Often capped with an eagle, these gilt-framed bull’s eye mirrors are a popular patriotic motif for the US as a then-newly independent country. It’s also believed that the 13 balls around the edge symbolize the 13 original colonies.
These mirrors of the actual Federal period date to 1780–1830 and fetch top dollar, while nice 19th- or early-20th-century “in the style of” examples sell for much less.
Hot Wheels was another favorite collectible. There are many versions of these cars made today, but none of them compare to the original ones made back in the ‘60s. In fact, since 1968, over 4,000,000,000 Hot Wheel toys have been made, but not all of them are considered valuable.
Some of the toys were only made as a prototype, like the 1969 “Volkswagen Beach Bomb.” This version never made it to production, making it one of a kind and with a value of $125,000. So, if you know a hardcore collector of these toys, tell them to start saving up!
Vintage Christmas Ornaments
Christmas trees are usually full of all kinds of ornaments and lights, some of which may have come from specialty shops for fifty dollars, others hand made by kids for the low, low price of a mess. Usually, these will sit on the tree, or stay hidden in the attic, but not all the time. Another option is to look up the price online.
Vintage sleds can be worth several hundred, and if you manage to have an 1880s blown glass ornament, such as a cluster of grapes, that item could be worth as much as a thousand dollars.
“Never walk past the box of postcards at an estate sale,” says Good Housekeeping. Christmas postcards are the most valuable currency. Terry Kovel, who co-wrote Kovels' Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide, says holiday and especially Christmas items are most desired. Most vintage postcards go for between $10 and $50, but a few have gone for up to four figures.
The most expensive was a Christmas card signed by Prince Charles (now King Charles III) and Princess Diana, which auctioned off for $4,400. Obviously, not all of them will be signed by royalty, but stop into thrift stores and you may find something fabulous.
Retro Air Jordans
As one of the best-selling and most popular sneakers the world over after a collaboration between His Airness Michael Jordan and Nike, Air Jordans have had a cult following since the nineties, and nowadays they are a pop culture phenomenon with lasting power. People wait for hours to buy the newest pairs, but how pricey can they get?
Not everyone was buying them to wear but kept them in the pristine packaging, and for reselling. A pair of Air Jordan 1's black and gold colorways sold for $25,000, enough to buy a brand new Mustang, just for a pair of kicks.