Collectibles: Making a Collection More Enjoyable

by blackspanielgallery

Collecting is something many of us do, and doing it with knowledge is important. Finding that knowledge is easy if you know where to look.

People tend to make collections, and often start collecting very young. In my case it was, back when I was a child, bottle caps and trading cards that I collected. Those collections were possible because I could afford to spend one cent, the price of a trading card that even came with bubble gum, or to simply pick up bottle caps which were free. Another good place where some children start is with pennies, which can be taken out of change.

Adding to the collections I had basically consisted of buying trading cards, playing games to win other trading cards, risking those in poor condition to that I had multiples of, and of going on a picnic and finding bottle caps on the ground which came in great variety. In those days all soft drinks and even beer for home consumption came in bottles exclusively, and when a bottle was opened in a park people rarely reached down to pick up the fallen bottle cap.

Of course childhood collections, while easy to make and very inexpensive, are usually unacceptable to adults. Adults still enjoy collecting, but the collection itself often involves more costly items. And, even if a collection is being made, many collectors diversify into other collecting interests diluting their available funds for their first collection. There are people in a local coin club that collect a multitude of different kinds of items, with coins being just one of their many collecting interests.

Collecting has an enjoyment aspect, and when you read about collectibles, go to shows, or simply go to yard sales or flea markets to pursue our hobby you will find a pleasant experience which can be a form of entertainment.

The introduction image is one we have taken. It is of Mardi Gras Doubloons.

What Can One Collect?

The Variety Is Wider than One Might Think

Collecting interests depend on the collector, and what might have caught that person’s interest.  In many cases the interest originates with an inexpensive beginning, and simply grows.  They might buy one or more albums and fill them with coins worth only face value.  Coin collectors often get started by looking at pocket change.  Toy collectors often specialize with such things as Matchbox cars, model trains, or dolls, and might be started with a surviving toy from childhood.  Others collect toys as a way of remembering their childhood.  Stamp collectors often start by clipping stamps from envelopes, especially those envelopes with foreign stamps that arrive on those envelopes.  Other collectible items might be memorabilia of a favorite person or group, such as the Beatles, company logo items or easily recognized company specific items such as Disney and Coca-Cola, or even oddities like old steins or glass from a specific period.


Once a basic collection starts, there is a thirst for knowledge of that collectible, and a desire for better pieces.  Better pieces cost more money than other pieces, so a collector may well start with things not so rare.  Some, those who can afford it move to more costly items, while others are happy with an inexpensive collection. 


Company names, and images of company specific items, are trademarks of the companies.  

What Will You Need to Properly Make a Collection?

The Supplies

Some collectibles require more supplies than others.  To fully enjoy a coin or a stamp collection magnification might be desired.  But there are a few things that all collections have in common. 


Knowledge is important.  Especially the value of things.  You do not want to spend more than something is worth to acquire.  And, insuring a collection also requires a known value.  Having access to current values is a must.  Most collectible books give values, but they must be purchased annually or your information will become inaccurate.  So, annually buy a book of prices to be able to value your collection.


Current articles and new finds are often released in magazines.  There are magazines for many different collectible types.  In some cases, like coin and stamp collections, new releases may be some of the things you would be interested in knowing about.


Some knowledge is free.  Go to a show and ask questions.  Dealers in collectibles are often knowledgeable, and are likely to freely discuss things with you.  After all, informed collectors make better customers.


Protecting and Displaying Your Collection

Being Able to See It While Keeping It Safe

Some collectibles are too valuable to have out, and must be stored in a safe, or stored at the bank.  But other collectibles are to be displayed.   There are right and wrong ways to display a collection.  Just setting pieces on a shelf may not be enough.


You must protect your collection.  Environmental damage can occur from chemicals in the air and from moisture.  So, place your collectibles in cases when the moisture content is low and the air is clean, and leave them there.  The more air tight the container, the better.  Some coin collectors do not bring coins into a warm home in the winter until they gradually are warmed to prevent the cold surfaces of the coins from condensing water on them.  Yes, it is that kind of attention that will preserve your collection.  I was also told by an expert to not speak in the direction of a coin, since small bits of saliva often come out and can fall on the coin.  These ideas work for many other collectibles, so let us take these things as general rules of protecting collectibles.


Some collectibles can be damaged by exposure to sunlight.  If this is a concern keep your collectibles out of direct, and if necessary indirect, sunlight. 


The moisture and oils in your hands can be transferred to that expensive piece, and years later cause a problem.  Be careful, and if possible wear new cotton gloves when you handle your collectible pieces.


Depending on the content of the pack, some moisture reduction can be removed using packs of such things as activated charcoal.  But first check your specific collectible and the specific moisture absorption packs’ contents to see if any harmful gases will be released.


But, after all of this, seeing the pieces in your collectible and sharing their beauty with friends is what makes collecting fun. 



Ask Your Agent

Insuring collectibles may take a special rider on your insurance policy.  Find out before adding expensive pieces, and be prepared to have an appraisal if the collection gets too expensive.  Of course one would not spend more on an appraisal and insurance rider than the collection is worth, so that might not be necessary until the collection gets serious enough as to contain one or more very pricy pieces. 


Also ask how often would an appraisal need be repeated, whether or not you are still actively adding to the collection, and whether there are storage requirements.

This article contains links to affiliate programs from some or all of Amazon, Viglink, and Ebay through Viglink, and Adsense advertising.  These must use cookies to allow for proper crediting. 

Updated: 09/30/2017, blackspanielgallery
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blackspanielgallery on 09/03/2021

Coin shortages impact older coins as well as current ones, such as silver coins that had been melted in the 80s.

blackspanielgallery on 09/03/2021

Coin shortages impact older coins as well as current ones, such as silver coins that had been melted in the 80s.

DerdriuMarriner on 08/02/2021

blackspanielgallery, Thank you for practical information, pretty pictures and product lines.
Coin shortages just impact coins currently circulating, correct? Or is there a chance that current circulations harbor collectibles?
Were bottle caps always collected for their exterior designs or were there interesting designs or information on their insides?

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