Nelson Mandela is one of the 20th century's greatest figures.
His capacity for forgiveness, after decades in prison, is still an inspiration.
While in power he worked with his former captors to bring the nation together.
It allowed South Africa to heal, when it could have spent years mired in division.
He’s a hugely popular figure among autograph collectors.
Here are some of the unique factors affecting his market.
His signature is rare
Mandela rose to prominence in the African National Congress (ANC) in the 1940s, where he led efforts to overthrow apartheid.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
Over time the group became more militant. Mandela was arrested and trialled for a sabotage campaign the ANC carried out in the early 1960s. He was sentenced to life in 1964.
While he was a well known figure, few people were asking Mandela for signatures prior to his arrest.
And, as he remained in prison for 27 years, there were limited opportunities to acquire one as he became an international symbol of the apartheid regime.
As a result, most date from his release in 1990 up until 2011 when illness prevented him from attending engagements.
Mandela is universally admired.
In 1993, he received the Nobel Peace Prize (jointly with then president Frederik Willem de Klerk) for his work in ending apartheid.
For me, one of the most moving moments of his presidency was his campaign to get the whole nation behind the Springboks rugby team.
When they won at home in the 1995 Rugby World Cup, he presented the trophy to the team wearing the shirt of white Afrikaner captain Francois Pienaar.
Much like Gandhi before him, Mandela has become a symbol of dogged determination.
And the market for his autograph extends far beyond South Africa.
Since his death in 2013, demand has grown as buyers look to acquire a signature from a figure they admire.
And as there are far more buyers than autographs, prices have risen too.
Demand looks primed to grow into the future
For those looking to invest in an autograph, Mandela is a strong proposition.
(Image: Wikimedia Commons)
While some historical figures undergo revision over time, his achievements will still be celebrated hundreds of years from now.
Today is the perfect time to buy.
Quality signatures can still be had at around the £4,000 mark.
When you look at a comparable figure like Gandhi, whose autograph now sells for upwards of £10,000, there’s plenty of room for upward growth.
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