What Makes A Presidential Political Collection Valuable?

Type of Object

Pinbacks and buttons are an inexpensive, durable purchase which can grow into a wonderful collection. Since Abraham Lincoln, presidential candidates have been putting their faces on pins. Unlike paper objects, buttons and other hard objects typically hold up well even after extensive use or exposure.

Authenticity & Age:

An older item is typically rarer, and thus, more valuable.  Authenticated signed objects are always worth more than unsigned, especially if they are not “secretarial,” auto-penned or personalized “to Larry.”

Historical Significance

The historical importance of a president is the most important factor in the value of their memorabilia. What did the president do? How did they change America? And equally important: How does the object pertain to them and their historical legacy?

Andrew Jackson was one of America’s most notorious presidents for his controversial decisions & fiery personality, but he is also known for his achievements on the battlefield before he became president.

It is not surprising that a “Pay Requisition” from War of 1812, signed by Jackson, sold for $10,000.00 in 2014. That’s a lot of paper!  But consider, Jackson’s signed letter written while preparing for The Battle of New Orleans, which sold for $65,725.00. Why the huge difference in price?  While both documents are from the same period, the Battle of New Orleans changed the tide of the war against the British. It was one of Jackson’s greatest victories on the battlefield, so having a glimpse into his thoughts on the eve of this fight is of greater value than his mere signature on a pay bill.


Co-Authors: Lynn Magnusson, ASA, AAA and Becky Lipnick, Communications Coordinator

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