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Any value to old ham radio QSL cards?

These are Ham Radio “QSL cards”. The cards are all to Charles Waff Jr., Amateur Radio W3UVA, University, VA. From the very limited info I’ve found on him, he was a fairly prolific “DX’er” in his time (he’s mentioned as a “famous old time DX’er” at http://hamgallery.com/gallery/U/unknown.htm). There are roughly 1200. The cards range from the early 30′s to early 40′s, most around 1935 to 1937. Cards are from all over the US, and all over the world (many from Russia ((primarily Leningrad)), Germany ((some have Swastika’s on them)), Western Australia, Czechoslavakia, Japan, et cetera; there are many more countries); some use postage, others a QSL bureau. Some have odd small blue stamps with triangles in them, or other “non-postage” QSL stamps. Condition is very mixed, ranging from poor to nearly new appearing. Anyway, the question; any value, or just curiosities? A local antique dealer offered me $150 for them; does this sound fair? Any help appreciated, apparently no value guides exist.
To answer the “Have you tried Ebay?” reply, yes, I’ve tried Ebay, Google, qsl.net, et cetera. Most of the cards on Ebay are considerably newer, 1950′s to present, and most of the “collections” are primarily cards from the US and/or modern. The price on the smattering of individual cards from the 1930′s seem to depend on the countries sent from; however, I’ve been unable to find any guide to “rare” countries, senders, et cetera, nor other method of sorting common cards/locations from rarer. Thanks!

Asked by:Kavendor


  1. badger123ca says:

    Have you tried checking e-bay to see if they might have anything that could give you an idea if that’s a fair price?

  2. gearbox1 says:

    One place to check may be places like e-ham.net or qrz.com for those prices but no real guarantees.

    Contact the ARRL.Org and wr6wr.com as they have some people who write on old time radio and possibly give you better ideas on the value.

    Another site to check and email (and possibly the better bet is Old Time radio columnest John Dilks at

  3. Sean says:

    You never know… there could be someone out there who collects older QSL cards. $150 for the cards seems to be on the low side, but it’s better than just having the cards take up space somewhere.



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