The Top 10 Most Valuable US Stamps

There are a number of reasons why a stamp might achieve notoriety and an eye-watering price tag that reflects a serious collectors desire to add this rarity to their collection.

Stamps have proved to be a reasonable alternative investment when you look at some of the returns achieved over a period of time and if have the opportunity and the cash to acquire any of these top ten, you will probably be a very satisfied philatelist.

curtiss-jenny-uninverted-stamp#10 – Inverted Jenny

Maybe a slim chance of acquiring this rare and valuable stamp. There were only 100 issued and one of them is on display at the Smithsonian National Postal Museum.

With a face value of 24 cents and some as 2 dollars, these stamps are famous because the biplane featured in the picture was printed upside down by mistake. Each one is estimated to be worth at least $100,000.

However, since only one pane of all Inverted Jennies has ever been discovered, the design has subsequently become a highly valued prize for philatelists, bringing the price up to $200,000.

Furthermore, In October 2014, the plate block of four Inverted Jenny stamps sold for $2.97 million at a New York action to the U.S. collector Bill Gross. This set a new record for the highest price ever offered for any American stamp item of any period. This is almost three times the price paid for the same block in 1989 that was auctioned for $1.1 million.

#9 – Abraham Lincoln Stamp 1867

The 1867 Abraham Lincoln stamp features an extremely rare “Z” grill that has distinctive horizontal ridges rather than vertical ones that were a standard feature in other grill types.

In light of the extreme rarity aspect of this stamp and its significance during the Civil War period, it is valued to be worth in the region of $200,000.

#8 – 1c Benjamin Franklin Stamp

The stamp was issued in 1867 and is also a rarity due its unusual and rare “Z” grill with horizontal ridges, just like the Abraham Lincoln stamp.

There are only two known examples of this U.S stamp in existence and are each worth close to $1 million.

#7 – The Declaration of Independence Stamp 1869

There a number of reasons why this stamp is sought after by collectors.

The first is that the artwork is exquisite for a stamp and the other reason this one is highly-prized is that the 24 cent stamp uses a “G” grill and comes with a basic gum, split grill or double grill. If you have an unused sample with an inverted center, it is estimated to have a value in the region of $275,000.

#6 – Shield, Eagle and Flags Stamp 1869

This stamp was part of a collection of ten stamps that had a face value of between one and ninety cents.

The series of stamps was the first to make us of bicolor printing and was often criticized for the confusing arrangement of colors and the fact that it made the stamps appear to be poorly designed.

As you might expect, its value derives not from the fact that it was the first stamp to be printed using a new technique but because some of the stamps became inverted during the printing process. If you can find an unused sample that has inverted flags it would be worth about $200,000 and a used one will still fetch about $65,000.

#5 – George Washington Stamp 1867

Not surprisingly, the first president of the United States was extensively featured in a number of stamps.

The one that is of interest is the three cent B grill stamp in rose printing. There is nothing technically wrong with the stamp to add to its value, it is just a sought after stamp and although 1,000 were printed, only four are known to be in existence and they are worth about $165,000 each.

#4 – Benjamin Franklin Stamp 1908

Another rare stamp featuring Benjamin Franklin is the 1908 one cent stamp.

This stamp is widely known by philatelists as the Washington-Franklin issue and part of the attraction to collectors is the fact that only a portion of the U.S Postal Service watermark appeared on the stamp and each stamp was different with the watermark appearing in a backwards, sideways or topside position.

An unused pair of 1908 Benjamin Franklin stamps is estimated to have a current value of $100,000.

#3 – Landing of Columbus Stamp 1869

This stamp was a copy of the famous painting by John Vanderlyn and a feature of the stamp was an unusual double-printed vignette, with normal and inverted printing applied.

Costing just fifteen cents when it was released, an inverted sample of this stamp can be expected to fetch at least $275,000 if it went to auction.

#2 – Benjamin Franklin 1851

Another Benjamin Franklin stamp makes it into the top ten, this one being credited as one of the oldest stamps in existence.

The plates for these stamps were set by hand and stamps often required further cutting to adjust their position. This had the effect of producing a range of stamps with their own slight variations on the original design.

Only two mint samples and no more than 100 used Benjamin Franklin stamps from this collection are known to be in existence. If you can find a first-day cover example, you can expect it to fetch upwards of $120,000.

#1 – Hawaiian Missionaries Stamp 1851

This the name given to the stamps that were produced in 1851 because they were regularly used by American missionaries on the island to write letters to people across the way in the United States.

The very first stamps were poor quality and crudely printed when they were first produced and therefore very few have survived the passage of time. Only about sixteen copies in total are known to be in existence and an unused two cent missionary has a value estimated to be in the region of $750,000 or more.

Even a used version is worth in the region of $225,000, so this stamp is the most highly-prized of all the valuable US stamps.

Top 10 Rare Chinese Stamps

Investing in stamps is referred to as Philatelic investing. It quite simply means building a collection of rare and valuable stamps. Over time, this collection often increases in value, due to the rarity and demand for certain stamps. Philatelic investing hit a high point during the 1970s when stamp collections were speculated highly. They since suffered a fall in value, but they are climbing high again. Expert stamp collectors stand to make millions from just a small collection. In fact, the world’s most expensive stamp was recently sold at auction for $20 million. That particular stamp was Britain’s 1c Magenta.

However, it does require an expert eye and lots of investigation. It’s often considered very difficult for beginners to get started, due to the depth of knowledge necessary.

Having said that, everyone has to start somewhere, and there’s no reason you can’t learn the history. In this post, we’re going to start with the beautiful and mysterious country of China. In the world of philatelic investing, China boasts some of the planet’s most valuable and rare stamps. The country has come through decades of political instability, war, and cultural change. That has caused faltering and varying stamp production. The number of discontinued and recalled stamps are comparably high. As a result, rare stamps from China have become highly sought after.

So, let’s take a trip through some of the most beautiful, rare, and wonderful stamps in China. Some are valued for their special edition, limited release. Others became valuable after a mistake. Each has its unique colourful history, and we’ll explore each in detail.

  1. The Whole Country Is Red

This particular stamp launched in 1968, at the heart of China’s Great Cultural Revolution. It represents Mao’s enormous political revolution that imposed China’s commitment to Communism. The stamp strengthened that notion by declaring the phrase: ‘the whole country is red’. It featured an army of smiling Chinese citizens holding Mao’s ‘Little Red Book’, a symbol of communism. There’s an outline of China, coloured in red too. However, here’s why it’s so valuable. The small island of Taiwan, to the right, was left in white.

