Old Newspapers, how much are they really worth?

There are lots of "Death of Elvis" papers

There are a lot of post-death Elvis papers out there. More rare are good pieces printed before Elvis died. You'll find they're a lot more valuable too!
There are a lot of post-death Elvis papers out there. More rare are good pieces printed before Elvis died. You'll find they're a lot more valuable too! | Source

Which old newspaper in that trunk is actually valuable?

One of the questions I'm asked very often is, "how much are old newspapers worth"

But newspapers are one of those collectibles of which age has very little, if nothing to do with value. Rather the value of old newspapers is most often determined by other factors such as:

  • Whether or not it features a major news event. For example the sinking of the Titanic, when Babe Ruth hit 60 home runs etc.
  • Scarcity. Yes you need a major news event, but if there are still a couple of million copies readily available, because it's a recent event, ie: the Boston Red Sox winning the World Series, then it's not so valuable.
  • Condition: As with all collectibles, condition is very important.

It is estimated that over 98% of all newspapers do not contain a major world event on the front page, so you see scarcity comes into play again.

Newspapers that do not have major world event, those that account for the 98% are called atmosphere papers.

Most antique atmosphere papers run in the $3-$10.00 range.

Major event papers vary, but a few examples are:

  • 1882, Jesse James Killed.
  • NY times April 16, 1912, the first account of the sinking of the Titanic $400.00
  • 1937 Hindenburg explodes, $75.00.
  • 1961 Alan Shepard 1st astronaut in space, $30.00

Thanks for reading and good luck.

For more advice on antiques and collectibles, and to search an online archive of over 2,000 antiques appraisals, go to: AuctionWally.com


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