In my previous column I talked a little about icons.
But it got me thinking, which famous figures today have that rare combination of stardom and staying power?
Memorabilia usually increases in value as young fans grow older, get a little extra money and start seeking out those pieces that connect them with their youth.
That trend has been most obvious with pop memorabilia from the 60s.
But we’re also starting to see it with figures from the late 80s and early 90s. Kurt Cobain memorabilia has performed particularly very well of late.
So who are the names to watch?
When it comes to global superstars, there are few to match Beyonce.
The former Destiny’s Child star is the highest paid woman in music, with a hugely dedicated fan base.
Beyonce memorabilia is in growing demand
In addition to her wildly popular music career, she’s also been a vocal spokesperson on a range of issues, from police brutality to the rights of transgendered people.
Her autograph is already selling for just over $500, with signed albums around the $2,000 mark.
There have also been a few big ticket sales of late, with a hat she wore on her 2017 Formation tour achieving $27,500 in November.
These are really positive figures that bode very well for the future.
Radiohead are an interesting prospect.
Few bands can claim to have been as influential as Radiohead
They have a hugely popular back catalogue, but they’ve spent the past two decades writing increasingly experimental albums. Few bands can claim to have been as influential.
Crucially, they’re not particularly fond of signing autographs. As a result there are few about and they’re highly prized by their legions of fans.
You can expect to pay upwards of $300 for a complete set of signatures, with albums achieving around $3,000.
Barack Obama is, of course, one of the key figures of the 21st century.
Obama's ascension to the presidency was a major moment in US history
But as the first black president of the United States, there was an added dimension to his presidency.
His ascendancy was a landmark moment in US history.
And that’s almost certainly going to impact future demand.
Values for his memorabilia are already starting fairly high, at an average of $465. That’s a good indication that other buyers are thinking along the same lines.
The Royal Family
Yes I know; I’m cheating a bit with this last one.
But the fact is the British royal family are more popular than they have been for years.
That interest is driven in part by a generational shift.
Interest in the royal family is at a generational high
In the past, devotees skewed older.
But the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, along with their young family, are hugely popular with the younger generation.
Prince William was actually the surprise ringer of this year’s PFC40 Index, with an average of £2,750 ($3,645) for a signed album page – an increase of 10% in the past year.
Meanwhile Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip are increasingly scaling back their public appearances. Prince Charles will take the throne in the near future, an epochal moment that will be met with enormous attention from around the world.
We’re seeing increasing interest from buyers outside the Anglosphere, including China. Now really is the time to invest.
I’ve got an exceptional piece of British royal memorabilia for you.