Tuesday, May 10, 2016

How to Preserve Your Collectibles

If you collect coins, stamps, sports cards, or any other type of memorabilia, then you know that storing it and displaying it is a big part of the hobby. Preserving your collectibles will help them to retain their value, stay in mint condition, and showing it off to all of your family and friends! Conserving your collectibles does not have to be complicated or even expensive. The following tips will help you preserve whatever collectibles you have.

The most important part of storing collectibles is making sure they stay out of light, as it can damage and harm all sorts of collectibles, especially if they are made of wood, paper, or textiles. The colors in fabrics, such as shirts, can fade, and materials can be dried out. Old film, for example, degrades over time, and if exposed to light, the chemical reaction is sped up and can damage it sooner than expected.

Humidity is another factor that can affect your collectibles. Antique acoustic guitars, for example, should be kept in particular temperatures, and the dryness of the air can play a factor in storage. For most things, however, it is important to keep a good balance. Room temperature is always a good as most things will be preserved in a moderate climate. Paintings, for example, can become brittle and destroyed if you leave it in an area that is too dry, but if it is too humid, then metals and other objects can spawn rust and mold.

Cleaning your collectibles can be a hassle and potentially damaging if you do not know what you are doing. A reputable collectibles dealer, such as the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay, can give you expert advice and equipment on cleaning your valuable collectibles so they will be worth something for years to come!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Collector trends, whats popular now

Although trends in collecting come and go, the same staples remain. Trading cards, stamps, and coins remain most popular things to collect, with more niche markets such as sports memorabilia, comics, and video games gaining more and more popularity.

Coins have been collected since the dawn of civilization, and have been continuously collected throughout history for as long as they have been minted. Collecting error coins is one of the most popular categories of coin collecting, and they will always retain their value and worth. Collecting coins from other countries or time periods also remains popular, and hobbyists are able to amass a large collection this way.

Stamp collecting is another popular trend at the moment, and will most likely continue due to limited editions being printed on a yearly basis and keeping collectors in tune. People collect stamps for a multitude of reasons, and as with any type of collection, interest and the laws of supply and demand will keep your collection retain value.

Sports memorabilia is a booming business, and along with trading cards, has a large following and can have a wide range of collectors. Baseball cards have been popular with kids since the nineteenth century, and ripping open a pack of cards either as a casual hobbyist or high-stakes roller will always provide a great thrill.

Comic books are certainly a more niche market, along with video games, but with iconic superheroes and gaming characters becoming more accepted in the mainstream, the cult status is disappearing. A 1938 Superman #1 comic sold for 3.2 million dollars, and prices in both markets for retro and original editions have skyrocketed. You never know what is laying around in your grandma’s attic!

Come down to the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay to find your niche! We see all sorts of treasures every day, and can give you a great, competitive price for whatever you have found. From coins, to sports memorabilia, we have everything you need to get on what's popular in collecting today!

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Is it real or fake?

We have all seen fake gold and diamond rings in those $0.25 toy vending machines outside of the supermarket, but how can you know if the ring you just purchased for your boyfriend or girlfriend is made with the same materials? A reputable dealer, such as the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay, employ professional gemologists who can tell the difference between real gold and diamonds or a fake imitator, such as pyrite (fool’s gold) or cubic zirconia, which is worth far less. For the laymen out there, however, there are a few ways t tell if the gold or diamond you possess is the real thing or just a cheap imitator.

If you have a piece of jewelry you think is fake, it is best to take it to a reputable dealer or gemologist as they have the equipment and expertise to verify if the stone is real, but you can also perform a few tests at home to find out for yourself. The fog test is the most common and easiest way to validate your gemstone without professional equipment. Breathe hot air on the diamond as you would if you were fogging up a bathroom mirror. A real diamond will not fog up as the element does not retain heat, while a fake diamond will fog up for a short period of time.
The second easiest test to tell if a diamond is real is through checking it’s refractivity. Take a newspaper or any other piece of paper with writing on it, flip the diamond upside down, and look at the writing through the stone. If you cannot read the text, then you have a real diamond. A fake diamond will let the black shine through, and you may even be able to read what is written depending on the size of the stone.

