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Safeguarding Your Collectibles
by: Charles Kassotis
Are you one of those people who have a valuable gun, china, or doll collection? You know the type: You visit a home and find an amazing selection of items laying around the house or stored in a display area for accessible viewing. It may be the collection began innocently enough, perhaps with a long-ago birthday gift or holiday present. That item became particularly special to its owner, who relished it so much that he decided to start collecting similar pieces to multiply the joy coming from ownership of the prized possession.

It takes many years for most people to build up a sizable collection of objects. As they do, though, it may be tempting to put them on display for othersí pleasure, too. But if the collectible pieces are valuable, and especially if they are breakable, the owner would be prudent to take important steps in protecting the expensive collection.

1. Check the authenticity of each piece you plan to purchase for your collection. Unless you are buying from a trusted or approved dealer, you will want to make sure that you are getting the genuine article. Many collectibles come with verification certificates, so if yours doesnít, have it checked out by a professional to be sure itís what you think it is and not a substitute.

2. Keep track of your collection. Donít let anyone borrow from it, or if they do, fill out a card with the personís name and contact information, along with the date it was borrowed and when it should be returned. Describe or number the piece to make it easy to track.

3. Store all items together if possible. Keeping them in the same area or room will make it easier to detect when one goes missing or gets broken. Keep them in an area that is less traveled than others. It should be orderly and neat to help protect collectibles from breakage if someone should stumble or trip or something on the floor or sticking out from a shelf or table.

4. Keep your collection clean. Learn how to take care of collectibles to keep them free of dust, lint, stains, or other potential problems due to mishandling them or sitting a long time in the same place. You may have to buy special polish for jewelry, silverware, or guns, for example, and learn the correct way of keeping them clean.

5. Guide visitorsí perusal of the collection. Store the pieces in a locked glass case if you donít want anyone to touch them. You can leave them out in the open, on the other hand, and instruct guests about how to handle or otherwise touch each item.

Keep the container or storage case clean, as well, Prevent kids and pets from playing in the general area of your collection, to avoid possible breakage or damage.

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Learn more about this fun hobby by visiting The Collectible Spot at

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