Volume 43, Number 10, October 2005
I have always seen this “Comment” as chance to reflect on what’s going on in the medal world and over the years have written numerous pieces regarding prices, the history behind medals, current trends, the reasons for why we collect etc etc. I always try to look at the most important things in our hobby at that time and write about them in an objective way – and therefore I must make a small apology for writing now about something that, whilst I believe it is incredibly important in the medal world, I am afraid I cannot be entirely objective about – the MEDAL YEARBOOK 2006! As we go to press with this October issue of MEDAL NEWS we have just taken delivery of some 8,000 of the new books, they are due to be launched at the OMRS Convention so as yet no-one else, apart from the Token Team has seen a copy but I can guarantee that when they do they’ll be as excited as we are. This is the twelfth edition of our Yearbook and each year we do our best to make it bigger, brighter and better than the preceding issue – well this year we know full well we’ve done exactly that. Yes, all the prices have been updated, especially important these days – and thanks to all who helped with that - and yes again there are some significant new medal entries, however even more important than those changes is something that becomes obvious the moment you turn the first page. Now, for the first time, the vast majority of the medals are shown in full colour with their ribbons, again in colour, alongside them. Those of you who have seen the book by now (this magazine coming out after the launch date) will know just what a difference that really does make – and if you haven’t seen a copy yet why not! This colour version of the book is something we’ve been working on for sometime, it was never essential to go colour as the black and white photographs were more than adequate however the actual look of the pages is greatly enhanced by the use of colour and the ability to have the ribbons alongside their respective medals really is a huge plus point – with this in mind we had been hoping to make the change long ago but the sheer cost of printing in colour made that prohibitive. Fortunately modern technology has enabled the industry to work at getting print prices down (although never as much as we’d like) and so this year we decided to bite the bullet and are extremely glad we did. Many of the colour pictures are scans of original medals from our own collections (the most obvious being the Memorial Plaque no 172 – a Sherwood Forester who lived in Exeter, I wonder who that could belong to…?!) whilst others have come from readers and dealers all keen to help out with this vast undertaking and we are hugely indebted to all of those who have allowed us to use pictures from their archives. A special mention must go to DNW for the large number of their pictures used. It has, sadly, been impossible to include every medal in colour as either a colour picture or the original was not available – but that’s where we hope you will come in. Over the twelve years we’ve been producing this book some of the best additions and corrections have come in from you the readers. The book is only as good as it is now, is only used and respected by so many people, because the medal collectors have, over the years, been exceptionally helpful in shaping it. Very rarely is any of the criticism of the book negative, with people only ever pointing out errors and omissions in an attempt to help, in an attempt to make sure all is right for next year. Almost unique amongst all the books we publish the MEDAL YEARBOOK has a loyal band of readers all keen to ensure we produce the best book we possibly can – they know, as we do that the better the MEDAL YEARBOOK is so the better the medal hobby is. With this in mind, whilst we don’t want to detract from the 2006 version, we will welcome any corrections, additions or amendments ready for 2007 – and, most importantly, if any of you have medals (or pictures of medals) that we haven’t got in colour this year then please let us know. In the meantime we hope you enjoy your 2006 version, it really was a labour of love to bring you a brand spanking new look for 2006, we sweated and toiled many a long night to get it ready in time and now, having seen the result, we’re very happy we did – we hope you’ll agree!
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