500, not out!
Volume 44, Number 3, March 2007
WELCOME to a little piece of history. The COIN NEWS you are currently reading is something of a landmark one, a milestone if you will, and one we are very proud of. It is, as you can’t have failed to notice thanks to the front cover, the 500th issue of Britain’s favourite Coin Magazine. Admittedly we are stretching the point a little as there haven’t actually been 500 issues of COIN NEWS per se but there have been 500 issues of this magazine and its predecessors—and that has to count for something. COIN NEWS actually has its roots back in the 1960s when it was published by Link House Publications under the title Coins and Medals. It remained as this title (incorporating a few others along the way) published by various different houses, including for a few issues Stanley Gibbons, until 1981 when it was bought by American company Epic Publishing who changed the name to Coin and Medal News. It was shortly after this acquisition and subsequent change that I took on the mantle of Editor. Sadly the recession of the early eighties led to Epic’s decision that the UK market wasn’t for them and, in 1983, they sold the title to the newly formed Token Publishing Ltd—a company I set up solely to publish that one magazine. In 1989 the growth of the coin and medal hobbies, often in different directions, led to the splitting of Coin and Medal News into the titles we have today COIN NEWS and MEDAL NEWS—which actually means since the birth of the magazine in the swinging sixties this period, 1989–2007, is the longest run that the magazine has enjoyed under one name! So there you have it—three name changes, numerous different publishers but essentially one magazine. There have of course been many changes other than just the name over the years—not only in the magazine itself but in the hobby in general—and whilst there will inevitably be those who say that the early days were the halcyon ones, with the boom of the late sixties and the immediate effects of decimalisation, leading to an unprecedented number of collectors, there can be no doubt that the popularity of our hobby in recent years, not to mention the incredible records being set at auction and some of the beautiful coins that are coming on the market has meant that we have enjoyed something of a renaissance recently and I can’t help but wonder if those who put the very first issue to bed ever dreamt that the magazine would still be going so well, and the hobby still going as strong, 500 issues later. As far as the magazine is concerned most of the changes that have occurred in the last 40 or so years are obvious—yes the cover price has inevitably gone up (why is it people always point that out!) but when you look at the buying power of what you paid back in the ’60s, ’70s or ’80s compared to the £3.25 you pay now and then look at what you actually got for your money back then in terms of paper and print quality and compare it to the 88+ pages of glossy, full-colour, perfect-bound magazine you get today, I think you’ll agree you get better value for money now! But it isn’t only change that has helped us, and the hobby, continue to grow and prosper—what is also worth pointing out is that some things haven’t changed much and that has given us a firm grounding on which to build our success and longevity. Look back at Coins and Medals or Coin and Medal News and many of the advertisers are the same as you’ll see within this COIN NEWS today—not just the auction houses whose inevitable change of personnel ensures their continuity but the “one-man bands” too, some of these dealers have been around longer than we have and it’s their vast experience and knowledge that has helped grow the hobby into what it is today and helped ensure we have collectors happy to read our offering each month. And of course we could never forget you the readers either— some of you we know have been with us since the year dot, faithful subscribers eagerly awaiting every issue and it is you, as much as the advertisers and the editorial teams, who have allowed us to reach this milestone and for that we thank you—500 issues proves that together we all make a great team. Thanks to reader Mike Versey for alerting us to the fact that this was our 500th issue, one of our stalwart readers he has every copy since the magazine’s “birth” ; I know that many of our readers are devoted fans of COIN NEWS and its predecessors but can anyone equal that?
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