It was a design mistake, so devastating that the designer feared he would lose his life! Once the mistake was realised, the stamp was quickly withdrawn from the market. That error has made the original incredibly rare. No-one is quite sure how many exist. However, these stamps have fetched upwards of $1 million at Chinese auction.

  1. Military Post Blue

These blue military stamps were once standard issue for Chinese army personnel. However, the government soon realised that these stamps were drawing too much attention. It was becoming easy to recognise a piece of army mail that could have confidential information inside. Like the stamp above, they were immediately recalled, so that confidential info could be hidden. All the remaining stockpiles were destroyed. It’s estimated that only 15 or 20 still exist in the country though there could well be more. The most expensive was sold at auction for $428,000 recently. The stamp itself features the logo of the People’s Liberation Army.

  1. Red Revenue Stamp

This stamp is often considered the rarest in China. There are only 32 in existence, which is more than the current Military Post stamp. However, there could be a hundred more military post stamps hidden in attics across China. With the Red Revenue stamps, there are very certainly only 32 left. That’s because only 32 were ever made. It was first printed under the Qing dynasty when it switched China’s currency to dollars. A stamp was made to commemorate it, with a dollar imprint. Unfortunately, the dollar was printed too small and was subsequently replaced with a larger version. The smaller version is now highly coveted, fetching up to $900,000 at auction.

  1. Marine customs large dragon stamp

The large dragon was perhaps China’s first ever stamp. It was introduced when China’s modern mail service started in 1878. Letters were previously used in the army, but it was the first time it was delivered to the general public. The service launched three new stamps, collectively called the ‘large dragons’. Different coloured dragons represented different values, including 1, 3, and 5. The reason they are so valued by stamp collectors is that they were the first commercial stamps available.

  1. Marine customs post small dragon stamp

Ten years after the introduction of the large dragon stamps, the post service issued new versions. They were slightly smaller, representing various lower values. Colours were extended to include red, blue, green, and purple. However, they did retain the iconic dragon logo right at the heart. Since they followed the large dragon stamps, collectors nicknamed them the ‘small dragon’ collection. These stamps are relatively affordable, (by stamp collector standards!) but they are a vital part of any collection.

  1. Long Life stamps

Long life stamps are loved for their tiny detail and classic Chinese artwork. They date back to 1894 when they were released to celebrate the 60th birthday of Empress Dowager Cixi. For this reason, collectors also call them the ‘Dowager’ issue. They were published in an issue of 9, each with a different value, and watermark. The artwork consisted of classic Chinese designs. They include a dragon, carp, peony flower, peach, boat, and evergreen. Another version also contains the Chinese symbol for ‘longevity’. Hence the nickname ‘long life stamps’.

  1. Coiling Dragon stamps

The Coiling Dragon stamp was another to emerge from the Qing dynasty. They were the first to feature the phrase ‘Imperial Chinese Post’ which soon became standard. As every stamp collector will tell you, the first of any trend is always the most valuable. Coiling Dragon stamps aren’t the rarest in China, as they quickly became commonplace. But, finding one now is rather difficult. They have an iconic design, with three different variations. The lowest value features a dragon, the middle value features a carp, and the highest, a wild goose.

  1. 80 red monkey stamp

This peculiar stamp marks a big change in design for Chinese stamps. It features a strong red background, with a colourful picture of a surprised-looking monkey! It was introduced to celebrate the year of the monkey in 1980. It became the most popular stamp in China, and remains relatively easy to get hold of today. However, it’s unique design makes it a must-have for any philatelist.

  1. Temple of Heaven stamp

The end of the Qing dynasty was marked by the Temple of Heaven stamp. It was issued in 1909 to celebrate the reign of Xuan Tong. As we’ve seen throughout this post, the Qing dynasty produced a variety of coveted stamps. The final stamp is therefore highly sought after by collectors. The stamp itself features a beautiful Buddhist temple, with various colours to denote the value.

  1. Cai Lun stamp

Cai Lun was the inventor who created paper during the Han dynasty. He is a much-loved character in Chinese history, and was enshrined on a stamp issued in 1962. Unfortunately, another design disaster ended in an enormous recall. The year of Cai Lun’s birth is unknown, but the designer printed a date regardless. When stamp collectors quickly pointed out the error, the postal service recalled them immediately. Of course, smart collectors kept them for themselves! Some 2,000 stamps stayed in the hands of collectors, making them a somewhat valuable prize.

Perhaps you’ve got one of these rare and valuable stamps in your collection. Or perhaps they’re in the attic, hidden away! As you can see from these expensive examples, stamp collecting isn’t such a dull hobby after all.

How to Invest in Tequila

If there is one type of liquor out there that everyone loves to mythologize, it is tequila. It may produce some magical nights with the added capability of producing some capital gains. Tequila is a unique brand of spirits as its importance is closely tied to its geographical prominence similar to wine. This means it is extremely important as to where the liquor was produced due to certain climate conditions and ingredients.

When investing in certain aspects of tequila, it is best to know just what you may be getting into. This includes knowing what process the tequila went through whilst it was being created, which has a lot to do with the quality of the tequila and thereafter the price as well. There are multiple classes of tequila sold in the market, some will be worthless as an investment and others highly coveted. There are also multiple ways of investing in tequila, through the companies themselves and even by investing in the farms and plants used in creating tequila.

Merits of Quality Tequila

When starting a new investment, it is always best to familiarize yourself with the major details surrounding the business or sector you are investing in, investing in liquor and specifically tequila, is no different. The first step in investing in tequila is being able to understand the difference between what can truly be considered tequila and what cannot be.

All tequilas come down to being mezcals, that is both tequila and mezcal are derived from the class of plants called agaves.  But here is the important distinction to be made for would be tequila investors to not miss out on. True tequila is only distilled from the blue agave plant that is native to only certain places in Mexico. Certain regions in Mexico have the correct altitude and soil makeup in order to provide the necessary qualities in creating tequila. These areas include Nayarit, Michoacan, Tamaulipas, Guanajauto, and Jalisco. The reason to remember these names is because the majority of any quality investment worthy tequila will hail from one of these five regions of Mexico.

