Space memorabilia collectors have been around for years. But one quote always sticks in my mind, spoken by a buyer after purchasing a fragment of meteorite.
"It's got a certain magic attached to it, don't you think?"
That buyer was totally right - and it's not just rocks from space that are wonderful. Space memorabilia items are perhaps the greatest tokens of mankind's endeavours and bravery outside of war memorabilia.
The space collectibles markets have been around for years, yet their viability for investors looking for alternative assets continues to blast upwards. For evidence, just look at the PFC40 Autograph Index.
According to the PFC40, signed photos featuring all of the Apollo 11 crew were valued at £2,000 in 2000. Today, they are worth closer to £8,950. That's an increase of 347.5% in a 10 year period.
With figures like that, it is now impossible to dismiss space collecting as a fringe hobby - and the market is continuing to develop significantly.
This hasn't escaped the attentions of the world's top auction houses. Bonhams held its second blockbuster space memorabilia sale in July 2010, netting hundreds of thousands in sales.
Likewise Heritage Auctions of Dallas, Texas. Their sale last year also proved the popularity of space collectibles among high-level buyers and entry-level investors, alike.
What's more, high-profile space auctions seem to be occurring with great regularity. Leading the pack in 2011 was RR Auction with a variety of collectibles pieces from man's first-ever moonwalk, Apollo 11.
Among the sale's highlights was a silver Robbins Medal, flown in space aboard Apollo 11 to the Moon and back and later engraved with the surnames of crewmen Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins.
Only a limited number of medals were ever produced, made available only to the astronauts. Minimum bids for the medal started at $2,500, and by the end of the sale its value had soared to $32,818.
And that's not all. At the same sale, a United States stars 'n' stripes flag also signed by Armstrong, Collins and Aldrin brought $40,000. Better still, these values aren't limited to Apollo 11 memorabilia. Pieces from other missions, like Apollo 17, brought similar prices at the same sale.
Savvy investors will appreciate the simple supply and demand economics behind the value of these items. Further advantages come in the fact that profits from rare space collectibles are declared as Capital Gains rather than Income Tax, potentially saving you more money.
Bonhams, Heritage and RR's results have proven the value of space collectibles as hedges against inflation and as tangible assets - and it's obvious that more and more investors are getting involved.
To find out more about investing in space memorabilia, you can read our special investment report pages. Or check out our space collectibles for sale. Alternatively, you can benefit from our expert advice by contacting us here:
+44 (0) 117 933 9500
All the best, until next week
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