Gold can be a little trickier to tell as not all home tests are effective, but you can get a general idea before bringing it to a reputable dealer such as the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay. Check the actual piece for an official stamp or any discoloration as fake gold may rub off and expose a  completely different metal underneath it. The bite test, although not recommended, will leave indentations on real gold as the metal is very soft. A fake piece of gold will show no bite marks as most imitation metals are harder than real gold. Gold is not a magnetic metal, and if it is attracted to a magnet, the gold is fake.

Nobody wants fool’s gold or cubic zirconia, so if you believe you may have a fake piece of jewelry or gold, use the above tests or come down to the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay to have a professional gemologist verify the value of your piece.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What You Need to Know to Start a Coin Collection

Coin collecting is one of the oldest hobbies, and was even called “the hobby of kings” throughout history as it was a favorite of royalty and aristocrats alike. The hobby fully exploded in the early to mid 1900’s in the United States when the U.S. Mint began issuing commemorative coins and still continues to this day.

If you have old coins laying around your house worth value, or have interest in starting a coin collection, it is best to know what other collectors target so you can set your sights on what interests you the most. Collectors and hobbyists alike are interested in low-number or rare coins, such as older currency (e.g: Confederate currency) or a limited edition coin only released during a certain time period (e.g.: the United States bicentennial coin). Collectors also look for what are known as error coins, which happen when the mint makes a mistake, such as mechanical doubling, die casting, or is off-center or a broad stroke coin.

Type collectors find a geographical region or time period to their liking (e.g.: the American Revolution) and seek out all coinage or paper money from this particular era, while novelty collectors seek out coins honoring a particular person or event, such as the yearly state quarters released from 1999-2008. Error coins and limited edition coins usually seek yield the money, but for those looking to for fun and not investment, type and novelty coin collecting can be very rewarding.

Starting a coin collections depends on what type of coins you would like to collect and how much you are willing to spend on the hobby.  An investment-minded collector will find better luck with bullion coins or error coins as they tend to be worth more in monetary value. The Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay is your one-stop shop to get started on your coin collection, whether you are in it for the fun or in it as an investment.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Most Expensive Sports Memorabilia

Collecting sports memorabilia is a tangible way to enjoy your passion for sports and to immortalize your favorite game or athlete. Sports enthusiasts know the excitement and personal value of owning sports memorabilia signed by a legendary athlete whom they idolize. Sports enthusiasts, who are also investors, know that the hobby of sports collecting can be profitable, especially for vintage and rare collectible items. The following lists some amazing sports relics that earned their collectors over a million dollars.

5.  The Sheffield F.C Rulebook - Sold for: $1,400,000

Soccer is, without a doubt, the most popular sport in the world, and it is no surprise that the handwritten rulebook belonging to the first ever professional team would bring in a major reward. The Sheffield F.C Rulebook was written in 1857 and is believed to be the oldest rulebook in history as many of the rules still being used today.

4. Honus Wagner Baseball Card - Sold for: $2,800,000

Surprise! The most expensive baseball card of all time is not a Babe Ruth card! The Honus Wagner card got its value due to the it’s pristine condition and the limited number printed, making it super rare and among the most coveted sports card in history.

3. Mark McGwire's 70th Home Run Ball - Sold for: $3,000,000

Mark McGwire hit 70 home runs in 1998, and his last one made sports aficionado Todd McFarlane happy to shell out major cash for the historical ball.

2. James Naismith’s Founding Rules of Basketball - Sold for: $4,338,500

Basketball stars are some of the most recognized athletes in the world. James Naismith, known as “the father of basketball”, wrote down the rules of the game in 1891. There would be no basketball without these documents, and thus makes them one of the world’s most important pieces of sports history.

1. Babe Ruth Jersey - Sold for: $4,415,658

It should not come as a surprise that one of the most expensive pieces of sports memorabilia once belonged to Babe Ruth, highly regarded as the greatest baseball player of all-time. Yankee fan or not, Babe Ruth is baseball’s most legendary player, and his most expensive jersey, from 1920, is the oldest Babe Ruth jersey in existence.

The Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay is proud have a part in your collection, whether you collect for fun or are looking to make some money. We buy all types of sports memorabilia, including autographed cards, jerseys, balls, as well as vintage cards, magazines and programs, and sell a wide variety of sports collectibles, most of which are autographed with a certificate of authenticity. If you are just getting started, or and avid collector, be sure to check out the Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay for all your sports collecting needs!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Buying and Selling Hollywood Memorabilia

If you love movies than you may be interested in buying some movie memorabilia as it is an investment that could turn into profit down the road. There are all sorts of Hollywood memorabilia out there, and if you happen to have something valuable or of limited edition in your possession, you could sell it and make a profit. If you are going to buy or sell some form of memorabilia, it is best to know what to sell or look for in a item, how to sell it, and how to prove it’s a legitimate piece of memorabilia.

Items that would could be considered of value as Hollywood memorabilia would be autographs from celebrities, screen used props and costumes, musical instruments used in concerts or films, and limited edition goods. Limited edition items include hats, shirts, or jackets commemorating the film for release or for an anniversary edition. There are also press and marketing materials that are valuable, such as lobby cards, standees, or posters.

Ads will need to be put up in the paper or online on sites such as eBay or Craigslist or you could even find a memorabilia dealer if one is in your area if you plan on making money and selling your merchandise. When posting an ad, use keywords that will jump out at people and make them interested in what you have to sell. State the name and the condition of the item clearly and give a detailed description with basic information as well as any details you can give on the item, such as the dimensions and weight, if it was part of a limited run, and if so, how many were released.

The condition of the item is very important as buyers look at that when searching for a piece of memorabilia they really want. The condition listings include mint in the box (MIB), where the item was previously opened but not damaged and in new condition, or new in box (NIB), in which the item is brand new and never removed from the package. A certificate of authenticity can also be procured for your product, which lists if the item was in limited quantity, autographed and when it was made. A certificate of authenticity will ensure you receive top dollar for an item in stellar condition and you may want to take the item to get appraised if you don't have one already and plan on selling it eventually. The appraisal or certificate of authenticity will give you a better figure of how much the item is worth and it also builds confidence in prospective buyers who will be able to see exactly what they are looking at.

If selling online, you will need to take pictures to show people your memorabilia, be it a poster, sword, or a mask. You should cover all angles of the item so people can see clearly and tell if there are any blemishes in the packaging or item itself. Be sure to make a background out of paper or poster board and have proper lighting when snapping pictures. Once you are ready to post, start at a low price to get people in and invested to try bidding or making an offer, and don't list a reserve price as it will discourage people from attempting to inquire. PayPal is the universally accepted payment method as it helps the buyer trust the seller, and vice versa. When shipping your item, make sure it is properly wrapped individually, and pack it firmly and securely in a box and seal it with shipping tape as it is much stronger than masking tape.

Buying memorabilia can be a fun experience and selling can also be rewarding and fun in itself. Good communication between buyer and seller is a must, and giving each other feedback could help you sell or buy something in the future. Be friendly, approachable, and available to answer questions about your item. If you do your homework on what you are looking to sell or buy, it will be smooth sailing for you.

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Early United States Currency

Have you ever wondered what it was like to buy and sell things during the early times of our country? The United States dollar has been around since the Continental Congress of the United States authorized the use of it on September 8, 1786. Early currency went through a couple of different stages in the colonial and post-Revolutionary period of history. However, since the United States was originally only thirteen colonies, there were not a lot of coins being minted, causing foreign coins such as the Spanish dollar to be widely circulated throughout the colonies instead. Paper money was sometimes issued by colonial governments in order to ease the continuation of economic activity.

The Continental Congress issued paper money, known as Continental currency, during the Revolution in order to fund the war, but by the end of the war, it became practically worthless due to the government over-printing paper money in order to sustain the demands of the war.  The three types of money that were in the colonies of British America were commodity money, specie, and paper money. Commodity money was to be used when cash was low and things such as tobacco, beaver skins, and wampum were used as money at different times and places.  Even though each colony had its own value of money, they were all denominated in pounds, shillings, and pence, such as in Great Britain. The colonies began to issue their own paper money to act as an easier way to exchange goods and services.

Robert Morris was appointed to be the Superintendent of Finance of the United States following the collapse of Continental currency, and in 1782, he urged the creation of the Bank of North America, known as the first financial institution of the United States.

Visit us at Coin Galleries of Oyster Bay to shop or sell new and old coins!