Now that it has been established that tequila needs to hail from these regions and be produced from the blue agave, there are other aspects to take into consideration. There are many different classes of tequila sold out in the retail market that just don’t cut it in terms of long term worth. Low grade and inexpensive brands that cite blue agave on their labels are misnomers unless they specifically state the phrase “100 percent blue agave,” only the purest tequila is made with one hundred percent blue agave. In order for the tequila to be labeled as “made with blue agave” it needs a minimum of 51 percent. The rest of the ingredients can then be a mix of different agaves, corn sweeteners and different flavorings.

Different Tequila Distinction:

  1. Gold Tequila, also considered “mixtos” are not made purely of 100 percent blue agave. These types of tequila are not aged before being bottled.
  1. Silver tequila is a clear type of tequila that is one hundred percent made out of blue agave. It also goes without aging, but some creators will let the silver tequila sit in the casks for a couple weeks.
  2. Reposado tequila is let aged for a couple months to a year in wooden barrels. By sitting in wooden barrels the flavor of the tequila takes on notes of wood flavor. Different types of wood produce different flavors, some of these include white oak and other varieties of oak.
  1.  Añejo tequila is the vintage type of tequila and one of the tequilas that is going to fetch a higher investment price. It has a much deeper and more complex taste as it is usually aged for three years. A recent development in tequila distillation has been extra añejo, this has a minimum of three years for maturation. As many know the older it is, there are greater profits and investments in return.

Alternative Investment Strategy

It is easy to invest in the market and follow trends in the tequila market, and that is something that should be done. But there are also other ways of direct investment into tequila markets. Some of these include investing in the blue agave itself. The plant is a slow growing specimen that usually takes eight to twelve years before it matures. Investing directly into the growing and procurement of blue agave is a smart investment because of the growing demand for tequila, as increased tequila demand has and will result in a shortage for blue agave that is ready to be harvested.

Between now in 2016 and through the next two years, the price for blue agave is expected to almost double during that time period. The reason for this shortage is because smaller farms at the time can’t compete with the larger ones supplying tequila makers with blue agave, especially the ones without their own agave plantations.

For those investors looking to capitalize on this high risk scenario, they’d be taking a risky investment by looking into pouring some money into smaller sized distilleries and blue agave producers.  As the agave shortage continues this could be a promising investment for those distilleries that stay afloat. A good way to directly invest in something like this would be through a group investment of some sort through either peer to peer lending or crowd funding. This helps reduce the inherent risk and cost to the individual investor.

There are companies out there like Mexico Business to Business that works on connecting investors to different tequila companies, distilleries, and farms. Aside from the actual production of the tequila, there is other avenues this company puts forward like investing in tequila bars and tours in the tequila producing areas of Mexico.

Unique Expensive Tequilas

There’s a great selection online of expensive bottles and different rare types of brands. Here is a look at some of the most expensive collectable tequila bottles. They fetch these sorts of prices for their prestigious qualities in production and jewel laden artisan crafted bottles.

  • A high end Tequila, but entry level to the world of expensive tequilas is the Gran Patrón Platinum. The starting price for this bottle of tequila goes for $250. It is known for its citrus like flavor due to the volcanic ash that inhabits the high altitude hills it was grown in. This is a great bottle to buy and hold onto as it can fetch some higher prices in the future.
  • Another top of the line tequila from a well known retail brand is Don Julio Real. This is another favorite amongst amateur and professional tequila investors and drinkers. It has a high end bottle and is produced in Guadalajara. One of the only ways of purchasing this bottle is through buying it where it is grown and bottled. Making this a highly sought out after drink that could be resold for much more of its original $350 value in other places around the world.
  • Now comes the heavy hitter in the realm of tequila that is bound to make some investors quite thirsty. The Clase Azul Extra Anejo is an extra aged tequila done so in sherry oak barrels. There are only 100 of these bottles created and manufactured yearly. The design of the bottle is done so with silver and platinum and a bit of 24-karat gold. The price tag for one of these rare bottles comes out to $1,700.
  • The most expensive bottle of tequila starts at $225,000, way outpacing any of its other competitors. The name of the tequila is the Ultra-Premium Ley .925 Pasion Azteca. The bottle is a hand crafted bottle that was created from platinum and white gold. Another one of these bottles goes for $1.5 million encrusted with diamonds on the bottle. Examples like these just go to show that the world of liquor investing, and for that matter the bottles that hold them can be a lucrative affair.

Celebrity Investment & Endorsement

There is a reason that there are a lot of celebrities getting involved with the tequila industry. Some of these people include Sean Combs, Carlos Santana and a slew of other public figures. The reason being is that the high end market for tequila is a growing industry. Between 2009 and 2015 sales for tequila in the United States increased at a compound rate of nearly 5.5 percent a year. What helped increase this was the new line of tequilas being produced by many different celebrities. This was due to there being premium growth sales. This type of increased growth is making big named investors get interested in a market that is considered an alternative type of investment, which gives some added validity and stability for alternative investors now. For investors looking to put some money into stocks here, there are a few good options.

Investment Opportunity

Diageo is a company that is trading on the New York Stock exchange and produces the largest amounts of spirits in the world. It was some time ago that the company acquired complete control of Don Julio, arguably one of the most noteworthy and best tequila investments.  Sean Combs also brokered a deal with the company for the production of another luxury tequila brand called DeLeon. This is definitely a company to look into. The past five years has seen Diageo’s earnings per share increase by some 17 percent.

Another older company based in America is the Brown-Forman Corporation, created back in 1870. It has just begun acquiring and picking up new tequila brands, as it currently holds four.  It’s earnings per share growth was 23.5 percent in the past five years.

The reason for these massive and consistent gains is because the luxury tequila market is a fast growing industry that is not letting up anytime soon. So no matter what way you go about investing in it, there’s the possibility for large gains.

The 10 Most Precious US Coins of All Times

There are two distinct types of coin investment. Those that are worth equivalent to the precious metal they are made from and there are plenty of gold and silver coins in circulation.

Then there are the collectable coins which have a rarity value and are sought-after by those of us who are not only interested in the history behind each coin and its rarity value. If you asked the majority of coin collectors what their ultimate prize coin would be, many of them would name the 1804 Silver Dollar.

This coin qualifies as the most precious US coin of all time and if you are fortunate enough to own one of only 19 copies that are known to exist, that one dollar is probably worth an inflation-busting $10 million.

Here is a look at the coins that can be classed as in the top ten of the most precious and sought-after coins you can lay your hands on, if you have the financial resources to do so and can find a seller willing to part with it.

