First-edition rookie cards would eventually be valuable because, during the player’s rookie years, their greatness is yet unknown. With only a handful left in circulation, values of the right names would shoot through the roof. Just think of the legendary Honus Wagner.
In the 80s and the 90s, however, baseball card companies glutted the field with so many copies of sports cards that they were left swimming in depreciation. Most sports fans would recoil at the idea of tossing their favorite cards into the trash, but that is what they’re worth. However, sports card trading is burgeoning, so who knows?
Serious stamp collectors are serious in their trade. Stamps that are valuable have been virtually unhandled for fifty to a hundred years. They must be stored and mounted in an archival-quality environment and in pristine condition. Stamps issued after 1960 have little value. A rare stamp is like striking oil.
For the average person, stepping into the level of stamp collectors is like showing up to play pro ball without any training or skill. Treasure or trash? Unless a stamp in a collection can be applied to an envelope and delivered by the postal service, it’s not going to have much value.
People throw cereal boxes away every single day. It goes without saying. Both kids and adults enjoy these little milky snacks for breakfast, lunch, or dinner more often than we care to admit. That's a lot of boxes. But then why are some people collecting them?
Yes, you read that correctly, people are collecting old cereal boxes. They’re literally stockpiling trash. It’s a niche group of collectors, but that doesn’t mean they’re in it for nothing. A box of Rice Honeys with a “Yellow Submarine” tie-in featuring The Beatles and a set of “rub-ons” from the movie sold for $1,430 at an auction by Heritage.
Old Tiffany Lamps
These colorful mosaic lampshades are one of the most popular and recognizable lamps ever made. The Tiffany lamp was designed by Louis Comfort Tiffany, son of the prominent New York City Tiffany & Co. jewelry family. He opened Tiffany Studios and manufactured decorative lampshades from the late 1890s through the 1920s.
These lamps are highly treasured, and not just for their beauty. Every Tiffany lamp is very valuable. Prices range from $4,000 to $1 million, though at least one went for over $2 million. That being said, there are many fake ones out there so look out for those. Imitations are worthless.
People hold on to magazines, stacking them in the attic or the garage. But the chance that a rare edition is in those stacks is very unlikely. In most cases, you are better off donating your pile to the nearest beauty salon or doctor's waiting room.
For a magazine to be valuable, it must be the first edition of the first printing of a particular magazine. Exceptions exist. For example, a very famous person like Marilyn Monroe on the cover sells from $15 to $75. The first issue of “Playboy” with Marilyn in the centerfold is worth much more, about $1,500.