Kovels’ Antiques and Collectibles guides claim that approximately 65% of us collect “something.” What happens to our collections during a recession, or in times like we are experiencing today?

If you have collected good quality items, you are safe, as “good” will always be good.

During this period when we are all homebound or nearly so, what better time to take a careful inventory of your collection or collections? Note each piece with condition, circa date, and researched value. It is the latter than might surprise you.

Often we collect and really don’t know exactly what we have. Recently at the shop, a lady brought in a collection that her late husband had carefully put together and wanted an evaluation. For the most part, at today’s market there was little value; however, among these items there were two pieces of considerable value. She had no idea.

We advised her to retain the collection and to safeguard the two pieces. Because of the overall quality of the collection, the value might increase in the future.

When I was a little boy, there was no collecting hobby except for stamps and coins. Most of us seniors remember that President Franklin Roosevelt had a huge stamp collection. He claimed that during hard times, working on and examining his collection was very therapeutic.

Rarely do I respond to mailers or attractive magazine offers for collectibles. However, recently I sent in for a 2020 one dollar Silver Eagle coin, and was delighted when I received it with a brochure on the history of the design. It was noted that 2020 is the last year of the present design, making it a unique collectible.

Many coin collectors consider the Silver Eagle one dollar coin as the most beautiful coin ever minted.

Why do I bring this up? During the 2008 recession, the Silver Eagle sold out very quickly and today the value is considerably higher than original cost.

Why the quick sale happened is that collectors and investors want a tangible asset. We have no control over the stock market, but do have control of what we have “in hand.”

While the 2020 Silver Eagle is still available, you might want to consider getting a few for gifts to grandchildren – or for yourself. Besides the fact that it is the last year, we are experiencing a pandemic. Supplies will disappear quickly. A search on the internet might find offers of the coin for $25, or $450 for a roll of 20 uncirculated. Incidentally, these coins are .999 pure silver and are a very safe investment.

Remember that your collection is safe if you bought well. The 2020 American Eagle is a tangible asset and is a beautiful silver coin.

Jerry Glenn is co-owner of Reminisce in Bluffton, where sports collectibles are bought and sold.