1804-Class-III-Silver-Dollar_Obv1804 Silver Dollar

The star of the show and probably the most prized collectible coin anywhere, is the 1804 Silver Dollar Draped Bust.

If you find a specimen that is in good condition it could worth anything up to $10 million, but as only 19 copies are known to exist, the chances of coming across this very rare coin are very slim indeed.

There are numerous envious numismatists who admire its rarity, beauty and design features but know that they will never be able to add this coin to their collection.

doubleeagle1933 Double Eagle

Although the Double Eagle is usurped in value by the 1804 Silver Dollar, many collectors consider this coin to be the most fascinating and famous coin around.

It is a fascinating story that has resulted in this becoming one the rarest coins in the world. A healthy 445,500 specimens of the Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle were minted back in 1933 but none of them were ever officially circulated and they were all subsequently melted down, with apparently just two of the coins spared.

It later turned out that about 20 of the coins were stolen before they were sent for melting, but the Secret Service tracked 19 of the coins down. What is now known is that one of the coins is owned by a private collector who paid $7.9 million for it back in 2002 and ten other copies of the coin are safely stored away in Fort Knox.

1692182_orig1913 Liberty Nickel

Third place in the list goes to the 1913 Liberty Nickel, which has an estimated value of $5.9 million.

The reason why a nickel coin could be so valuable is that the coin is a real rarity, because it was produced without the knowledge of the U.S Mint. There are plenty of theories and stories as to how this bizarre situation came about, but the reason it is worth so much is not just down to the mystery surrounding the coin but also due to the fact that there are only five examples of this coin in existence.

765011804 Eagle Gold – Capped Bust

Acquiring this coin for your collection will set you back in the region of $5.1 million, but again the chances of buying one are very slim indeed.

Less than ten of the coins were ever produced and only four are known to be in existence. As well as the rarity aspect there is also an interesting story behind the coin, as the coin was actually minted in 1834 and intended for diplomatic presentations,some thirty years after the date on the coin.

1854-O_Double_Eagle_r1861 Double Eagle – Coronet Paquet Reverse

The story behind this coin is that the U.S Mint ceased production of the coin at the last minute, due to some design-revisions. A few of the coins had already been minted by the time the instructions to stop came through, meaning that there are only two known to exist, with a value of about $4.5 million each.

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1794 Silver Dollar – Flowing Hair

This coin is an iconic image and you can even buy a book which is dedicated to the story of this particular coin.

There are 125 documented examples of the 1794 Silver Dollar and its rarity combined with the fascination of the history associated with this elusive piece of metal, means that you are likely to have to find about $3.2 million to put one in your collection.

300-h01c_1794_NmlHd_o_Hydra1797 Half Cent – Liberty Cap

Back in 1795, President George Washington took positive action to address the copper shortage being experienced by the country, and he did this by instructing that the weight of certain coins should be reduced.

One of the rare coins that now exist as a result of this policy is the 1797 Half Cent, which fascinates numismatists everywhere and commands a value of about $3 million when one comes up for auction.

1873cc_dime_no_arrows_obv1873 CC Dime – Liberty Seated

If you love tales of the Wild West, this coin will definitely appeal. The 1873 Dime is considered to be the only unique issue produced by the Carson City Mint. It filled its coins using gold that was plundered from nearby mines and the value of one of these remaining examples if estimated to be about $2.7 million.

1855s1855 Three Dollar Gold Piece

There is only one known example of this coin and that changed hands back in 1982 for $687,500. Rumors persist that there is another example of the coin buried somewhere under a San Francisco building, but that is where it is likely to remain if the story is true.

This means that the only confirmed example of an 1855 Three Dollar Gold Piece is now said to be worth in the region of $2.7 million.

59814_Obv1885 “Trade” Silver Dollar

This trade dollar was designed by William Barber and there are only five proofs of this coin for 1885 in existence. The last auction of an authenticated 1885 Silver Dollar Trade coin was back in 2006 and it fetched $3.3 million.

The estimated current value of a genuine version of this coin is around $2.6 million, although a mint condition one would more likely fetch close to $3.5 million.

Investing in coins

Coins as an alternative investment is a growing in popularity but the conundrum is always trying to find the balance between investing and collecting, as the two don’t always meet in the middle.

A lot of investors start of with gold and silver bullion and progress into coins.

Rare coins are a mature and established market and if you are looking at investing in this area, you should be aware that rare coins are mainly defined by the fact that there a fewer coins available than the demand for them and also if they are at least pre 1930’s.

There are three main investment categories –

Rare certified U.S coins and in particular gold coins, are different to bullion. So while a current one-ounce gold American Eagle is not rare by any means, one that was minted back in the 1800’s might be a different story altogether.

Certified ancient coins are the next investment category. This is a growth area in coin collecting and this is mainly due to the fact that the Numismatic Guaranty NGC Grading System has created an opportunity that was not there before.

The other specific category is referred to as key date U.S coins. This is the term used to describe the rarest coins from a known series and this is the area where serious investors tend to be found.

It is always advisable to try and find a knowledgeable numismatist for guidance if you are looking at adding some coins to your alternative investment portfolio.

How to Invest in Scotch Whisky

Wine connoisseurs are already well catered for when it comes to being able to invest in their favorite vintage and there are plenty of us who take our whisky tasting duties just as seriously.

An alternative investment market concentrating on scotch whisky is now starting to mature and if whisky investors can come close to matching the returns that have been achieved on wine investments over the last few decades, then there will be some of us experiencing a warm glow of satisfaction that is not just down to the “wee dram” you are tasting.

Readymade market

A specialist consultancy called Rare Whisky 101 who claim to be the home of rare whisky, have compiled a Rare Whisky Icon 100 Index that has tracked the value of a collection of the most sought-after bottles of single malt scotch whisky since 2008, and that index has demonstrated a steady rise throughout the entire period.

Taking a starting value of 100, the index has risen by 208% in the seven-year period that they have been tracking prices, although you need to be aware that these are estimated values as well as actual auction values and are meant to represent the value of a basket of collectable bottles, although it does give you a representative picture of how scotch whisky is performing as a collectable investment.

The figures do also provide plenty of encouragement that there is a readymade market of whisky enthusiasts who are almost always prepared to pay a fair price to acquire the particular scotch that they are interested in.

On the list of luxury items

Just as fine wines and art are established luxury items that are traded regularly at auction, scotch whisky is definitely emerging as a more than viable candidate for joining the list of sought-after luxury items.

