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84 Types of Collecting

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Collecting is the practice of acquiring rare, interesting, valuable or aesthetic things and organizing them into a curated collection. This helps to preserve things for future generations and is often inspired by a hobby, interest or research process. Collecting can help an individual to feel part of history, pop culture or other elements of life such as a collector of meteorites who enjoys a sense of connection to space. The following are common types of collecting.
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Antiques & Historical Items

Antiques are things of value or interest that are more than 100 years old. This is centered around furniture and other household items that continue to serve a useful purpose. Historical items include generally old things such as coins and things that are tied to specific historical events or people such as a document related to WWII.

Collectibles

Things that are specifically designed to be collected. These include souvenirs and products that offer rarity from the start such as trading cards packs that offer some rare cards designed to generate interest from collectors. Collectibles include inexpensive trinkets for fans of brands, characters or enthusiasts of things such as trains. They can also include relatively expensive items such as limited edition luxury fashions.

Everyday Items

Collecting everyday items that are nonetheless produced with unique designs or workmanship. For example, bottle caps that initially have very low value but exhibit a great variety of graphic designs. Often the hope here is that with time, the value of these items may appreciate as they become rare. This can happen. For instance, there is a lively market for rare marbles.

Nature & Science

Collecting natural things because they are rare like gemstones or out of a sense of exploration and scientific discovery. This can involve adventure such as searching natural environments for these items or can be strictly a market activity where you buy these things.

Media

Collecting current media such as digital media and books or vintage media such as LP records. This can also involve collecting media equipment such as arcade machines or record players.

Ephemera

Collecting small things with a short lifespan that weren't designed to last. These are mostly paper items that often have a single use. Rarity can occur quickly as these items will quickly fade if not preserved.

Pop Culture

Collecting related to movies, television, music, video games, sports and other elements of popular culture. This includes the pursuit of mass produced items such as movie collectibles, digital items such as in-game goods and unique items such as animation cels.

Other Types of Collecting

Other kinds of collecting based on types of items such as typewriters, types of interest such as enthusiasm for railroads or culture such as collecting kimonos or Americana.

Collecting Strategy

Collections resemble small museums and can be assembled and curated in a variety of ways. Many collectors will simply pursue items they find personally interesting while others will seek items that are likely to be valuable based on the way that value is appraised in the market. Others will align their collection to a particular theme or type of item. This may make the overall collection more noteworthy. For example, if you only collect train tickets issued during WWII in Europe this may be a more interesting collection than a random collection of tickets from any time and place.

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