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Where Are Prices Going?


Pretty much everyone agrees, most Antiques and Collectibles aren’t worth the value they held just a few years ago. Some dealers and auctioneers think that many items are down 40-60% from 5-10 years ago. Inversely, the coin and metal collectors have enjoyed a huge upswing in recent years. 5 years ago, Gold was selling for about $550 per troy ounce. Today it is over $1400 per ounce! A little over two years ago, Silver was priced under $10 per ounce. It topped $30 at the first of 2010. Who knew we’d be seeing these values just a couple of years ago?

Many people, in discussing their collection remark, “I’m not going to sell until the market comes back. I’d rather keep my __________ rather that just give it away.” Most of us have felt that way at one time or another, whether we are talking about Depression Glass, Oak Sideboards or even Real Estate.

One of our customers recently remarked, “How do we know that we aren’t just half way down the hill of values today, instead of just bouncing along the bottom? What if Antique (fill in the blank) _________ never come back? “

Early in the housing bubble bust, I heard people say, “If I sell now I’m going to lose most of my equity. I’m waiting!” Little did they know that a 10% drop would soon become, in some areas of the country, a 50% drop and that it might be 10-20 years (if in our life time) before prices even approach peak values again.

I don’t know where prices and values are going, but I do try to be realistic about many of things I collect. These items have brought me pleasure in acquiring them, researching and enjoying their unique qualities. When the time comes to sell or trade, if the value is less than I acquired them for, I try to think of that loss as my cost of ownership. If I enjoyed it for 5 years, then in reality my cost of ownership was minimal. My car out in the driveway isn’t worth what I paid for it 5 years ago, yet I’m OK with that. Now if I had only bought some Gold and Silver back then!

Hope to see you soon!
Terry Mangum – Professional Auctioneer

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