War memorabilia (or militaria, as it’s often referred to) is collected by people who are interested in history, especially in regards to past wars that shaped nations and/or the entire world. Looking back through North American history, there have been a number of wars where one could find memorabilia from, including: the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian Wars, Mexican War, Civil War, Spanish-American War, World War I, World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, and more recently, Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
With so many wars in the past, there is no shortage of military collectables to be found – but that doesn’t mean that all of them will be worth something to collectors. There are a number of factors that contribute to the value of your memorabilia, and what we pay for them can vary significantly.
If you have any old military items left by your grandparents or parents and would like to know how much they are worth, bring them to our store Muzeum to get a free evaluation. Our experts are helpful and informative, and if there’s something they don’t know right on the spot then they will do the research or reach out to other experts in our vast network.
Militaria is more difficult and complicated to value than something like jewellery. Even the most expensive jewellery in the world can be valued with relative ease because there are tests to measure quality and determine the value of precious metals, stones, and pearls. When it comes to gold, pricing is based off market value which is updated daily by the London Gold Market Fixing Limited, a group made up of five major London banks who meet twice daily to determine gold’s fair market price.
In regards to militaria, there isn’t an easy way to test or measure its worth, and there definitely isn’t a group of people who regulate the prices for a fair market. Rather, militaria worth is determined by supply and demand and how interested a collector would be in your item.
Let’s go over what makes a piece of militaria attractive to collectors, and what you should keep an eye out for when sorting through old collections.
The older the war, the harder it will be to find militaria related to it. This is either because they’ve been lost to time or because all the desirable items have already been bought up. So as the supply of a collectible dwindles, the worth of militaria from that time period will rise because they are harder to find.
Because collectors are history buffs it’s natural that the more historically relevant an item is, the more valuable it will be. The American Revolutionary War, for instance, is popular because it was the war that established American Independence from the British Empire. It’s no wonder that items from this time period would be popular because it was a defining moment in U.S. history.
The Story Your Item Tells
Militaria collectors are especially interested in sentimental value. Items like uniforms, weapons, medals, and insignia, are all symbols of a soldier’s sacrifice and bravery. They remind us of times past and tell us stories of valour and life-changing events. The more of a story that an item has to tell, the more it will be worth.
Knowing the name of the soldier who owned the military items is especially important. When the owner of the item is known, the item is referred to as “identified” and it becomes much more valuable. The more information you have about the soldier attached to the item, the better. If you know their name, try searching through records to see where they served and which battles they fought in. Depending on what you find and how interesting their story is, the items in question can be even more valuable.
Providing supporting documentation like newspaper clippings or letters is a great way to add to the story of an item. They help shape the narrative of the piece and paint a picture of the soldier and the world they lived in. Make sure you keep these delicate items safe when you store them with your collectables.
Historic value isn’t limited to militaria. A number of items can tell a story, including jewellery like rings, pendants, and pocket watches, or even gold and silver coins. Coins can be considered rare because of their limited run, or because they were made out of a certain percentage of silver. The ones with errors are also very valuable to collectors. And of course, age always is a huge factor to the value of an item – the older, the better.
When looking to sell gold in Toronto, Muzeum can easily help you determine the value of your gold and silver as well as your jewellery and bullion. Our experts will appraise your items right in front of you and determine their precious metal content and purity, and weigh them on certified and approved scales. You can rest easy knowing that you are working with knowledgeable, experienced staff and that the price you get for your gold is better than you’ll get anywhere else, guaranteed.
Selling gold in Canada can be stressful – in fact, trying to sell any of your collectables, antiques, precious metals, and militaria can be taxing. How do you know who to trust? Where can you go to get the best prices for your items? How do you determine which items are worth bringing in? At Muzeum, you don’t have to worry about any of these things. We are a trusted Canadian brand that’s operated by the same owners who bring you the Great Canadian Roadshow, a travelling event where locals can meet with experts to have their antiques and collectables evaluated for free, and then traded in for money.
We offer competitive pricing and are always transparent with our businesses practices. Be sure to visit us or give us a call to find out more about why we are the best in the industry.
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