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What makes an item hold its value?

Weve all seen Bargain Hunt. We know there exist a plethora of items which not only hold their value but appreciate in worth.

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What makes an item hold its value?

"A focus on what makes an item hold its value, delving into what owners can do to maintain their product, and ultimately guarantee a return on their investment. "

A short-term buzz of excitement is often valued in modern life over an extensive period of long-term gain. Take a meal, or a round of drinks, for example. They are often finished within a matter of hours and forgotten by the time the next occasion rolls around — unless they have been captured by the camera of the annually replaced iPhone.

All the aforementioned products have a particularly short usable shelf life. They run out of worthy value and depreciate. However, we’ve all seen Bargain Hunt. We know there exist a plethora of items which not only hold their value but appreciate in worth. In this article, we focus on what makes an item hold its value, delving into what owners can do to maintain their product, and ultimately guarantee a return on their investment.


Artwork has existed as a sign of wealth throughout history. Enter the grand halls of any mansion and you are sure to find at least one canvas hanging from the wall. Over the years, millions of pound worth of prints have rolled through the doors of Christie’s and Sotheby’s, with some of the most expensive pieces fetching upwards of a hundred million. However, what makes artwork so particularly valuable? Contemporary artists such as Banksy and Damien Hirst are seeing successful sales returns. Their designs may be of incredibly high quality, but that's not the only reason for their works' increasing value. As they are ‘living’ artists, the potential of them developing further works is high. This potential future contribution to the art world, and indeed their skill in preserving historic artworks, ensures this. ‘As the world’s super rich navigate the globe in multi-million pound yachts filled with vast art collections, conservators are demonstrating how to preserve these collectors items’, the Guardian reports. The publication points to the story of art historian, Pandora Mathers-Lees, who was sought out by a billionaire boat owner. He required her help in restoring a painting by American neo-expressionist Jean-Michel Basquiat. The artwork was damaged on board the billionaire’s yacht, after children threw cornflakes at it. Basquiat had died suddenly at the age of 27, so the painting could not be repaired by the original artist. This is an example of the protected worth of living artists, and by extension, their own art's value

We aren’t proposing that any expensive artwork you may lay your hands on is destined to be attacked by Frosties or Coco Pops, however, there are a variety of measures one can take to ensure that your investment is preserved. Damage can be inflicted via direct sunlight, moisture, and pests alike. Assign time to regularly move your print, particularly if it is exposed to light. Consider the addition of a dehumidifier to remove any buildup of condensation in the air, and, likewise, clean it. But, don’t be tempted to spray it with Dettol!


British comedy reached its peak back in 1996 when, in the last episode of the Christmas trilogy of Only Fools and Horses, wheeler-dealers Delboy and Rodney lay their hands on what they initially presumed to be an old egg timer. Much to the brothers’ delight, their discovery was not a kitchen utensil, but a maritime clock from the 18th century. The time keeping device was sold in Sotheby’s London for £6.2m — finally making the Trotters millionaires.

Watches consist of a variety of different materials, with price and desire often affected by the quantity of precious metals used. Although now, in 2019, the vast majority of us use our mobile phone to help keep track of time, the humble watch is one of the most distinguishing marques of sophistication, rounding off any outfit choice.

In 2017 Phillips auctioneers in New York played home to the sale of the most expensive watch in history. Becoming affectionately known as the Paul Newman watch, thanks to the sheer amount of time the movie star sported the item for, the Rolex Cosmograph Daytona was purchased for a whopping £13.5m. Oscar winner Newman, who passed away in 2008, received the watch from his wife almost fifty years previous to its resale, in 1968. The Rolex brand already holds connotation of wealth. But the special engravement of ‘drive carefully’, had the watch stand out against any others. What was expected to sell for approximately £1m skyrocketed in value.

A watch, much like any other valuable product needs particular care and attention. Without it, the consequences in regard to depreciation can be disastrous. Storing the watch in appropriate casing can prevent scratches and moisture damage, while consideration to environments when wearing the watch can help protect against rust and wear.


Cars exist as a rather unique entity in regard to holding their residual value. The vast majority of cars lose between 50 and 60 per cent of their initial price tag in their first three years.

Depreciation is part and parcel of purchasing a car. PCP, which is fast becoming the most popular option for financing a car in the UK, factors in depreciation when calculating the average monthly payments. If owning a car outright is more up your street, however, and you’re looking to make potential earnings through your vehicle, turning towards a classic car with a bit of character is likely to offer considerable opportunity.

Few cars stand so highly thought of with automotive enthusiasts and collectors as Jaguars. The British car brand has always had connotations of luxury and class. The launch of the revamped F-Type model a little more than five years ago encouraged an increase in interest in the initial sixties’ models. That said, it is in fact the F-Types sister model, the E-Type which stands favourably with collectors. Classic car magazines value the car at approximately £75,000. Research carried out HAGI (Historic Automobile Group International) discovered the value of 50 collectable classic cars had risen by 16 per cent.

Maintaining the quality of such a car requires a regular Jaguar service, sheltered storage, and a consideration for restoring vital components, if they were to be damaged or worn.

Certain items have, what we as a nation consider to be, the X Factor, and their worth to a collector is considerably higher than that of others. This is certainly one thing to consider when making your next purchase. However, you may need to follow some simple preservation tips if you are going to reap the reward later!












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