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Home » Why Determine the Appraisal Value of Your Old National Geographic Magazine Collection

Why Determine the Appraisal Value of Your Old National Geographic Magazine Collection

Do you have loads of National Geographic magazines lying in your attic collecting dust? You may be actually sitting on a “goldmine”. Old issues of National Geographic magazines are highly sought after by collectors and can be worth a lot of money. The value of your old National Geographic magazines can even be worth thousands of dollars. But before you get too excited, there are some factors that need to be considered — age of the magazine, its condition, and even its content.

National Geographic has been around since 1888 and has an impressive archive of issues. Over the years, many of these issues have become rare and valuable. This is especially true of issues dating back to the early 20th century. Older issues of the magazine, especially those published before the 1950s, can be particularly valuable.

So what is it that makes National Geographic magazines so valuable to collectors?

The value of a collection of old National Geographic magazines can vary depending on the content, condition, and age of the magazines. Generally, a single issue of a National Geographic magazine from the early 1900s can be worth anywhere from $50 to $200. A complete set of magazines from the 1900s can be worth thousands of dollars.


For one, the content of the magazine. Many of these issues feature stunning photography and detailed stories about some of the world’s most fascinating places and cultures. Photographs and stories that are not available in the current, modern issues.

Those featuring unusual or rare topics can be highly sought after. For instance, a copy of the magazine from the 1950s that features a story about the first successful ascent of Mount Everest would make for an expensive sale to National Geographic fans.

Map of Asia from an old magazine

Then there are issues that feature stories about important events in history. Some such events include the first moon landing or the fall of the Berlin Wall. These stories are highly sought after by collectors and can be very valuable.

Collectors appreciate the high quality of these publications and the fact that they are preserved for posterity. In fact these issues can fetch hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on their condition and rarity.

For instance, a copy of the first issue of National Geographic from 1888. It carries unique photographs of the Panama Canal and could make a valuable sale. Similarly, copies of the National Geographic magazine from the 1930s. This is when the first color photographs were published and these copies can be worth hundreds of dollars.

Other valuable aspects of National Geographic magazines include the maps and illustrations. Many of these maps are highly detailed and can be of great use for researchers. The illustrations are also of great interest to collectors and can fetch a high price.

Age & Condition

The older a magazine issue the higher its demand. Collectors continuously hunt for National Geographic magazines that are vintage and have old dates. This adds more to their worth.

A personal collection of old National Geographic magazines in good condition

But date alone cannot determine or appreciate the value of an old magazine. The condition of the magazine is also a factor when it comes to determining its value.

Magazines that are in excellent condition can be worth more than those that are worn or torn. So even if a magazine is really old but not in good condition it will not be worth a good selling price. While it is understandable for old magazines to have a bit of wear, to be worthy of being considered a collector’s item, they must not be torn, damaged, water marked, or scuffed.

In addition to age and condition, other factors can also affect the value of an old National Geographic magazine. These include the edition, edition type, and any special features or articles contained within the issue.

Why an Accurate Appraisal Helps

One prudent way to go about judging the value of your old National Geographic magazines is by getting an accurate appraisal done. If you’re looking to sell your old issues of the magazine, it’s a good idea to do some research to determine their exact worth.

An old magazines appraisal in progress

Determining the appraisal value of your old National Geographic magazines accurately can also help you to protect yourself from fraud or scams. Making sure that you are getting the right price for your magazines can help to prevent you from being taken advantage of when it comes to selling them.

Finally, getting an accurate appraisal of your old National Geographic magazines can also help you to ensure that you are maximizing the value of your collection. Knowing the true value of your old national geographic magazines can help you to get the most out of them when you decide to sell them.

This is where Apprasily can help you. Professionals with decades of experience in carrying out vintage and antique appraisals online can guide you so you can profit from your collection safely without being taken for a ride.

Cited Sources

6 thoughts on “Why Determine the Appraisal Value of Your Old National Geographic Magazine Collection”

  1. Please advise if these are of any value
    Vol LX. number 3 September 1931
    Vol LX. number 6 December 1931
    Vol LXIII. number 2 August 1932
    Vol LXIII. number 3 March 1933
    Vol LXIII. number 5 May 1933
    Vol LXVI. number 2 August 1933
    Vol LXVI. number 3 March 1934
    Vol LXVI number 3 September 1934
    Vol LXVIII number 1 January 1935
    Vol LXVIII number 4 October 1935
    Vol LXX number 1 July 1936
    Vol LXX. number 6 December 1936
    Vol LXXI. number 4 April 1937
    Vol LXXIII. number 2 August 1937
    Vol LXXIII number 4 April 1938
    Vol LXXV number 1 January 1939
    Vol CIII. number 3 March 1953
    Vol 119. Number 1 January 1961 damaged

  2. I Inherited 24 years of national geographic magazines. Where would I or even how would I go about setting what they are worth?

  3. I too have many from the 70s to the 90s and many are in the official sleeves. Maps included. Just did not want to put in recycling.

  4. Victor Roman G Santos

    I have a complete collection of National Geo from 1932 – 2014 excluding the WW II years 1943 – 1950.

    What could be its value?

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