Capital City Antique Mall

Which one is worth something?

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Schools in session! So take a guess....can you see it? If you guessed the second stamp, the one with the inverted plane for 24 cents, you would be correct. The 2 dollar stamp is a reprint and the stamp with the plane right side up was the most common representation of the stamp.

If you are a newbie to collecting or just want a general idea if your antique is of value or not, here is your education in a nutshell. Five things that will help you with a purchasing or determining value of a vintage or antique item are: Rarity, Aesthetic, Desirability, Authenticity, and Condition.

1-Rarity
How rare is it? If there were only a few made...or if its made special by an artist mark or a misprint then congrats it is generally more valuable. The inverted jenny stamp is an extreme example of this. There are only seven in existence. And only one that was acutally postmarked and used. Your chances of coming across one are about as high as you being hit by a comet. Extremely low. But for the rest of us mere mortals take a look through what you already have. An old family heirloom? Vase? Wedding present? I recently had a bookseller friend of mine tell me that although trade paperbacks aren't generally worth anything...if you have a first edition or a signed copy it could be worth hundreds...so don't toss it out until you check the first few pages.

2-Aesthetics
Does it please the eye or does it leave something to be desired? Bizarre things may sell just because they are strange but is the exception rather than the rule, and generally if it pleases it will sell better. Etsy is a great example of this...just because it doesn't have any value it may appeal to someone, such as a collector or enthusiast just because it has a great aesthetic.

3-Desirability
Are there people clamoring for it? Is it on trend right now? Mid century modern furniture is valuable now because it is so en vogue and on trend - in another ten years it may be worth less...or more depending on the demand for it. So watch the trends to help determine value.

4-Authenticity
Can it be authenticated? Do you have a certificate or signature or something that proves its origins, if so cha-ching! It just got more valuable.

5-Excellent Condition
This goes without saying...a well kept piece that has no flaws is worth infinitely more than that dirty mistreated pile of broken junk in the garage. So keep it nice or prepare to be surprised at the drop in value!

So pay attention to detail and don't miss what could be valuable right under your nose! Happy hunting to you all!