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The Enjoyment of Collecting Antiques

Sep 3, 2008
The range of antique collectibles is very wide indeed: right from old baseball cards to 1940's magazines, old matchboxes with pictures of vintage cars on them to old china and silverware, sepia pictures or even soda bottles from the time of the first fuzzy drinks, anything and everything can be considered an antique worthy to be collected with the passage of time. And it is not even necessary to have the mentality of a collector from the very beginning. It is simply enough to collect, and suddenly you realize that you have started loving something which you are collecting.

Collecting antiques is an intoxicating pastime which not only allows you to explore and quest after an object that you avowedly love, it thereby allows you to cultivate a worldview in which any old object can suddenly assume the gleam and dignity of being the object of your love. It is a very sobering experience. On the other hand the activity of collecting also makes for a great pretext for bonding with family and friends, the occasion for many gifts and surprises, as also for many pranks and jokes.

When it comes to deciding exactly what you want to make a collection of, just close your eyes and let your wish decide. No matter how obscure the item 18th century 1st edition quarto editions of anthropological monographs! - or how supposedly pedestrian - Macdonald freebies - each is just as valid and significant as the other as long as you can find satisfaction and engagement with it.

Once you have made your decision is perhaps when the real excitement begins. In all that you do and everywhere that you go, your moments will be held together by an overarching search for the object of your choice. It is not for nothing that love plays such a big part in this hobby. It is love, on this side of obsession.

But apart from the aspect of personal fulfillment through the investment of time and love, collecting antiques is also an investment of money. And many collectors chose their specific kind of collectible on the basis of the projected market value of the items they collect. Take for example the field of numismatics: the hobby of collecting coins. One can collect all kinds of coins, but the older and rarer these coins are, the more valuable they become.

Some of the most convenient places to find such antique coins are auction houses, antique shops, coin shows, etc. But for the more serious numismatist, the trail of the antique coins often leads to old city bazaars and sites of archaeological excavations. Since the value of the coin is directly proportional to its historical age and the rarity of its origins, trying to source coins from places of antiquarian interest is an advantage.

When buying an antique coin, there are a few additional indicators you would do well to keep in mind:

First and foremost, try to ensure that the coin you seek to buy is genuine. This may appear to be an obvious and self-evident point, but you should be vigilant at the time of inspecting the coin to verify its authenticity and guard against being sold a replica or a counterfeit coin.

It is usually advisable to begin your coin collection slowly and cautiously, especially if you have a restricted budget. As your collection grows you might reach apposition where you could resell some of them at a profit and invest in more valuable coins. It is always a good idea to have a professional appraiser certify any coin that you think to be an important investment as a genuine original before you finalize the purchase to prevent any rude shocks later on.

Collecting antiques is an all round exercise that allows you to grow and mature not only as a human being but also constitutes a reliable potential investment from which you can expect suitable returns if and when the occasion arises. Imagine: if you had preserved the wrappers of all the chocolates you had consumed as a child, or had cared to keep all the small Dinky toys and their boxes that you received as presents, today you could make thousands at an auction sale.
About the Author
Rare antique wall clock such as Gilbert, Kroeber and Seth Thomas can be found at the author's website.
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