A Guide to Sports Memorabilia | The Best Sports Collectables Stores
The sports memorabilia industry is a lucrative sector, with fans worldwide desperate to grab a piece of history from their favourite sport.
Game-worn jerseys and signed photographs are amongst the most popular sports memorabilia items bought by sports fans.
Read on as we look at why sports memorabilia has become so popular, the most iconic items ever sold and where to buy authentic collectables.
A Background to Sports Memorabilia
Sports memorabilia first became popular in Victorian times, when the top artists of the era produced and sold paintings, drawings and prints.
Mint condition items from that period are now classified as antiques and can fetch massive amounts of money if sold at auction.
Sports memorabilia diversified during the 20th century, with cigarette cards, trophies, medals and jerseys amongst the most sought-after items.
Baseball memorabilia attracts massive interest from collectors, with the most important items often sold for seven-figure sums.
Babe Ruth’s 1920 New York Yankees jersey is a perfect example of the popularity of baseball memorabilia, having been sold for more than $4.4 million in 2012.
The ten most valuable sports cards and memorabilia sold for more than $12m four years later, with the top item – ‘The Laws of Baseball’ – fetching over $3.2m.
A Guide to Buying Sports Memorabilia
The internet is awash with sports memorabilia companies, and not all of them can be trusted to sell authentic items.
It is essential to look for firms with verifiable contracts with sports stars as this gives them much more credibility.
A certificate of authenticity is generally a good sign, although the companies who can offer other proof that an item is genuine are generally the most trustworthy.
As a general rule of thumb, work on the theory that if an item of sports memorabilia looks too much of a bargain, it probably is not authentic.
When you have completed your purchase, make sure that you keep the item in mint condition as this will give you the best chance of it increasing in value over time.
The Best Sports Memorabilia Stores
As previously mentioned, it is imperative to use firms that are prepared to go the extra mile to prove the authenticity of their sports memorabilia.
Steiner Sports is one of the best places to find hand-signed collectables, with the company boasting link-ups with clubs across the NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB.
Icons is a great place to find football memorabilia, with their site packed with hugely desirable collectables from players such as Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
A1 Sporting Memorabilia is another site well worth checking out, with motorsport, boxing, cricket, snooker and rugby amongst the sports they cover.
Central Sports Memorabilia UK is a superb site for fans looking for rare authentic items across several sports including ice hockey, cricket and football.
Digital Sports Collectables
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are likely to be the next big thing in sports memorabilia, with many experts predicting they could become a billion-dollar industry.
NFTs are digital assets that can be used to create and authenticate physical and virtual items such as sports memorabilia, artwork and music.
Blockchain technology is used to create a single, global database of collectables, thus reducing the risk of buying forgeries or stolen items.
NFTs cannot be destroyed, removed or copied, giving them a much greater appeal for collectors searching for authentic sports memorabilia items.
The Premier League and the NBA are amongst the major sports organisations that have already recognised the potential offered by NFTs.
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