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Should You Invest in Collectibles?

Sometimes memorabilia is hit and miss in value

  • Signed baseball by Joe Dimaggio and kissed by Marilyn Monroe (Rex Features via AP Images)
    Rex Features via AP Images

    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.

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  • Rare copy of the first Batman comic book (PR NEWSWIRE)

    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.

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  • Child rides a Sting-Ray Orange Krate bike (Schwinn via Getty Images)
    Schwinn via Getty Images

    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.

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  • Lego Ultimate Collector’s Millennium Falcon Set (The Lego Group)
    The Lego Group

    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.

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  • Marilyn Monroe (Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images)
    Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

    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.

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  • 29-cent Elvis Presley stamps issued in 1993 (USPS/AP Photo)
    USPS/AP Photo

    Commemorative Stamps

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

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  • Beanie Baby Mountain Goat By ty Soft toy (Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy)
    Art Directors & TRIP / Alamy

    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.

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  • Souvenir plate is seen to mark the anticipated engagement of Prince William and his girlfriend Kate Middleton (Woolworths via Getty Images)
    Woolworths via Getty Images

    Collectible Plates

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

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  • Eisenhower dollar (rusm/Getty Images)
    Rusm/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.

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  • 1978 Chevrolet Corvette Indy Pace Car (Robert Wisdom |
    Robert Wisdom |

    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.

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  • Money End Slide
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