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These 20 Hidden Treasures Can Sell for Big Bucks. Which Ones Do You Own?

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By Alessia Barranca

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If your basement is full of clutter and your attic is piled high with items from your past, you could be harboring serious money. There could be dusty boxes filled with sought-after vinyl or an old chair from your grandma’s that is gold to a vintage furniture lover. We take a look at 20 surprising items in your home that could be a hidden fortune:

Vintage Toys

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Certain well-preserved toys, from old action figures to childhood board games, can be surprisingly valuable to collectors. When clearing out old toy boxes, keep those in good condition and research the brand online to see if they have any value. Star Wars figures, vintage Barbie dolls, and toys from pop culture are particularly in demand. 

Collectible Furniture

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Take your time removing grandma’s old furniture because it is not your taste. Certain styles and periods, like mid-century modern or Art Deco, can be valuable. Look for unique features or designer labels that might indicate higher worth. If the furniture looks a bit grubby, try not to clean it yourself, as a professional restorer can ensure it keeps its value. 

Vinyl Records

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The resurgence of vinyl has made record collections a goldmine again. First pressings, especially of iconic artists or limited releases, can be worth a significant amount. Check the condition of the records and sleeves before listing them for sale, as you will need to describe the condition accurately. If you are not familiar with vinyl, you can take your records along to a dealer who can help assess their worth. 

Comic Books

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Old superhero comics, particularly those from the Silver Age (1956-1970), can sell for hundreds of dollars in pristine condition. If you are familiar with comics, look for critical issues featuring first appearances or iconic storylines. If you are still determining whether your comics are likely to hold value, you can seek advice online or from local dealers. 

Advertising Collectibles

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There has been a surge in all things vintage in recent years as homeowners look to make their living spaces look unique. Vintage advertising signs, tins, or packaging can attract collectors, especially in good condition, and showcase popular brands from bygone eras.

Cameras & Photography Equipment

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The recent surge in the popularity of film photography has driven up demand for older cameras that are still functional and produce unique results. Collectors highly seek vintage cameras and lenses, particularly those from renowned brands like Leica, Rolleiflex, or Hasselblad.


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Remember to consider the worth of inherited or unused jewelry, even the items that look like costume jewelry. Before donating to a thrift store, look for hallmarks indicating precious metals and gemstones. Unique or antique pieces can hold significant value and should be taken to a dealer for a certificate of authenticity and valuation. 

Artwork & Prints

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Even if it’s been hanging on your wall for years, that painting or print could be valuable. Works by famous or well-respected artists, as well as rare prints, will naturally hold more value. Research signatures, markings, or certificates of authenticity to identify the artist, or take your pieces to an art dealer for assistance 


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If you have a bulging bookcase, it is worth checking for unique markings, inscriptions, or limited edition details. Generally, the older the book, the more valuable it might be, especially if it’s well-preserved.

Glassware & China

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Antique glassware and china can be valuable, particularly from well-regarded manufacturers or specific periods. Could you look for identifying marks or logos on the pieces? Certain brands like Wedgwood, Lalique, Baccarat, or Tiffany & Co. are highly sought after and command premium prices.


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Old silver or pewter can be valuable, especially if a known maker marks it. You can take your pieces to reputable antique stores or appraisers for a professional evaluation. They can identify the metal, maker, and potential value.

Textiles & Quilts

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Antique textiles and quilts, particularly those dating back to the 18th or 19th centuries, could hide a small fortune. Unique fabrics, rare weaving patterns, or specific quilting techniques like hand-stitching or appliqués can significantly increase their value. Limited edition quilts or those documented in historical archives are even more valuable.


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Pocket watches or wristwatches from well-regarded brands are highly collectible and can hold significant worth. If you come across a watch that is still functional and in good condition, it could bring home hundreds, even thousands of dollars. 

Sports Memorabilia

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Autographed items, game-used equipment, or tickets from historic sporting events can be valuable to collectors. In-depth knowledge about a particular sport or team allows you to target collectors with specific interests, but you can also ask an expert if you have inherited your memorabilia. 

Musical Instruments

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Specific musical instruments, especially rare or antique ones, can hold significant monetary value. For instance, a Stradivarius violin can fetch millions of dollars at auctions. These instruments are often made with exceptional craftsmanship and materials, and their value increases with age and historical significance.


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You may be surprised to hear that old cell phones can be of value. Tech collectors love to have a catalog of each release of mobile phones so those released early on can attract buyers willing to splash their cash. The Motorola DynaTAC 8000X and early Nokia models are particularly in demand. 

Military Items

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Military uniforms from specific eras, especially those with decorations or medals, can be valuable to collectors or museums interested in that period’s history. Deactivated military firearms or bladed weapons can be collectible, but strict regulations govern their ownership and sale. Please always prioritize safety and make sure proper deactivation procedures have been followed.

Coins & Currency

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Coins minted in small quantities or with errors in production become rare and can be worth much more than their face value. The condition of a coin significantly impacts its value. Coins in pristine, uncirculated condition (MS 70) are the most valuable, while heavily worn coins (PR-Poor) will be worth considerably less.


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Stamps issued in small quantities or with printing errors have become rare and highly sought after by collectors. Imagine finding a stamp with an upside-down airplane – that rarity could skyrocket its worth. 

Family Heirlooms

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Heirlooms are often tangible links to the past, connecting you to your ancestors and their stories. A pocket watch passed down through generations carries more weight than its monetary value, but it will be helpful if you need extra cash.