The auction house Bonhams has a head of whisky called Martin Green to provide valuations and oversee sales at their regular auctions and he was recently quoted as saying that “interest in whisky has been growing steadily for many years”.

There has always been a hardcore of whisky enthusiasts and investors who are entranced by the history as well as the taste of scotch and the growth in the number of potential investors has been further fueled by the fact that there are more wealthy investors from the Far East than ever before, who now have the money to match their enthusiasm for the gold in the glass that is whisky.

Getting involved

If you take Bonhams as an example, they now have four dedicated whisky auction dates in their calendar and this has changed from when the bottles used to be combined with wine and other spirits.

Whisky is now considered prominent and important enough as an investment to not share the stage with any other types of liquid-based buying opportunity and the fact that about 90% of the items to be auctioned are successfully sold, confirms the level of interest there is.

There are physical auctions that you can attend to buy some whisky or you could bid at an online auction if you prefer. The fundamental difference between the two is that you might pay up to 25% of the value of the whisky in charges if you buy at a physical auction, whereas it might be as low as 10% at an online auction.

Experts are almost unanimous in stating that the key to buying whisky at an auction and in general, is to try and identify limited edition bottles of whisky that are expected to rise in price once they are sold out.

Investing in whisky is no different to the investment strategy you could apply to other luxury items. Reputation, exclusivity, rarity and scarcity are keywords that you need to keep in mind when considering an investment in something like whisky.

If you find a bottle that ticks all of those boxes, there is a fair chance it seems that the value will rise, although there are certainly no guarantees of that.

Buy into a fund

If you are a novice and unsure which whiskies represent a worthwhile investment, you might want to consider buying into a fund.

There are funds available to invest in such as the Platinum Whisky Investment Fund which is based in Hong Kong and others like it, but you should carry out your own research and be aware that most of these funds are unlikely to be regulated.

Another option to consider is Whisky Invest Direct, which promises to open up the previously inaccessible world of scotch whisky maturation to private investors. They have created in effect a private exchange that allows you to buy quality whiskies produced by the top distillers, and at wholesale prices – typically much less than half the cost of traditional cask ownership. Economies of scale mean your whisky will be stored at exceptionally low cost, in the original distiller’s bonded warehouse. Its safe storage there is evidenced every month by an independent audit.

Distillers and blenders have been the primary beneficiaries up to this point when it comes to profiting from the increase in value that can be achieved when a whisky reaches maturity.

The fund offers you the chance to for private investors to invest at previously unavailable wholesale prices, allowing you the chance to share in the benefit of seeing your whisky mature and fetch a higher price when it is ready to be sold.

The working capital required to lay down a significant amount of whisky for ten years or more is not normally with the reach of individual investors, but this fund aims to try and open up that opportunity thanks to the collective buying power of a number of individual investors all contributing to the fund.

Wealth warning

Whilst some of the most sought-after whiskies have soared in value, there are also plenty of bottles that have suffered steep declines in their value.

Overall, the average fall of the worst performing bottles was in the region of 9% when you look at an index of 1,000 different whiskies but there are of course some individual items that have performed far worse than that, so you should always be aware that not all of your investments will prove profitable, unless you get good advice or have a talent for spotting the winners.

Charges for investing in whisky can sometimes be quite prohibitive and when you factor in storage costs on top, your whisky investment will need to perform well in order to achieve a positive return.

Another fundamental point to consider is that whisky is not an investment that generates any income or earnings so you have to rely on price fluctuations to generate a return on your cash.

As an alternative investment whisky has an obvious appeal but shifting tastes and the prospect of some brands going out of favor means that you should always consider committing only a small part of your cash to this opportunity.

Although the upside if things don’t go to plan is at least you have a stiff drink to hand if you decide to liquidate your asset.

How Are Rare Stamps Valued?

The first point to make about any sort of valuation process including estimating the worth of a rare stamp, is that it takes many years to become an expert.

In understanding how rare stamps are valued, it is worth looking at how experts in the field of stamp collecting do their research so that they establish provenance and arrive at a figure they believe a stamp will achieve if it was being sold at auction.

Fundamentals of valuing stamps

One of the main points to consider is that value is almost always dependent to a large extent on condition and many fraudsters known this, which is why it normally takes an expert eye to spot a stamp which has been intentionally altered from a stamp that is the real deal.

In general terms, a stamp in mint condition which also has the original gum on the back, is often worth more than a used stamp.

Stamps with certain handling faults like creases and tears are often worth less than those that are in perfect condition and the condition of a stamp counts for plenty when valuing a stamp. The exception to that rule is when there is a stamp that is so rare that there are only a handful in existence, meaning that collectors will overlook handling faults in favor of the rarity aspect of the stamp.

Almost without exception, any used U.S postage stamps that have been printed in the last 75 years or so are going to be worth less than their face value and are available in too large a quantity to have any appeal to a collector.

Why are rare stamps so valuable?

With prospect of virtually the last 100 years producing no stamps of any rarity or value, it probably goes some way to explaining that stamps that are considered rare which often date back to the early days of postal services, are going to rise as time goes by and collectors fight over what is available.

Explaining the story of the world’s rarest stamp gives an insight into the mindset of philatelists and demonstrates how prices for some rare stamps seem to be able to scale new heights each time they are offered for sale.

The British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp is the only surviving example of a penny issue that was printed in 1856 and on each of the three previous occasions that the stamp has come up for sale, it has set a new record.

The stamp didn’t actually reach anywhere near the estimated $20 million when it went under the hammer and sold for a still impressive $9.5 million, especially when you consider the original postage value.

One of the broader reasons why rare stamps can be so valuable is the fact that the number of wealthy people on the planet has rocketed in recent years, which means plenty of competition and a potential bidding war to push prices up every time a rare stamp comes to auction.

History boosts the price

The value of rare stamps is also heavily influenced by history as well its scarcity value.

Wealthy private collectors are often keen to acquire a rare stamp which has a fascinating history attached to it in addition to the fact that there are not many of them around. This means that you can regularly witness a museum or public heritage body coming up against a deep-pocketed private collector.

China has managed to create a number of billionaires and millionaires in recent times and some of these individuals are keen to flex their financial muscles and acquire something like a rare stamp at almost any price.

Continuing to rise

Rare stamps are valued using the tried and tested method of verifying their originality, confirming the provenance and deciding the level of interest that will be generated based on the story attached to each stamp.

