Len Augsburger passed along this fun article from Heritage Auctions about those coin ads in comic books. Thanks. For those of us of a certain age, they were a part of growing up as collectors.
Comic books of the 1960s often had intriguing coin ads promising prime investment opportunities. Since Heritage Auctions is of course known for its staff of ace numismatists, we decided to show one an ad from Captain Atom #85 (Charlton, 1967 – see image of the full ad below) to get the scoop.
Barry Sandoval: David, I've often wondered about these coin ads in Silver Age comics. If I had been around in 1967 and seen this ad, should I have sent off for the "scarce steel wartime penny set," and would the investment have paid off? Or would I have been better off socking away high-grade copies of that month's comics?
David Stone: This is a typical scam offering of common generic coins hyped and represented as investment opportunities. You see similar offerings on television and junk mail today. Notice there are no specific grades assigned to the coins, and the choice of date-mintmark combination is usually left up to the advertiser. Of course, prices on everything have risen over the years, so even common coins in low grade would sell for more now than they did 55 years ago but, as an investment, they would be poor performers. The one exception might be the silver coins, which would rise in value with the price of silver, which is much higher in recent times than it was back then. That is just based on their bullion value, however. Their collector value is still minimal.
Sandoval: Now that you mention it, the ad does simply say "All coins grade good or better." Sort of like comic dealers in the Rocket's Blast Comicollector used to say! And I see from the grading definitions on our website that "Good ain't good" in the coin world either.
To read the complete article, see:
Coin Ads in Comics: Were These Good Deals?
Wayne Homren, Editor
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