Medal News

Volume 42, Number 9, October 2004

Because you're worth it!

Volume 42, Number 9, October 2004

I know that I have spoken at great length recently about the price increases that have been a feature of our hobby for the past few years and do promise not to harp on about them too often in the future however no post OMRS Convention “Comment” would possibly be complete without mention of the amazing sale at DNW on the Friday before – a sale that realised in excess of £1.5million, just a year since the same company broke the £1million mark. It was also a sale that saw only 19 of the lots unsold – it seems that our appetite for medals, even at the prices they now command, has not dimmed. One would think that with such a record sum being made that there would be little left in collectors’ pockets for them to spend in the bourse itself on the Saturday and indeed I would suggest that there were fewer people through the doors than there have been in the past (along with a few notable dealer exceptions – although at least one of these was due to ill health rather than a reticence to attend!). I wouldn’t however, wish to give you the impression that the event was badly attended, it wasn’t, and those collectors who did make their annual pilgrimage were, it seems, buying quite happily as trade seemed to be brisk, particularly first thing. As is now tradition we launched the new MEDAL YEARBOOK at the convention, and it proved to be as well received as ever, as was our other new publication HONOUR THE AIRFORCES – being given a “public outing” for the first time since it’s launch in early August. It is worth noting though that even at £65 we were told on more than one occasion that it was one of the cheapest things in the room and a quick glance around certainly reflected that – as does the updated pricing in the MEDAL YEARBOOK 2005 of course! Some of the prices seemed, quite frankly, to be astronomical and yet on more than one occasion I visited a dealer’s table to discover the group that I felt would be sitting there for ages had in fact been sold to a more than happy collector and I was reminded again that just because I wouldn’t pay such and such a price for something not every one thinks like me! Yes there were grumbles about the prices being charged, yes there was astonishment that the DNW sale, choc full of goodies though it was, had scaled the dizzying heights that it had and yes there was more than one tale of collections put on hold or interests changed as the original area of collecting had simply become too expensive but on the whole the gripes were good natured and the gasps of astonishment at the prices realised in the auction were more tinged with awe than with bewilderment; there can be no doubt that the incredible prices being charged are putting some people off but the true collectors all seem to realise that if that is what it takes to secure their prize piece then that is what it takes and whilst they might not always be happy at parting with the large sums now necessary it does seem that they are still very happy with the end result of an enhanced collection – and as long as that feeling doesn’t go away it can truly be said to be worth it. That all said one of the undoubted highlights of Convention for me had nothing to do with high prices or fabulous groups but rather involved a humble Victory medal that our Marketing Manager was able to reunite with the recipient’s Grandson some thirty years since it was sold out of the family. It is that sort of story that really does make this hobby of ours such a fascinating and rewarding one.

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