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Understanding Antiques, Collectibles, And Memorabilia

Friday, October 2nd, 2015

There are many types of items that can be found at auction, including antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia. Though anything old may look like an antique, it could be considered a collectible. When you go to an auction to buy items, you could be bidding not on a collectible, but a piece of memorabilia. The various types of items found at an auction can become confusing. Researching the distinct differences between antiques, collectibles, and memorabilia before you go to an auction can be beneficial to both buyers and sellers.

Understanding antiques

The word antique, by definition, means something old that has value due to its rarity, condition, beauty, or sentimental value. Antiques may be more valuable to you than someone else if they belonged to a family member, or has value within your family. Antiques that are valuable to a wider demographic may be items that show artisanship, like old cars, handcrafted furniture, or artwork. Other antiques include old coins, jewelry, pottery, and tools.

Generally, pieces over 100 years old are categorized as antiques. This rule is good to apply when identifying pieces you aren’t sure about how to classify. Antiques may also have some type of historical significance. Some items that are old, but cannot be classified as antiques, still hold value at an auction. What really matters is whether there is a demand for an item or not. Demand is what will affect the auction value of the item, no matter what its true value may be.

Understanding collectibles

Items like toys and decorative plates are considered collectibles. The items themselves may or may not have value, but they are highly collectible. Most collectibles are under 100 years old, so they cannot be antiques. There may be changing demands for collectibles, such as Beanie Babies, which were very valuable in the 80s, but are no longer in demand. It can be hard to plan for long term value when buying collectibles. For those who want to complete a collection, any price is worth paying at an auction.

Some other popular collectibles include vintage toys, retro furniture, trading cards or sports cards, and anything related to celebrities, movies, or music. Celebrity collectibles include clothing worn by famous movie stars, movie props, autographs, or action figures.

Understanding memorabilia

Memorabilia may be easily confused with collectibles, but they are two very different classifications. While collectibles are just purchased for fun, memorabilia serves a purpose. Things like sporting event programs and souvenirs, such as Olympics programs and World Series pennants, are memorabilia. Memorabilia reminds you of an event and commemorates it, like concert T-shirts or vacation postcards.

Souvenirs are considered memorabilia because they can bring about nostalgia and may inspire emotion or sentimentality. World’s Fair items are some of the most sought after types of souvenir memorabilia. Other popular items include old advertisements for food, drinks, or restaurants and services, like old gas station signs. Like collectibles, memorabilia is often collected and value can vary depending on the condition and rarity of the items.

For more information

Would you like more information about what can be found at auctions or holding your own auction? Contact High Plains Auctioneers today at (806) 244-6776 to get more details about our services and the auction process. You can also Contact Us by email and view our upcoming auctions.