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A new world for your old collectibles

Global trends can bring your old collectibles back into the spotlight

As well as being objects to treasure and enjoy, it’s always worth remembering that your collectibles have a monetary value too. Often these items can exist in a family for generations, handed down with the value rarely, if ever, being known. 

How much your possessions are worth can change considerably as a result of factors often beyond your control, with new trends or economic fluctuations having the potential to increase or decrease their financial value. So how do you prepare for these changes and what sort of circumstances could cause the value of your collectibles to rise? 

The impact of change

Arguably the simplest example of a change in circumstances affecting the value of your collectibles is that during times of economic slowdown, the value of assets such as gold and jewellery can often rise.  

Changes in the law can also play a part in how items are perceived. For example, a new UK copyright protection law, making it illegal to manufacture or sell copies of mass-produced furniture designs after 2020, could set a new precedent for increasing the worth of some of the more modern furniture in your home. 

Given the multitude of reasons why certain collections can fluctuate in value wildly from year to year, some of the more valuable items have their own industry index. For example, the most traded fine wines on the market have their prices tracked on the Liv-ex Fine Wine 100 Index, while the IDEX will give you an idea as to how precious your diamonds are. 

Global demands for your items

Demand from emerging economies, such as India and China, can have both a longer and shorter-term impact on the value of a host of collectibles.  

Short-term events such as the 10-day festival of Navratri, held each October in India and one of the most famous in the Hindu calendar, historically contributes to a spike in gold prices at that time of year. Many Indians consider this to be the luckiest time to purchase luxury items. 

Meanwhile, China has become a valuable export market for Bordeaux wine sales, with RFI reporting that as of 2019 Chinese investors owned 168 chateaux in France, aiming to export their produce to their homeland. This interest highlights the demand of the region for French wines, so if you were holding on to a vintage crate in your cellar, it could now be worth much more than you envisaged. 

It’s not just fine wines that have benefited from China’s longer-term economic growth. The Art Basel and UBS Global Art Market Report 2019 shows that China now accounts for 19% of total art sales. Chinese art dealers have also developed a taste for buying items of their own heritage in recent years, so the antique vase sitting in your living room or packed away in the loft may also command a higher fee further east. 

Know the value of your collectibles and protect them accordingly 

The best thing to do is make sure you know the potential value of your items and make sure that they are appropriately insured. We can help arrange for a professional valuation to give you peace of mind that you are getting a fair price if you decide to sell a piece. 

If you do find you are suddenly sitting on a potential windfall, it raises questions over how well that fortune is protected – especially with something as fragile as a vase or wine bottle. NFU Mutual Bespoke Home Insurance can be tailored to cover your valuable contents and collectibles, leaving you free to discover their true worth in an ever expanding global market.