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Is Ayn Rand memorabilia a good investment?

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I wrote a paper about holy relics in the middle ages.

I have to tell you that people buying personal Ayn Rand memorabilia freak me out. The only thing I would be happy to get my hands on are pages from her manuscript, or a signed copy of one of her novels.

And that's not really PERSONAL memorabilia, it's more like PROFESSIONAL memorabilia. :)

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Over the years various items of Ayn Rand memorabilia have been auctioned to raise money for ARI. Sometimes these items show up again, some years later -- on eBay. In general, have they been good investments? Does anyone know the past record?

I once received this advice from a coin dealer: Don't invest in any collectibles unless you love the things you are collecting. They should be valuable to you because of some personal meaning, even if they flop as an investment.

That is the approach Ayn Rand took to stamp collecting, as explained by Mary Ann and Charles Sures, in "Stamp Collecting," Facets of Ayn Rand, pp. 55-62.

Edited by BurgessLau

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I once received this advice from a coin dealer: Don't invest in any collectibles unless you love the things you are collecting. They should be valuable to you because of some personal meaning, even if they flop as an investment.

That's very good advice. I used to manage an antiquarian bookstore and the only people who really made money in collecting books were the dealers. The same bears out in the coin and stamp market. No really good financial advisor ever recomends investing in "stuff". Sure, there is some money to be made in the collectible space but it's pretty rare. It is pretty akin to the penny stock market.

Mind you, I have a collection of Rand and other first editions that was a very good investment but that is the rare instance that I was exposed to countless books. I love books and pocket watches. I know that the majority of items I buy aren't going to pay off in any sense of the word other than the valuable pleasure I derive from looking at them.

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In 1999, the post office issued a 33 cent Ayn Rand stamp. Not quite the same as owning an original hand-written manuscript, but at least there's a public market for them. On Ebay, a sheet of 20 which was originally $6.60 (face value) now sells for about $11 (including shipping). That's about a 3% annual appreciation. 

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