Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter



Collector’s Items

Yisrael Rutman

People have been collecting things since there have been people and things to collect. They do it for fun, for profit, and in some cases, they don’t know why they do it!

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

 Mishpacha image

 

People have been saving things since there have been people and things to save. They do it for fun, for profit, and in some cases, they don’t know why they do it.

If you save or collect things, it’ll be easier for you to relate to some of the things we’ll be talking about; although some are weird and challenging. And even if you never saved anything (except maybe some potato chips for the way home), you’ll soon find out that there’s at least one thing that everybody saves.…

Great Mistakes

The most popular type of collections are stamp and coin collections. There are literally tens of millions of people around the world who collect these items. Why are people so into it?

Some collect them just for the fun of it; others make money buying and selling rare stamps and coins. (They think making money is fun, too.) How can you make money on stamps? After all, once a stamp has been used, it can’t be reused. So it’s worthless, right? Not always.

Some rare stamps are worth a lot of money. Just the fact that only a few of a particular stamp exist makes it unique, a collector’s item people will pay a lot for. Also, if there was something unusual about it, like a mistake in the printing, that can increase its value many times over.

For example, the Inverted Jenny. This 1918 24-cent US stamp bore the picture of a plane called a Curtiss JN-4, or “Jenny” — but the plane was printed upside down. Only 100 upside-down stamps got past inspectors and to the public, but those 100 became instant collectors’ items. Today, they’re each worth about $100,000 depending on their condition, and in 2016, an Inverted Jenny was sold at auction for $1,351,250.

 

Not all errors are worth saving, though. When the US Post Office issued a Statue of Liberty stamp on December 1, 2010, it was months before someone noticed that the statue shown wasn’t the real one in New York, but a Statue of Liberty copy in Las Vegas. Ten and a half billion stamps were recalled, the biggest botch in postal history.

It’s pretty much the same for coins. The rarer they are, or the more interesting their story, is what makes them valuable.

The first dollar coin ever issued by the US government was in 1794. It became known as the Flowing Hair dollar because it had an image of a woman’s head with flowing hair, symbolizing liberty. In 2013, a coin from the original 1794 batch sold for $10,016,875, the highest price ever paid for a coin.

Not all Lincoln pennies were created equal. In 1909, to honor Abraham Lincoln’s 100th birthday, half a million special Lincoln pennies were designed by someone named Victor David Brenner — who was so proud of his work, he added his initials on the back. But he didn’t have permission to do that, and the government ordered the initials left off on future pennies. If you ever spot a penny with VDB on it, grab it — it’s a collector’s item! (Originally featured in Mishpacha Jr., Issue 664)

Related Stories

The Fun and Fad of Fidget Spinners

Rochel Burstyn

Kids and adults around the world are enchanted by fidget spinners. Where do they come from? And how ...

Victory Lap

Rachel Stein

INTRO This year I need to do something to take myself out of the shadows. I want to be someone, to d...

A Wasted Opportunity

Malky Cope

Sisters, friends, cousins, and aunts… everyone was asked for their advice, which they were only too ...

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.
CAPTCHA
Message


MM217
 
Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without