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Should You Invest in Collectibles?

Sometimes memorabilia is hit and miss in value

Sports Memorabilia

En español | Don't bother with cards from the 1980s on, but buyers covet balls signed by stars (Ty Cobb, Babe Ruth) and artifacts associated with big games.

Rex Features via AP Images

Comic Books

The comics market has seen "phenomenal growth" recently, says Greg Rohan of Heritage Auctions in Dallas. A 1940 copy of "Batman" No. 3 (featuring Catwoman) sold in May for $40,332.


Schwinn Sting-Ray Bicycles

These banana-seat bikes once ruled the suburbs; if you kept yours (or your kid's), it might fetch $1,000 today.

Schwinn via Getty Images

Lego Ultimate Collector's Millennium Falcon Set

Lego investors struck gold with this 5,000-piece set, which sold in 2007 for $500 and now trades for about $3,000 in mint condition.

The Lego Group

Vintage Hollywood Memorabilia

Items owned by iconic figures such as Liz Taylor or Marilyn Monroe are good bets, says Elizabeth von Habsburg, managing director of Winston Art Group.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Commemorative Stamps

Those Elvis stamps from 1993? They're still not worth much more than 29 cents each.


Beanie Babies

A 1998 handbook predicted that Stripes the dark tiger, which sold for $5 in 1995, would be worth $1,000 by 2008. Current value: about $25.

Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy

Collectible Plates

In fact, just about anything recently produced that's touted as rare or limited edition is unlikely to appreciate in value.

Woolworths via Getty Images

Most Newer Coins

Until 1964, U.S. dimes and higher denominations contained 90 percent silver; they're now worth about 14 times face value, according to Rohan.

Rusm/Getty Images

1978 Chevy Corvette Indy Pace Car Edition

Many buyers of this low-volume commemorative model stored their $14,000 'Vettes and waited for values to rise. Today, cars sell for an underwhelming $20,000.

Robert Wisdom |

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