The greater the legend or story attached to a particular stamp, the more likely it is that someone will want to add it to their collection, and will pay a premium to do this.

The fact that there are about currently 1,900 dollar billionaires in the world and that the wealthy Chinese investors in particular, are keen to hold a reasonable percentage of their wealth in alternative assets like rare stamps, seems to be adding an onwardly upward curve to values.

The fact that stamp collecting has seemingly fallen out of fashion in the west in terms of the number of collectors, has largely gone unnoticed due to the fact that there are plenty of willing Chinese collectors who have taken their place.

One estimate suggests that the value of rare stamps has risen by about 11% annually for four successive decades whereas the market for good but not rare stamps has fallen away in comparison.

The scarcity aspect associated with these rare stamps is definitely a factor that attracts certain wealthy collectors and is very much part of the valuation process.

Should You Consider Investing in Rare Coins?

There are several fundamentals to grasp when it comes to investing rare coins.

The first point to make is that if you invest in some rare coins with the belief that it is an investment that is virtually free of the sort of risks and market downturns that precious metals and plenty of other investment vehicles for that matter, tend to experience, you will will probably be in for an unpleasant shock.

There is more than a grain of truth in the popular opinion that rare coin investments are typically more stable than some other types of investments and there is also some confidence to be gained from the fact that the performance of rare coins is not so closely reflective of the economy as stocks and bonds can be, but there are fluctuations and investing in rare coins should never be viewed as one-way investment.

A benchmark in the market

if you go back to the 1989 downturn, you will find what is effectively a line drawn in the sand when it comes to rare coin prices.

At this point in history, the rare coin market was losing value at what could be considered quite an alarming rate and if you were an investor at that point in time, you would most definitely have disagreed with anyone who had previously stated that this was an investment market which the bottom could not have dropped out of.

The CU3000 Numismatic Coin Index, which is used to measure the value of rare coins took a full six years to find the bottom from that point and only since 1995 has the trajectory been upward from that 1989 point.

The professional coin grading service publishes an index of the top risers and fallers over a variety of different periods and this will give you a good feel of how the market is behaving and performing over time. You will instantly see that there are some spectacular risers and some equally spectacular fallers. Further evidence of the potential volatility that you should expect from rare coin investing, despite what you might have heard previously.

http://www.pcgs.com/prices/pricechanges.aspx

It should also be noted that there are coins that are not measured by the index and the majority of these have been able to demonstrate an upward trend in terms of prices, over the last couple of decades.

Two distinct forms of rare coin investing

A number of investors will probably consider that the market predominantly consists of coins which have not been in circulation for many years, hence the rarity.

The actual market makeup is somewhat different to that perception and this is only one small section of the coins that are being traded.

If you are buying rare coins which are old, these coins are referred to as numismatic rare coins, but it is bullion rare coin investing which is the more dominant investment strategy for many investors.

Bullion coins consist of a high concentration of rare metals, which is invariably gold, and this means that their price is often more closely tied to the price per ounce of gold rather than any other index.

Bullion rare coins are generally considered to be one of the safest investments on the market and this is where the overall perception of the rare coin market comes from, so you need to understand the different forms of rare coin investing, if you havn’t already go this point.

The market for numismatic rare coins is much tougher to quantify, as it covers such a wide variety of coins within that term.

These type of coins should probably be viewed as a niche investment strategy and if you are looking for high-growth strategy involving rare coins, it is probably the bullion rare coins which will give you less sleepless nights.

In conclusion, you could probably characterize the rare coin market by saying that it has moments in history where it tends to leap forward and then prices stabilize for a number of years, so if you could predict when the next spike was due, it might turn out to be a profitable investment to hold onto.

10 Myths About Gold Coins as An Investment

There are at least a dozen ways for investors to put their money into the gold market. Besides the stocks of gold-mining companies, consumers can choose to purchase gold bullion bars, bullion coins, and numismatic coins, invest in gold options or ETFs, jewelry, scrap gold or gold accounts. Anyone considering gold coins, often marketed as “rare” gold coins or numismatic gold, should be aware of the many myths that exist about this kind of investment. Here are the most common ones:

Myth #1 – Rare gold coins are just like gold bullion.

Fact: Nothing could be further from the truth. Bullion prices track the spot price of gold very closely and bullion has no value other than its metallic worth. Rare coins are entirely different animals. Much of their value is tied to the rarity and market worth of the fact that they are collectible coins. The country of issue, year minted, and denomination are vitally important for assessing their value at any given time.

Myth #2 – Rare gold coins are likely to increase in price astronomically because they are rare, and are made of gold.

Fact: Gold coins can increase in value, but retail markups are so high that unless you purchase huge lots or are an expert numismatist who knows the genre inside and out, you are much, much more likely to lose money by purchasing rare gold coins.

Myth #3 – Gold coins are an investment in the precious metals market.

Fact: Gold coins, rare or not, are primarily a numismatic (coin-collecting) investment. This is a world dominated by long-time experts, many of whom are licensed, certified coin dealers. Yes, gold coins are made of gold, but the bulk of their resale value has to do with their worth as a collectible, much like rare works of art.

Myth #4 – Pre-1933 gold coins are a smart investment because they cannot be confiscated by the U.S. government.

Fact: No gold can be confiscated by the U.S. government. Long ago, this was true, but times (and laws) have changed. Even in a huge international crisis it is doubtful the government would even want to do this because U.S. currency is no longer backed by gold. The government is as likely to “confiscate” gold as they are silver, cars, golf balls and toothpicks. The “confiscation” argument for pre-1933 gold coins is a marketing ploy used by unscrupulous sellers, many of whom operate online and offshore.

Myth #5 – Gold coins are very liquid and can be sold at any time.

Fact: Gold coins are anything but liquid and average investors often have great difficulty selling them. This myth is commonly repeated by people who have no idea about the way gold investment works. Rare coins are very similar to expensive paintings or collectible jewelry, both of which can be near impossible to sell unless a willing buyer appears.

Myth #6 – Gold coins are easy to store.

Fact: In one sense, yes, gold coins are easy to store. Literally, the statement is true, but practically speaking, it is not. Sure, you can toss your newly-purchased “rare” gold coins into a drawer and forget about them, but that puts them at great risk of theft. To go about it the right way, you’ll need to insure them first, and then store them in a safe deposit box, not at home. Additionally, coins can actually melt in a fire, or can easily be found by high-tech thieves who routinely use metal-detectors to locate “hidden” caches of coins and bullion.

