5 Ways to Value Your Collection, Whether It’s Fine Wine or Shrunken Heads

Whisky has had a solid run since the 2008 recession, according to auction reports, but one of the top brands is Macallan, a single-malt whisky from the Speyside region of Scotland. A bottle of 60-year-old Macallan sold last year at auction for $1.1 million; it was priced at $27,000 after it was bottled in 1986.

“The Macallan has seen steep growth that levels out,” said Isabel Graham-Yooll, auction and private client director at Whiskey Auction. “Each time there’s a raised eyebrow and questions about whether it’s sustainable. And then it goes up again.”

Macallan is a known, high-end whisky for sure, but like the Ferraris I wrote about last week, it is well marketed and managed by the distillery.

But stars aren’t limited to spirits. This week, a trading card featuring the New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady from his 2000 rookie season sold for $401,000. The sale set a record for a football trading card and beat last year’s $250,000 price paid for a similar Brady card from the same set, said Brent Huigens, chief executive of PWCC, a marketplace that maintains an index of trading card values.

The Brady card is an outlier in the indexes that PWCC has created, which are typically led by baseball cards. Other exceptionally rare cards include a 1909 T206 Honus Wagner that has been in a private collection since 2007 when it sold for $2.8 million.

Still, Mr. Huigens pointed to a steady increase of the PWCC 500, a diversified portfolio of the 500 best cards that trade frequently. The index is up 165 percent since January 2008, while the S&P 500 is up 71 percent.

Nick Fiorella, who owns an insurance company in Stuart, Fla., won the Brady card at auction but it wasn’t even his biggest card purchase that week. He also bought a 1952 Topps Mickey Mantle for $450,000.

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