Money Monday: Are You Rich and Don’t Know It?


As the statement goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. While the majority may focus on their finances and assets that come through jobs, business, retirement and real estate, there are other forms of building wealth and managing your assets we sometimes never consider and that is the world of collectibles. What are some collectible items you may have and what might it be worth?


Perhaps you have some old pennies, coins, or dollar bills you have been keeping for a while or have been passed down to you in your family from prior generations. These may be of value and worth quite a bit, but you will never know unless you have them graded.  Although I must hasten to say just because your stuff is old and has been passed down from generations, or you have had it for a long time does not mean that it has value.

For coins, the grading process involves something called slabbing. This will typically involve preserving the items in a special plastic case. While there are several factors used to determine the value of coins, the two most significant factors seem to be how rare the coins or bills are, and how much has they have been circulated.

If you have some currency and want to know it’s worth or value you could go to the Professional Coin Grading Services listing guide which could guide you through the process or offer suggestions.  If it turns out that you have an asset of value and want to sell it, there are professional options available such as coin shows and auctions.


Dishes? I am using the term dishes intentionally, so that you make a distinction between dishes and fine china. I’m really talking about valuing fine china in your possession. There are many factors to consider in valuing and selling your fine china. These include the condition, and maker of the product.

For example on eBay, a Pyrex collection from the 1950’s sold for $1,300, based upon the valuating factors determined. What is important to note about fine china is that as a collectible there are often pieces missing from a set and thus you may not consider it valuable. But as it turns out, individual pieces may still be of great value because there are people who are looking for individual pieces to complete their own sets of fine china. Therefore, if pieces are missing from your fine china set, not to worry because it may still have tremendous value individually.


Before you start throwing away any books and documents, pay attention to their content, and not just condition. While the condition of the book is the single most important factor in the value, there may be exceptions to that rule for your particular possession.  Is it possible that the aged tomes you may have content of “discovery” value? What’s the discovery value? Discovery value comes from the content of the book, and it could possibly change our understanding of history.  So even if the condition of the book may not be great, the content can change its appraised value. Another exception to the  condition rule seems to be the Bible. A Gutenberg Bible could be quite valuable even though it is in poor condition.

Valuing books  can be a very costly process, as much as $2,500, since you will need to retain the services of an appraiser with expertise in rare books, archives and manuscripts. In seeking out an appraiser of your books, it would be important that he or she follow the Uniform Standard of Professional Appraisal Practice.  


I decided to write on this particular subject in terms of our finances because during COVID, and even now, we have lost many loved friends and family members. If you’re like me you could find yourself responsible for someone’s estate or the recipient of some of their assets. If you are involved in any way, are you just going to donate or throw away their items without first giving consideration to their value?  There are several other collectibles not mentioned such as jewelry, cars and art. Whatever they are, your trash may be someone else’s treasure.


Today’s What’s Up is about travel fees. Several airlines have decided to increase their baggage fees by $5.00. Some airlines have added a twist that could mean you pay more than that $5 increase! One example is United Airlines. Their baggage fees are now $35 for the first checked baggage item. However, if you fail to pay for your first checked baggage at least 24 hours prior to departure, the baggage fee is $40. These fees are applicable to domestic flights and the airlines include Alaska, American, Delta and JetBlue.  And that’s what’s up!

Ruthven R. Phillip, Esq., is a tax attorney, Stewardship and Philanthropy Ministry Assistant, and CEO of Give2Getrich, LLC. Give2Get Rich, LLC 2024. All Rights Reserved. Any distribution or reproduction of part or all of the contents in any form is prohibited.


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