It's when an iconic celebrity dies young, leaving only a small number of their autographs - which in turn makes them more sought-after and valuable on the markets.
Of course, an early demise isn't the only factor. That star also needs to have a legacy that will endure for decades...
Dean's autograph, for instance, rose in value by 681.3% over the last decade.
If you want profit from your
And, if you're a regular reader of this column, you won't need to me to tell you the other big names who're blessed by the James Dean Effect.
Marilyn Monroe, John Lennon, Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland... Forbes even has its own dedicated chart of the 'top earning dead celebrities.'
Grunge icon Cobain topped the list for a period of time, and so has Elvis.
In the case of each of these celebrities, you have both a strong legacy and a finite supply of their memorabilia.
The rest is just about keeping your ear to the ground.
For instance, if you'd told a seasoned memorabilia collector back in 1996 that Kurt Cobain would one-day be a leading star in the collectibles markets, they might not have believed you.
Some may have dismissed Cobain's group Nirvana and the grunge rock movement as a flash-in-the-pan. How could Cobain possibly hold as much influence as, say, John Lennon?
Yet, nearly two decades after the guitarist committed suicide in 1994, Cobain's legacy has proved itself time and time again on the sale block.
And he's not the only one.
It was today in history that Britain's Princess Diana died in a car crash in Paris at age 36.
Yet, thanks to her life well-spent in humanitarian causes, "the People's Princess" remains one of the most ollectible icons on the markets.
Here are just a few of the items we have for sale - or have already sold - here at Paul Fraser collectibles:
If you'd like more information on how you can get passion, pleasure and profit from the James Dean Effect, our experts are always here to answer your queries.
We can be contacted on:
+44 (0) 117 933 9500
All the best, until next week
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