The History of Rotographic Publishing
Rotographic was formed in 1959 by
Richard Marles in Torquay, Devon (England). Initially, equipped with
printing machinery, they took on local print jobs. In the 60's the
proprietor Richard Marles decided to exploit the huge sudden interest
in coin collecting. At that time he also appeared on numismatic radio phone-ins and
was involved in
the coin dealing industry.
(when it was possible to find coins dating back to 1816 in
your change!) Rotographic with Mr Marles at the helm produced a number
of factual reference books, including the very
popular range: 'Check your Change', which was produced throughout the
mid to late 60's and sold over 2 million copies by the time decimalisation took over.
In fact, during the 60's it was commonplace to see people in all kinds
of shops doing exactly what the title suggested, flicking through
their copy in order to Check their Change.
When decimalisation occurred
in 1971 the older coins practically disappeared from circulation. All
of a sudden "Check your Change" stopped being sold weekly by the
1000's, and orders for it slowed down drastically. Not deterred
by this, a year later in 1972 Rotographic introduced the first edition
Coins England" (later re-named "Collectors' Coins Great
Britain"), which contained value listings, variety
information etc for all British coins, just like its predecessor
"Check your Change", but this time with a much wider date range of 1760 - 1972. With
the success of the new title, Rotographic were able to expand the range of
titles and during the 80's and early 90's The Collectors Irish coins,
Collectors Banknotes and several other new titles were added to the
In the late 90's as the Collectors
Coins Great Britain book was getting too large to be sold for
significantly less than its nearest competitor, the decision was taken
to split the book into two separate books, and to put the earlier period into
the 1760 - 1820 Collectors George III Coins book. So from that date to
2004 the Collectors Coins Great Britain book contains market values for
coins 1820 - date.
Throughout the late 90's into the early
21st Century the volume of sales was steady and many of the titles were renewed every one or two years (annually for Collectors'
Coins Great Britain). In 2004 Mr Marles decided it was probably about
time he retired from full time publishing and printing (aged 78!) and has passed
the responsibilities of the publishing side to me, Chris Perkins.
The Present and Future of Rotographic
Richard Marles is still involved
with Rotographic 50+ years after he started it all off, and the input from this man, with so
much experience in the publishing and printing industry is valued very
highly. Now an octogenarian, he still just can't help himself and even wants
to write new titles!
Between October 2004 to August 2010 I have
published twenty-five new Rotographic books. Of those new books, many have been
new editions of old favourites. Six have been completely new titles.
There are currently nine books in print and three new books in the
The aim is to have as many useful
titles in print as possible. I'd like the range to consist of at least
fifteen in print titles by the end of 2014. Books printed from 2007
onwards are all printed in full colour (where applicable).
Rotographic is embracing new technology
and will be more interactive
than ever before too. The website is now linked to databases, and
visitors can add price data to those databases, which
influence the prices reflected in the books when they go to print.
This is the first time anything like this has been attempted and with
the readers and visitors of this website helping out, it will ensure
that all the Rotographic titles are the most up to date on the market.
You can add your coin/banknote price data by following this
So, watch this space and keep an eye on
the 'Latest news' menu on the right. Rotographic is growing, sales are
increasing and quality is improving!
Chris Perkins, (www.predecimal.com)