December 2017 Highlights

What Are Your Collections Actually Worth?

Deep inside your junk drawer or between the boxes of holiday decorations in your garage, you may just be sitting on a small fortune.

From baseball cards, stamps, coins, and Beanie Babies; most of us have collected one thing or another over the years hoping they’ll someday be worth good money.

As they say: one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but not every collectible is valued equally.

There’s never a guarantee when it comes to the value of collections, but here’s a good starting list of the “Do’s and Don’ts” of investing:


  1. Comic Books

Comic books are a great example of an item that often increases in value with time. Got a rare special edition with the introduction of a new character? Watch as the value doubles. Any first editions? Your rent is paid for the next month. A 1938 copy of Action Comics #1 sold for $956,000 last year at a public auction. Getting your hands on any one of these can be your winning ticket.

  1. Coins

A tried-and-true classic, coin collectors have turned their hobby into a profitable business. Depending on the coin’s rarity and condition, those selling may just win a significant sum at an auction. A 1913 Liberty Head V Nickel is worth over $4.4 million dollars, so always make sure to count your change!

  1. Baseball Cards

Baseball cards have been a collector’s dream since their inception, and the valued price shows. A 1909 – 1911 Sweet Caporal T206 Series Honus Wagner card sold for $2.8 million dollars and is considered the Holy Grail of baseball cards. Why? The card’s legend and lore follows it, with only 200 ever being made due to the fact that the player didn’t want to glorify tobacco use to his younger fans.


  1. Beanie Babies

We all remember this 90’s fad that swept the nation. There are countless people with a box full of these cute toys collecting dust in their attic. The fact that they were so popular and overproduced completely diminished their market value. You could even get one in a McDonald’s Happy Meal at one point!

  1. Lunch Boxes

The widespread popularity of vintage metal lunch boxes in the late 80’s doomed their market value to fall short of any profit in the future. We all wanted them and we all had them, creating an item that is neither rare nor in demand.

  1. Commemorative Plates

A visit to grandma’s house almost guarantees walking past a China cabinet with commemorative plates. Unfortunately, these sell for a few dollars at best in auctions and this is all due to their ‘cool’ factor, or lack thereof.

The most important thing to remember is that money isn’t everything. If you enjoy collecting and love the hobby, it doesn’t matter what anyone else would be willing to pay for it.

Looking to add to your own collection? We find treasures several times a week at our estate auctions. Come try one for yourself and see how fun it can be.

Written by: Rowlan Hill

Rowalan Hill

Rowlan Hill is the owner of Blue Leaf Estate Auctions in Arizona and has been an auctioneer for over 30 years. For more information on their services, visit

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