Advertising Then And Now

I recently spent some time reviewing the various ads in our coin publications. I realized how much they have changed in appearance over the last 50+ years.

In the 1950s the major publications for dealer advertising was The Numismatist and The Numismatic Scrapbook, each published monthly. News and information took months to reach collectors. The ads were stereotypical in design; they rarely had photos, and were printed only in black and white.

Shown here is a two page ad from the March 1954 Numismatist, announcing the Davis Graves sale to be held in April of that year.

Fast forward to today. Publications like Coin World and Numismatic News are offered with numerous color illustrations and colorful, informative ads. The publications are also available online. Major auction companies have their current catalogs, fully illustrated on their websites. Biding for a sale occurs before and during the sales online, in real time. Results are available almost instantly. (Years ago, results were mailed in a prices realized sheet and took close to two weeks to get to collectors.) Collections are offered to a vast market of catalog holders as well as online collectors. Today markets can be traced as it happens.

Nostalgia is a great teacher, and it was illuminating to locate the March 1954 ad shown here. I felt you might like to see a promotion from over 50 years ago. Notice how a virtually full set, from $1 to $20 gold was advertised, not to mention the 1804 dollar! Today a special brochure would be produced and distributed, or at least a color ad with photographs.

Times to change. Markets change, but the coins still remain. I hope you enjoy my reminiscing.

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