Setting values for collectible newspapers…

September 19, 2008 by  
Email This Post Email This Post | Print This Post Print This Post

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.

If you liked this post, you may also enjoy...

Comments

528 Responses to “Setting values for collectible newspapers…”

  1. Brian Hunt on July 8th, 2018 10:54 am

    I have a August 12, 1676 Boston Herald traveler really good shape what is this paper Laura

  2. Martin sisneros on July 9th, 2018 9:19 am

    Ok I just wanna know the value of what I have or at least some insite of what it could be worth

  3. Tamara Larson on July 19th, 2018 10:27 pm

    Does no one read the webpage?? They aren’t going to give you a value folks unless it’s able to be physically looked at… hence the same msg over and over from the administrator! Sometimes ppl are so silly! Lol! I have a question but I shall simply email you at the email address that you give over… and over… and over.

  4. GuyHeilenman on July 31st, 2018 9:48 am

    Thank you Tamara. 🙂

  5. GuyHeilenman on July 31st, 2018 9:50 am

    Send a list of titles and dates to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com.

  6. GuyHeilenman on July 31st, 2018 9:50 am

    Hello Laura/Brian – 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. Keith Reynolds on November 11th, 2018 2:44 pm

    Who, where and how do we contact someone about a New York Harald paper published April 1865 the day after Lincoln’s death in very good condition

  8. GuyHeilenman on November 21st, 2018 7:59 am

    Send a few close-up images to me at: guy@rarenewspapers.com

  9. Donald Joy on January 17th, 2019 5:01 pm

    What is the New York Times paper value dated 1861?

  10. Michael hunt on January 22nd, 2019 8:26 pm

    I have a 1885 sum news paper and some more and want to see value if any

  11. William Davenport on February 18th, 2019 8:26 pm

    I have a 1948 U.S. and world news magazine from 10/29/1948. It is in poor condition but was wondering if it was worth anything. All pages are intact but has wear

  12. David Alan on March 27th, 2019 5:39 pm

    Where can I go to present my physical item in person?

  13. Ruthann Rice on April 23rd, 2019 11:54 am

    I found a newspaper article from 1903 December 18th page 12 flying machine Source 3 miles in teeth of high wind over Sandhills and waves at Kitty Hawk on Carolina coast is it worth anything bad condition or good condition not in the greatest condition

  14. GuyHeilenman on April 25th, 2019 9:51 am

    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.

  15. GuyHeilenman on April 25th, 2019 9:55 am

    Sorry, but we do not monitor such questions from here. Please send us information regarding exactly what you have (title and date) to us at info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  16. GuyHeilenman on April 25th, 2019 9:58 am

    Unfortunately we only deal with original newspapers, so I am not sure how to help. Sorry.

  17. GuyHeilenman on April 25th, 2019 10:00 am

    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.

  18. GuyHeilenman on April 25th, 2019 10:01 am

    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.

  19. John Tarquinio on February 16th, 2020 1:46 pm

    Hi Guy, I have a Boston Herald Traveler newspaper dated March 4, 1861. “Lincoln Is Inaugurated” is the front page headline. How can I tell if it is original or a copy? I will send you pictures in another email.

  20. Terica conly on April 5th, 2020 2:06 pm

    I have the front page for the opening day of the new York City library. It’s from the new York times.

  21. Ron on June 8th, 2020 7:07 am

    Where does one go to get newspapers looked at?
    I have three full newspapers from the President Kennedy assignation.
    Also a Kennedy picture newspaper magazine.
    Full meaning sports section, want ads even comics.
    I also have photos of said newspapers headline sheet.

  22. Connie deignan on June 15th, 2020 12:31 pm

    I have a 10×12 black and white what looks like a old newspaper movie and 0f the movie rebel without a cause. Dean is standing and turning as you see in most of his posters but in the bottom left hand corner he is with natalie wood. What on earth do I have.

  23. GuyHeilenman on July 22nd, 2020 9:36 am

    Hello Terica – Please forgive the delay in my response, but we do not monitor such questions from here. If you are still looking for an answer, feel free to send us information regarding what you have to info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  24. GuyHeilenman on July 22nd, 2020 9:40 am

    Hello John – Please forgive the delay in my response, but we do not monitor such questions from here. If you are still looking for an answer, feel free to send us information regarding what you have to info@rarenewspapers.com. Thanks for your understanding.

  25. GuyHeilenman on July 22nd, 2020 10:44 am

    Hello Connie – I have no idea, but if you can send a few photos to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com, I’ll be happy to let you know what I think.

  26. GuyHeilenman on July 22nd, 2020 10:46 am

    Hello Ron – I do not have any information regarding the magazine, but feel free to send me the exact titles, dates, and a few photos of the newspapers to me at guy@rarenewspapers.com – and I’ll let you know what I think.

  27. Savanah V Morgan on September 21st, 2020 6:13 am

    I have come across some 1963 newspapers all on pretty good condition, containing information about the association of John F Kennedy. Wondering if their at all worth any value

  28. GuyHeilenman on September 22nd, 2020 7:49 am

    If they are from Dallas (or within 100 miles or so of Dallas), Washington (D.C.), or Boston, they may have value. If this is the case, let me know. Otherwise you really need to wait for another few decades as they are still too common.

Feel free to leave a comment...
and oh, if you want a pic to show with your comment, go get a gravatar!