If paper is worth collecting, it’s worth storing safely

When the News of the World newspaper closed recently, it brought to an end 168 years of publishing, with many people buying the very last copy in July as a collector’s item. But newspapers aren’t the only type of collectable paper around; magazines, stamps, autographs, movie posters etc. can all be worth storing away for the future.

Here’s the ABC Selfstore top ten paper collectables, counting down from 10:

10. Wallpaper.

Yes, really, a scrap of wallpaper can be a valuable thing. For example a piece of wallpaper from a bedroom where Napoleon once slept, whilst imprisoned by the British, sold at auction for £1,250 in 2010.

9. An autographed piece of paper.

You would be surprised at how valuable a bit of paper can become, once it’s been signed. How many 1960s pop fans would have guessed that a John Lennon signature would be worth around £6500 on average today, even as much as £100K?

So getting a JLS tour ticket, or programme, signed by the band might be a smart move, and storing it safely away, under lock and key could be even wiser. Keep it warm, dry and unfolded, well away from sunlight so it stays in mint condition. ABC Selfstore has great rates, with 24 hour access at some locations too, just in case you need to see that awesome gig ticket one more time.

8. Old newspapers.

Notorious for being chucked away, or used as cat litter tray lining, today’s news is tomorrow’s history and some people will want to read all about it in the future. People will always want a front page headline that captures the memory of a world event; papers with headlines announcing Neil Armstrong’s walk on the moon, Princess Diana’s death and the sinking of the Titanic are very popular. The 100th anniversary of Titanic’s sinking is coming up in April 2012, so expect prices to rise on all Titanic related memorabilia.

7. Motoring magazines.

If you go to a classic car or motorbike auction, you’ll often see bids between £25 to £500 offered for rare motoring magazines, especially those featuring a famous drivers like Fangio, Sir Stirling Moss or Mike Hailwood. The best investment is to collect a year’s worth of magazines, and try and buy the set in their original binders – it’s good protection from yellowing or decay and makes the magazines easier to store. Launch issues, or Motor Show specials, especially those which featured poly-wrapped gifts or stickers in the 70s and 80s, add value.

Now magazines can weigh a ton, literally. So before you push another plastic box of Autosport or The Motor, up onto the creaking boards in your loft, consider storing them safely, in the warm and dry ABC Selfstore units at Camden, Southwark or Wandsworth.

6. Letters.

ABC Selfstore would be the first to admit that you can store a nice collection of love letters in a shoebox, or desk drawer. But collectable letters, written by historical figures, or celebrities, can be worth a small fortune. For example in 2008 a letter from Albert Einstein to Eric Gutkind, written in 1954 made £170,000 at auction. The art of letter writing itself has almost died out in Britain, which makes collecting items like wartime letters, or personal `thank you’ notes from celebrities, a nice investment.

5. Movie Posters

Now what teenage bedroom from the 80s would be complete without a framed poster of Dirty Dancing, or maybe Top Gun? Posters are notoriously easy to damage of course, and any rips or marks can detract from future value. We know, you’re thinking a movie poster is worth maybe 500 quid, but try $130,000 for a genuine James Bond Diamonds Are Forever poster from 1971. As Blofeld might say; `I underestimated you Mr Bond.’

4. Old banknotes.

Yes, there’s money in collecting old paper money. Maybe not a great deal of value in hoarding those old Punts, Lira, Drachma, Deutschmarks and Guilders from the pre-euro era, but really unique banknotes can be worth serious wonga and interest in collecting paper money, rather than old coins, is rising. So if you have a penchant for Pesos, or a liking for Latvian Latus, then ABC Selfstore can help you keep your vintage cash stashed away.

3. Sheet music.

We are going to stick our necks out here at ABC Selfstore and predict that sheet music will become a truly rare thing in the near future. As we get used to downloading almost everything to do with music, the old fashioned commercially printed sheet music will rapidly vanish into history. Right now, sheet music values are relatively low, although a 200 year old copy of the US`Star Spangled Banner’ national anthem was sold at auction for $500,000 in 2010. So hunt down some rare song sheets, especially those with a famous performer’s notes scribbled in the margin – it could be an investment that has you singin’ in the rain.

2. Stamps.

Still popular worldwide, after a century of collecting, there’s something fascinating about leafing through a collection of rare stamps – some of the artwork can be amazing, masterpieces in miniature. Whether it’s a themed collection of UK Christmas stamps through the decades, or just your own random childhood album, ABC Selfstore can keep those sticky little bits of history safe and sound.

1. Comics

No doubt about it, comics are worth serious money. A copy of Action Comics issue number one, printed in 1938, and featuring Superman, made a cool $1million in 2010. If you’re after the very first edition of The Beano, then you’re out of luck, as there are probably fewer than 20 of them left in existence and they’re reportedly worth around £12K apiece.

So why not start your ABC Selfstore paper collection with some classic British comics, like Shoot, Jackie, The Dandy, or Look-In? It can be great fun collecting these bits and pieces from the past and you know ABC will look after them at ourLondon storage units, located in Southwark, Camden and Wandsworth.

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