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I am considering offering for sale an original copy of the Vol 1 Issue 1 -1888.

The cover has been conserved and all pages, maps and pages are complete.

Any idea of value for such an item.  I purchased it in 1995 but prices fluctuate greatly and I have not kept up.


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I've been collecting data on eBay sales since December 2008. The highest three eBay sales for this one issue are $6,160.67 for a Good copy; $6,000.00 for a P+ copy (front cover separated); and $4,850.00 for a Fair (-) copy (covers attached but heavily chipped) with many uncut pages, i.e. the issue could never have been read because the pages were still bound together -  four pages were printed on a large sheet, folded then cut so they open separately - these were not cut, and I know this because this was the issue I purchased.

The copy you show here appears to have been restored, hence the varying colors around the edges. I believe an average for the the three price points I listed above would be a good starting point. However, prices have been greatly subdued over the past few years. I would not be surprised if the best you could do would be 2/3rd of the average.

Good luck!


Thanks Melvin, your thoughts and comments are always appreciated.


Do you know who signed the front cover?  That may play a big part  as to how much this is worth.



I have not focused on it but will try and determine and be back to you.




Upon further inspection and reviewing the contents of the magazine, it appears the signature is that of Harry King, one of the original founding members of the Society.  He was a member of the US Geologic Survey.



This should add a few hundred dollars to the listing price!

Though I have issues signed by founding members, this is not one I've seen before, and at only 165 such members on the first issue published, that makes this a more desirable collector's item.

Well done Jeff!



Hope you could help me on another issue.  I have what appears to be a Special Edition of the Flags of the World issue printed in 1917.  It has front covers on both sides and says it was Presented tot he United States Army and Navy.  I cannot find any reference to it being part of the monthly issues.  It is in very good condition.  Any idea on value? Greg


The top three eBay sales (from Dec 2008 through today) for the October 1917 issue are: $29.95 in G-; $28.00 in VG; & $24.99 in VG.

I have not differentiated the Special Edition from the standard issue (though I probably should have). I have seen this special edition listed, but not for any extraordinary price (the primary reason I did not differentiate it).

I know many collectors that have these, and in-fact, acquired mine directly from the archive sales of the NGS about 10 years ago - they charged about $40.00 for it.

The material of this issue was suppose to be waterproof. It was delivered directly to the soldiers and sailors, not to the civilian members, though it could be purchased separately.

Roger Nathan shows a picture and annotates the special edition in his book on pages 8 & 9.

"If" the binding is as unblemished as the magazine itself appears to be, I would rate your copy at least as a Fine+, but would have to look at it in detail to give it a higher rating. In my opinion, with the condition I just stated, I would value this copy at close to $40.00 +/-.

I am offering for sale an Original Copy of Volume 1 - Issue 1 on eBay.  Feel free to contact me with any questions or additional information.

National Geographic Volume 1 - Issue 1 - Very Rare Original Not Rep...

Well i will only offer you 300 or 400 for that one. Like i did in the past for similar condition issues. Yours is in fair state. Much less in value as you are trying to get.

I would suggest a professionally restored issue such as the one being offered has a value 10 times your maximum offer. Though not as valuable as an untouched original, its rarity still holds value. Of course, this is one man's opinion.



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