The 30 year rule

Creepy or cool?

That's the question CNN posed following Michael Jackson's return this week - in hologram form.

I'll let you decide for yourself.


But my reason for writing today isn't to ask whether deceased stars should be "brought back to life" in this manner.

It's to make a collectibles-related point.

A celebrity's passing will generally increase interest in their memorabilia for a short while afterwards - perhaps weeks, perhaps months.

That's because, with the celebrity once again in the media, and the public in nostalgic mood, increased numbers of us want a piece of memorabilia to remember them by.

But once the news has moved on and memories fade, demand for their memorabilia returns to old levels.

The names who live on

Yet there are a select few celebrities who live on in the public consciousness. Names who we continue to be fascinated by in the years and decades following their death. These are the ones whose memorabilia will strengthen in value over the long-term.

With the market for their collectibles capped (John Lennon can't sign any more autographs, for example) and demand continually high - prices remain strong and often increase as the scant few pieces available on the private market are subsumed into collections, lost or forgotten about.

The excitement surrounding Michael Jackson's "performance" this week is a sure fire example of a celebrity who continues to attract devotion.

Other performers recently the subject of the hologram treatment include Elvis and Frank Sinatra - two men whose legacy also lives on.

Then there's Audrey Hepburn's recent appearance in an advert for Galaxy chocolate, and Marilyn Monroe's Chanel commercial last year.

All these names have been brought back to life because their fame and popularity warrants it - and in the case of Hepburn and Monroe, because their ability to sell product endures.

If you're seeking long-term value in the collectibles market, whether it's autographs, apparel or something else, you could make a strong case for investing in a basket of items from these "back to life" celebrities.

Yet that could be somewhat limiting, and I would suggest there's an easier way to pinpoint the celebrities whose memorabilia has long-term value potential.

I've mentioned it before. It's something I call "The 30 year rule".

The 30 year rule

Simply put, ask yourself the question: "Will we still be talking about this individual in 30 years' time?"

·         If you're certain we will, they're a bona fide long-term collectible investment opportunity.

·         If you're uncertain, they may still be worth "a punt", but exercise caution.

·         If you're certain they're going to be yesterday's news in three decades' time, forget about their potential to make you money.

You will have your own ideas as to who is on the "30 year list", but here are my top 10 from the 20th century. 

·         Elvis Presley

·         John Lennon

·         Marilyn Monroe

·         Winston Churchill

·         John F Kennedy

·         Martin Luther King

·         Nelson Mandela

·         Albert Einstein

·         Neil Armstrong

·         Muhammad Ali 

You will find many of these names in our autographs section. Click here to view.

Do you agree? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading,


Featured products

Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Elvis Presley Authentic Strand of Hair
Sale price£399
In stock
Fidel Castro signed certificateFidel Castro Signed Certificate
Fidel Castro signed certificate
Sale price£2,995
In stock
King Henry VIII Autographed DocumentKing Henry VIII Autographed Document
King Henry VIII Autographed Document
Sale price£65,000
In stock