Title: Numismatic News
Bottom Line Summary
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Worthy periodical at bargain subscription cost. Numismatic
provides readers with the latest happenings in the coin business,
including US Mint activity, auctions, coin shows, and coin clubs, plus
an impressive line up of editorials, regular columnists, and feature
stories. For a newsweekly, Numismatic News has lots of color
images, elevating the publication's image to a much higher level than
just a few short years ago.
Customers also receive information on coin value trends. Not the best
range or format of coin price data we've seen, but very good overall.
At only $1.41 an issue ($44.99
annually for 32 issues), Numismatic
News gives its higher priced rival, Coin
World, some really tough competition.
The Publisher Says This...
"The complete information source for coin collectors. Each issue
includes news, event listings and feature articles pertaining to the
exciting world of coin collecting. Plus, read about the people and
events that influence this niche market."
... but here's
what we think (note:
this review was written in 2004):
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- As its name suggests, Numismatic News delivers the
latest numismatic news to the reader. The publication subtitle, "The
Complete Information Source for Coin Collectors" is not too far off the
mark. NN is a very fine weekly companion for the devout coin
- Numismatic News has been serving coin collectors
since 1952. The present editorial staff brings to subscribers coin news
and information worthy of this rich tradition. In a typical edition of NN,
the customer can track auction results, learn of upcoming shows and
sales, read about themselves in coin club activity, devour fresh US
Mint statistics, enjoy great columnists, follow current events, and be
entertained by feature stories, plus lots more.
- Numismatic News provides a lively platform for
readers to sound off. The back-and-forth verbal sparring between
opinionated individuals is probably one the publication's most popular
section, based on the number of pages devoted to subscriber feedback.
- Alan Herbert's "Coin Clinic" column by itself is worth the
subscription price. Herbert receives fascinating questions from the
public, and provides full and authoritative answers. His ability to
locate answers to tough questions is astounding.
- David Ganz writes a column called "Under the Glass", where
he unabashedly analyzes coins as investment vehicles. Since the great
coin market collapse of the early 1990s, most numismatic journalists
have been shy to place the word "coin" in the same sentence as
"investment". Not Ganz. He continues on, and at times has stirred up
controversy with his comments.
- Numismatic News is populated by thought-provoking
editorials and excellent feature articles. For instance, the August 17,
2004 issue brought us "We collectors mystify the psychologists", "Take
time to enjoy today's winds of change", and "Spice up your collection
with error coins".
- Numismatic News has a much larger classified ad
section than its chief competitor, Coin World. This is probably
explained by the fact that all paid subscribers to Numismatic News
are allowed to place free classified ads (with a few reasonable
|SPR Rating =
- For years, I subscribed to a multitude of coin periodicals,
including Numismatic News. In the year 2000, I decided to cut
back on my subscriptions, dropping Numismatic News in the
process (Coin World was the only periodical I kept). Picking up
a copy today, I have to acknowledge several great improvements in the
appearance of Numismatic News, since I last browsed through the
newsweekly. For one thing, they've capitalized on newer technologies to
deliver more vivid color to their pages. Page 1 is printed on bright
white paper stock, bringing to life sharp color images.
- The articles are well written, appropriate in length, and
easy to read. Column width, font size, formatting all are friendly to
the reader. Oddly, Numismatic News utilizes the same font and
font size as Coin World. Makes you wonder if someone has done a
study to indicate this particular font is the best for numismatic
- The Table of Contents is really sorry. Brutal, but sadly
true. The TOC (or as NN calls it, the Index), is a smallish
little blurb buried on page 3 or 4, measuring less than three column
inches. Worse yet, only the standard sections make it onto the Index
list. You literally have to turn every page in the magazine to find the
special, feature articles. Perhaps the strategy of the editors is to
encourage readers to see all pages, but for busy people like me, I
strongly prefer an informative TOC up front, to help me quickly
prioritize my reading material.
- About 70% of Numismatic News is filled with
advertisements (that's pretty much the norm, however). Quite a few of
the ads are sharp, full color marvels, and for long-time collectors
like me, are a joy to behold (ahh... if only I had a 100 grand to
spare...). The NN editors know how to weed out the rotten
apples (at least those companies purchasing display ads), so readers
can buy in confidence. If a seller engages in questionable practices, I
believe the NN folks will exert every influence they can to
rectify the situation. You don't stay in business for over 50 years by
treating your customers shabbily.