 st louis times of the attack on pearl harbor and i have 3 editions of it with the smudge /no dates on pages whats your guess on the value mint condition

  10. GuyHeilenman on November 2nd, 2016 9:50 am

    Hello Joey: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  11. Eevee castillo on November 3rd, 2016 3:51 pm

    Do you think the cubs worldseries chicago tribune will be worth something later on?

  12. Aisha on November 4th, 2016 2:12 pm

    Question will a Chicago Cubs 2016 World Series newspaper be of any value later in life? And approximately how long does it take for these things to become of value.Also, the newspaper is actually of the day of the Chicago celebration parade

  13. Julia Fleming on November 18th, 2016 3:42 am

    I have a 16/12/1936 Syracuse Herold KING Edward Abdicates.
    Anyone know its value?

  14. Gary on November 18th, 2016 10:04 pm

    Cumberland evening times Thursday April 23 1942 headline terror reigns on French island Hitler orders 1,900,000 reserves into battle

  15. Dawn Stover on November 27th, 2016 6:45 pm

    I have old newspapers ,Im trying to find out what their worth. I have one from 1936 1960

  16. Rj on November 28th, 2016 4:45 pm

    Does anybody get the message that this website doesn’t give appraisals, or approximate the value of your old junk newspapers? Stop wasting poor Guy Heilenman’s time! People are so thick these days.

  17. Gary Z. Coleman on December 2nd, 2016 8:33 am

    I have a newspaper from 1865 the day after president lincoln was assassinated. The title of the newspaper is the sun I haven’t gotten much information on it but I’ve had it for about 10 years and not had much knowledge about it. I have the whole newspaper intact and tucked away in a big envelope inside a folder so it’s protected. I just really would like to know what I have and what is the value.

  18. Janeth on December 6th, 2016 12:10 pm

    I have 2 news papers from January,22,1955 is it worth anything ??

  19. Laura on December 9th, 2016 11:46 am

    I’m so excited… came across some Front page New York Times one is April 16, 1912 Titanic sinking, and I have one for the Lusitania sinking… also Lindbergh flight… very fun. Will be contacting you for more info.

  20. Tammy Phares on December 10th, 2016 4:39 pm

    I got a New York Herald Tribune dated Saturday November 23 1963 of Kennedy assassinated and Johnson sworn as President it is still in the plastic in good condition wondering if it is worth having a look at or if I should go ahead and open it and read it. Maybe insure it and mail it to you to look at?

  21. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:42 pm

    Many saved it, but if you have one, why not set it aside for 20-30 years to see what happens? I would.

  22. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:45 pm

    Hello Aisha: There is simply no way to know. The bet thing to do is to put it away for 20+ years and dig it out in the far-distant future to find out. It’s always a guessing game when it comes to sporting events.

  23. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:48 pm

    Hello Julia: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  24. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:49 pm

    Hello Gary: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  25. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:52 pm

    Hello Dawn: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  26. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:53 pm

    🙂 Thanks 🙂

  27. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:55 pm

    Hello Gary: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  28. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:56 pm

    Hello Janeth: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  29. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:57 pm

    Hello Laura: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  30. GuyHeilenman on December 12th, 2016 2:58 pm

    Hello Tammy: Please send details to me (Guy) at guy@rarenewspapers.com. A photo or two of each will help.

  31. Thomas Mitchell on December 23rd, 2016 1:35 pm

    I have a chicago trubune printing plate of the cubs world series victory and also a plate from the blackhawks last stanley cup victory. Do these items have any value?

  32. Angela on December 27th, 2016 6:43 am

    1945 newspaper. The evening star of President Truman. Would like to know if it is of any value

  33. Hondo Huckeby on January 4th, 2017 7:27 pm

    Hello. I have a hard bound 1915 Boston American book of Newspapers from the week of the World Series. The pages are starting to get brittle. I have no idea what it would be worth if anything. Would you have any idea? There are multiple copies of the same week looks like. There are stats from the series and talks of Babe Ruth. Rookie year.

  34. Terry Tillman on January 5th, 2017 3:22 am

    I have a news paper 107 years old when the titanic went down is it worth anything

  35. Lisa G on January 5th, 2017 4:16 pm

    Hi, I just purchased a December 8th, 1941 edition of New York Times at an estate sale here in Georgia. How can I tell the difference between a genuine or a reprint?

  36. GuyHeilenman on January 6th, 2017 12:55 pm

    Hello Lisa: The difference between a reprint and an original depends up the title and date. The issue you have is a commonly reprinted issue. If you take three photos (the entire front page, the top 1/2, and a close-up of the upper right corner), and send them to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com, I’d be happy to tell you what I think. All the best – Guy

  37. GuyHeilenman on January 6th, 2017 12:56 pm

    Hello Terry: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  38. GuyHeilenman on January 6th, 2017 12:57 pm

    Hello Hondo: Please take a few pics and send them along with details to Tim Hughes at timothy@rarenewspapers.com.

  39. GuyHeilenman on January 6th, 2017 1:18 pm

    Hello Angela: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  40. GuyHeilenman on January 6th, 2017 1:19 pm

    Hello Thomas: We no nothing about printing plates. Sorry.

  41. Ron Wininger on January 8th, 2017 6:38 pm

    I have news papers in 3 book forms, from the Currier Jurrnal. First book: all news papers between Sept.- Oct. 1885.
    Second book: all news papers between May-June of 1885.
    Third book: all news papers of the month of Nov. 1930.
    All in good shape. You’ll need more info to get an idea what there worth. My gmail is-crossbow1956.rw@gmail.com. if you want to gmail me. Thank you.

  42. Ron Wininger on January 8th, 2017 6:41 pm

    I have one–Nov. 22 or 23rd from Ind. Times

  43. Lashawnder on January 12th, 2017 10:15 pm

    I emailed info on an appraisal of a Berliner Morgenpost dated August 13,1961 With cover pictures

  44. Aaron on January 13th, 2017 3:48 am

    Hi I have a Harper’s weekly dated back to 1865 article of 1865 an wanted to know do you think it may have any value?

  45. GuyHeilenman on January 13th, 2017 2:03 pm

    Hello Ron: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist – and based on what you’ve said so far, we may have interest. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at timothy@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible. Thanks.

  46. GuyHeilenman on January 13th, 2017 2:04 pm

    Hello Ron: Include this in your note to Timothy.

  47. GuyHeilenman on January 13th, 2017 2:18 pm

    Hello Lashawnder: Thanks. We forwarded it on to Tim Hughes. He will respond shortly – if he hasn’t already. 🙂

  48. GuyHeilenman on January 13th, 2017 2:19 pm

    Hello Aaron: We do not monitor requests concerning the value of newspapers through this venue – but we would be glad to assist. If you have a newspaper or a collection for which you are seeking an appraisal, please contact us directly at info@rarenewspapers.com. Please include as many details as possible – exact date, photo, etc.. Thanks.

  49. Linda on January 14th, 2017 2:57 pm

    Is just the article necessary to have value or do you have to have the complete newspaper. I have a April 15,1865 The New york times Awful event president Lincoln shot by assassin which is protected by shrink protector. Plus several others. just curious. thanks

  50. GuyHeilenman on January 26th, 2017 7:14 am

    Hello Linda: If they are just articles, they have no value from a newspaper collecting standpoint (which is all we know about). If any are complete issues, send a list the the titles and dates, along with a few image shots to Tim Hughes at: timothy@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks.

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