Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Games Souvenirs No Golden Opportunity

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Games Souvenirs No Golden Opportunity

Article excerpt

Byline: Lucy Tobin

Olympic organisers are busy pushing memorabilia ranging from batons to volleyball nets but as a rule it's wise to buy for love rather than investment OW the London Olympic organisers have nearly sold out of tickets or, in the case of football, given up on the hope of doing so they are focusing a new source of revenues: official memorabilia. They want Londoners and Games visitors to snap up everything from the T-shirts and cuddly Mandeville mascots being flogged at the Official London 2012 shops to the net that is to be used in the men's gold-medal volleyball match, official score sheets and a baton from the men's 4x100m relay memorabilia.london2012.com. Most will make a nice souvenir, but will any actually make you money? "You should buy what you like and collect because you enjoy it, because collectability is hard to predict," says Sophie Churcher, a valuer at auction house Christie's. "Medals, torches, and special prizes are the items collectors are most interested in, but lots of merchandise for 2012 has been mass produced and is unlikely to show a significant increase in value. So the first crucial rule of Olympics investing is to buy for love, and hope it could turn into an investment not the other way round. The 'Products sold less [pounds sterling]250 generally will not second is to make sure any collectables you buy are authentic which usually means a Locog licence will be draped all over it. appreciate much value' "We have an Olympics auction in September featuring posters," adds Churcher, "and although some of the non-official ones will sell well due to their age or because they are beautiful lithographs, it's the official Olympic merchandise that collectors are most interested in."

Medals tend to be good investments as they are limited in number and become a part of history. April saw the most expensive piece of Olympic memorabilia ever sold: a silver cup from the first 1896 Olympic marathon won by Greece's Spyros Louis, which sold at Christie's for [pounds sterling]541,250. …

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