Myth #7 – Investors can master the rare coin market by reading a few articles online or in a book.

Fact: Professional numismatists, many of whom have spent decades buying and selling rare coins of all kinds, will be the first to say that the rare gold coin market is complicated, volatile and calls for a depth of knowledge that cannot be acquired in a few hours, days or weeks. That said, investors who want to become collectors of gold coins might get good advice by speaking to a coin dealer they trust. But one needs to remember that rare coins are a collector’s game, not an investor’s.

Myth #8 – Rare gold coins are never a good investment.

Fact: If one has the advice of a trusted numismatist who knows the rare gold coin market, gold coins can be a way to invest. This type of investor would need to realize that the activity is akin to buying a valuable work of art, and further understand that a very long hold time is typical in order to make a profit.

Myth #9 – Rare gold coins at auctions and sales are genuine because they’ve been minted by national governments.

Fact: One should only purchase rare gold coins from a licensed numismatist or trusted coin dealer. Online selling is rife with fake coins that are gold on the outside and lead or some other filler on the inside. Buying gold coins online from one of the big auction sites is like purchasing an expensive new car, sight unseen, from a remote seller who only sends you a photograph.

Myth #10 – Gold coins are a smart investment because, in a jam, they can be used as money, at their face value.

Fact: If a seller ever tells you this, you should immediately run away and not look back. The denominated value of most gold coins is usually about one percent of the value of the gold in the coin itself. To consider using a rare gold coin (or any gold coin) as money is, frankly, an idiotic concept. Surprisingly, that very myth is often listed among the “advantages of owning rare gold coins” in many online advertisements, magazines and TV ads. It amounts to commercial hucksterism of the worst kind.

The bottom line is this: People who want to buy rare gold coins need to know exactly what they’re doing, or have the advice of someone who does. Even a small lot of rare gold coins can cost many thousands of dollars, are not very liquid, and can significantly decrease in value rather rapidly. For those who are dead-set on entering the rare gold coin market, the advice of an experienced professional numismatist or trusted coin dealer is essential.

10 Most Valuable Stamps of All Time

Collecting rare stamps as an alternative investment has not been a bad strategy to follow if you know what you are looking for.

When you compare the auction prices achieved by some rare and collectible stamps and their respective values, the average rise in value has been about 3% over a 12 month period but and near 200% increase in values over a ten-year period.

This compares very favourably to the performance of the FTSE 100 for example, which has managed to show a 51% ROI over the same ten year period.

Here is a look at the ten of the most valuable stamps in the world and their story, which might just inspire you to include philately as a viable alternative investment strategy.

Penny_black10. The Penny Black

The most obvious starting point and probably the most iconic stamp, which you may have heard about even if you have taken no interest in stamp collecting to this point, is the iconic Penny Black.

This stamp was first issued in 1840 by the British Postal authorities and unused Penny Black’s are extremely rare to find or acquire. You can expect to pay somewhere in the region of $3,000 for an unused One Penny Black stamp and collectors everywhere want this in their collection.

There are a number of used Penny Black’s still in circulation, but it is the unused ones that send the price soaring.

2d-blue9. The Two Penny Blue

Issued around 1840, the unique aspect of this stamp is the fact that it is not only one of the earliest stamps issued in Britain, but it also has a curiosity value because it lacks the country’s name on it.

A rare Penny Blue sold for nearly $4 million back in 1993 and the reason why it easily makes the top ten is actually far more valuable than the iconic Penny Black, is that it is ten times scarcer to find.

PennyRed8. The Penny Red

Next up is the Penny Red, which is the most expensive stamp that well-known dealers Stanley Gibbons have sold.

It fetched £550,000 when it went under the hammer, despite the fact it was in poor condition. The main reason it fetched such as high price is that there are only nine in the world and as the Post Office destroyed the printing plate, there is never a chance of any more appearing.

US_Airmail_inverted_Jenny_24c_1918_issue7. The Inverted Jenny

One of the reasons why some stamps fetch such astronomical prices is not just because of their scarcity but also due to the fact that an error has been made on a few that went into circulation.

The Inverted Jenny is a case in point. It is quite obvious what is wrong with this stamp and because they recalled as many as possible, the ones that remain are considered valuable by collectors.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 17.34.336. The Roses

These stamps which are referred to as the Roses Error, were produced in 1978 and due to an error, the 13p postage price failed to get printed on the stamp.

That 13p has now become £130,000 as there are only three of them in the world. Although the Queen two of them and a private collector has the other one, so you are unlikely to ever get your hands on this particular rare stamp.

mauritius_one_penny_and_two_pence_stamps5. Mauritius Post Office Error stamp

Another stamp which has achieved notoriety and great value in the stamp world is the Mauritius Post Office Error stamp.

it is so-called due to the fact that the stamps had Post Office rather than Post Paid on them. An error which has added plenty of extra zeros to their value over time, since they were produced back in 1847.

Hawaii_stamp_13c_18514. Hawaii Missionary stamps

This little five cent stamp ranks right up there as one of the most expensive and collectible stamps in the world.

These were the first and oldest stamps produced in Hawaii and a stamp in mint condition or in a set, could fetch upwards of $100,000.

220px-Charles_Connel3. The New Brunswick Connell’s Folly stamp   

Postmaster General Charles Connell decided to use his own portrait on a five cent stamp and was subjected to a public backlash, as it was a move seen to be political propaganda.

This folly as it was referred to, made this rare Canadian stamp a controversial topic and has added to its value and collectibility.

China special delivery stamp2. The China Special Delivery issue stamp

This is the world’s largest stamp and is a rare and exclusive Chinese stamp that continues to increase in value as the years go by and more collectors seek out the chance to acquire one.

British_Guiana_141. British Guiana one cent Magenta stamp

This stamp is considered by many philatelists to be one of the rarest and most valuable stamps you can ever hope to acquire.

Considering that the last time one went up for auction, it fetched $280,000 back in 1970, current estimates suggest it could easily fetch north of a million dollars. There is considered to be only one genuine specimen left and perhaps not surprisingly, a number of counterfeit copies have been uncovered over the years.

How to Find a Future Classic Car

Emotions and investing are not good bedfellows as a general rule and becoming too attached to an asset you own, has the potential to cost in more ways than one at some point.

There must a good number of people who have at some point regretted selling a car that they cherished and even more galling is the added insult that their much-loved vehicle has now become a classic car and an appreciating asset for someone else.

