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Revealed: The London 2012 Olympic memorabilia you should be collecting

With a year to go before the Games start, we look at potentially valuable London 2012 collectibles

The Olympic torch relay, which gets underway at Land's End on May 19, could well be a popular starting point for collectors with an eye on London 2012 memorabilia.

What price will this 'bling wastepaper
basket' command in years to come?

Much like other London 2012 designs, such as the official logo and one-eyed mascots, the torch has divided opinion, being likened to a "bling wastepaper bin" in some quarters.

It is not known how many torches are being made - the smaller the number, the more desirable they will be for memorabilia collectors looking for items of value.

A torch from the 1952 Helsinki Games achieved $400,000 at a Vassy-Jalenques SARL auction in Paris earlier this year - the most expensive item of Olympic memorabilia ever sold.

Just 22 Helsinki specimens were produced, making them highly sought after.

A torch from the London 1948 "austerity Games" made £6,463 at Christie's in 2000.

Olympic posters can make for highly prized collectibles, and 12 specially designed pieces designed by high profile artists such as Tracey Emin, Martin Creed and Rachel Whiteread, will be revealed at Tate Britain in June 2012.

The original preparatory painting by Allen Jones for a 1972 Munich Olympics poster sold for £8,400 at Bonhams in March of this year.  

A popular Olympic item needn't come from a Games of yesteryear. Sometimes the very immediacy of an event can ratchet up the price for sports memorabilia.

For example, a sale of 23 game-worn Canada ice hockey jerseys from the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver raised $94,000 for the Haiti appeal.

It's hard to imagine a similar price being achieved for Team GB's field hockey tops next year, however.

The most expensive London 2012 item set to come on the market is a commemorative £1,000 gold coin being produced by the Royal Mint. It is expected to cost around £40,000.  


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Image: London 2012

Last updated: 27 July 2011