Yesterday we talked about how to make money with broken items and today our subject is things that come in sets. For you that have read my book “31 Steps to Your Million in Antiques and Collectibles”, you will remember where I talk about the person that is a completist. This is a person that has to obtain everything within his collectible area. Here is where you can take advantage of this collector by knowing the key pieces in each set of item and providing it to complete a collection for that individual.
Within any set of collectibles there is what is known as the key. For example in Royal Doulton there is a series called the K series, that is miniature animals dogs, ducks, pigs and birds that measure two inches or less. The key piece in this series is the Bull Terrier lying down K-14. You may be able to sell the more common pieces in this set for $75 but I have sold the Bull Terrier several times for $500. This same rule applies to coins and you will hear people talking about a key coin in a set and it is usually the most rare of the set with the fewest minted. If you have a common Lincoln cent it may bring you a few cents more than its face value but may fate smile on you and there in that group of pennies on the table is a mint 1909 S – VDB penny. Need I say more. You have just found a treasure. I did my research just a minute ago and found where it could bring you up to $7000. I paid my way through college by selling my coin collection but that is a story for another time.
Several companies make annual pieces like Lalique, Royal Copenhagen, Hummels [Goebels] and then you also have the annual calendar plates. I personally have purchased a Lalique annual plate for $50 and sold it the same day for $500 and likewise with the 1971 Hummel plate that once sold for over $2000. I have purchased several of these and turned them rather quickly. I never sold one that high but I did get $1000 for one once. Often the key piece in a series is the first year that it was made like the 1971 Hummel plate.
Calendar plates from the early 1900's or late 1800's can bring you $5000 or more if they are the right ones. For instance the 1907 Bristol Steel fishing rods and outdoor scene is listed for $5000. I believe you have the picture now but unless you study and know what the key pieces are, they will look just like all the rest of the pieces made by any other company.
I have heard it stated another way by the educated people in this industry. They call the pieces that are highly sought after the "Holy Grail".
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