The classic car market has been a real boom and bust story at times and developed the equivalent of a rotten floor pan in the early 1990’s, with prices falling through the floor and dropping from previous highs by as much as 40% in some cases.

The bubble bursting fall in classic car prices was supposed to be a salutary lesson for investors that cars are just a commodity and should be viewed accordingly when considering their investment potential.

This is easier said than done when you get your first sight of a car made by someone like Ferrari or Lamborghini and suddenly they seem like a great buy, if you have some cash to splash.

The fact of the matter is that some classic car prices have actually been recovering quite impressively since that early 1990’s collapse in the market. According to a study carried out by the private bankers Coutts, they found that certain classic models have risen by over 250% between 2005 and 2013.

Classic car valuation experts Hagerty produce a number of indespensible collector car indexes, which allow you to see clearly what is happening to prices in the U.S and around the globe.

Their indexes show that even if you are not in the market for a high-end classic car like an F40 or a Lamborghini Miura, if you invested in an affordable classic, which are collectible cars priced at under $30,000, you would have likely experienced better growth in values than those investors who concentrated on the top tier of classic car speculation.

Hagerty’s Affordable Classics Index has risen by 7% in 2015 alone, so you clearly don’t have to spend vast sums of money to turn a decent profit if you buy wisely with your head leading your heart, as far as that is possible when the subject is cars from our youth.

The sentimentality aspect is definitely still a strong factor in the classic car market and if you can combine the pleasure of buying a car that you have long admired or perhaps even used to own, and also make money on it as an investment, that is quite an attractive proposition.

As this data illustrates, classic cars overall have outperformed gold and the FTSE 100 since 2009, and some of the the ten top performing cars have been been able to generate returns of over 200%, which are figures that many fund managers can only dream about.

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The question being asked is are we heading for another classic car bubble, or is there an opportunity to add some classics to your garage as a viable alternative investment strategy?

Some industry observers believe that this time the price rises might be more sustainable as we are not looking at a bubble financed by borrowing. Instead, people are spending hard cash from savings and pension pots. Add in growing interest from emerging markets such as India there are potentially more buyers after the same number of cars than ever before, which should help to sustain valuations.

Advice from the experts

The best advice when it comes to buying a classic car is to buy the best model that you can find for the budget that you have available.

Some people who bought with their heart rather than their head have still managed to make money but nothing beats doing plenty of research in terms of values and other aspects that affect values.

Classic car valuations are very sensitive to things like appearance, scarcity value, history and condition of the vehicle and image. How it is perceived as a desirable vehicle or a design classic can make a fair difference to prices.

Other things to consider are the mechanical profile of the car in question and whether it has any known issues and also whether it is considered to be a good car to drive. The more boxes you can tick, the greater your chance of making a potentially viable investment, but there are definitely no guarantees in that respect.

Rather like collecting art, it often works well to buy a car that you really want to own and then view any subsequent rise in value as a bonus. That may seem to be conflicting advice, but at least if you are prepared to adopt that approach, you can keep expectations in check and it might even help with your tax situation as well. This is because in the UK, if you drive the car it will be exempt from Capital Gains Tax whereas a car bought purely for investment purposes will be taxed accordingly.

Winners in the last five years

The art of classic car investing is spotting trends with certain models early enough to be able to enjoy the ride as prices start to react positively to a rise in popularity.

Here are some of the classic cars that have turned out to be winning investments over the last five years, which will give you an idea of the potential and could be helpful in working out what cars and models might develop into future classics, based on what has been successful most recently.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 08.55.50The Lotus Cortina is a great example of a classic car investment that can deliver surprisingly good returns for a relatively modest capital spend.

If you had bought this car in 2009, it would have cost you £20,000 and today it commands a price tag of £60,000.

The porsche 911S was produced between 1967-1973 and positively encouraged drivers to lean heavily with their right foot. This 911S cost £34,750 in 2009 and the price has accelerated to £100,000 today.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 08.56.35The BMW 503 Coupe, which was produced between 1956 and 1960, is a good example of how a model can become more popular as a collectible classic than when it was in the showrooms.

The Coupe was an expensive luxury car that appealed to a limited market at the time. Now seen as a design classic by collectors, an outlay of £60,000 for this model in 2009, would see you get closer to £130,000 if you decided to sell.

Classics of the future

Having seen some of the success stories of the past, if you are considering a reasonably modest investment in the classic car market, the big question is which affordable cars might become the classics of the future and deliver potentially stellar returns?

Cars that carried a high price in the first place, tend to grab the headlines when it comes to classic car sale prices, but you don’t have to have a budget big enough to buy a Ferrari in order to invest in a car that could become a future classic and rise in value as a result.

Some fairly standard models from the 80’s and 90’s have a good chance of achieving classic status because they have the chance of attracting sentimental investors who are keen to seize the opportunity to return to their youth and get behind the wheel of a car they perhaps used to own.

This is why a car like the Citroen XM is considered a good candidate for future classic car status.

The fact that the Citroen DS and CX have now become classics in their right means that it doesn’t require a large leap of imagination to consider that the XM will follow suit.

You should be able to buy an XM for between £1,000 to £3,000, which represents a much lower risk than gambling a large chunk of your cash on a badge that comes with a much bigger price tag.

Another potentially profitable strategy is to try and spot cars that are design classics but have yet to achieve true recognition as a classic car.

Screen Shot 2015-05-21 at 08.58.27The Audi TT is a good example of this. You can acquire an original TT for somewhere between £2,000 and £8,000 at the moment, but some motoring experts believe that these prices could rise when the market awards it classic car status.

Scarcity is another reason why some seemingly modest models can appreciate in value. The Subaru Impreza Turbo was popular with motorists when it first came out but early models are becoming harder to find, which is already leading to values rising.

Many British men of a certain age may well have owned a Ford Capri at some point in their driving history and this model is a perfect illustration of how even a high volume production-line car can enjoy a rise in value, long after depreciation was supposed to have rendered their value to junk value.

Prices of Capri’s have virtually doubled in the last 18 months and they still seem to be rising.

There are any number of affordable cars that could become future classics and buying a model that you might have driven in your earlier days, is not a bad starting point for enjoying the chance to bring back some memories and also potentially profit as values rise in the future.

It seems that you can put a price on nostalgia, but that is not the only reason to consider classic cars as viable alternative investment, although you always need to be mindful of the potential for huge volatility in prices, if market conditions or sentiment changes.