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The 49ers Collector: Memorabilia Still a Good Investment

In times of Wall Street gloom and recession, collecting 49ers memorabilia continues to be the subject of the whims or vicissitudes of an unstable market place. Still, their prices and values are holding strong and steadily compounding. So far prices realized in 2009 from auction houses, ebay, and private sales results are astounding. For example, Joe Perry's 1956 game used home jersey sold for a whooping $30,000! (private party) Considering in 1956, Wilson Sporting Goods, the distributor of these uniforms to 49ers (jersey, pant, and socks) cost the team a mere $16.50, that's quite a profit);  Michael Carter's Super Bowl XXIV ring was claimed for $25,272.32 (American Memorabilia auction); a 1959 49ers red and silver sideline cape brought $1,525.00 (Lelands auction); a 6' x 12' foot cotton twill flag lettered "San Francisco 49ers"  from the 1950s brought $775.00 (Vintage Authentic auction);  Joe Montana's warm-up sweatshirt from 1981 signed by Montana sold for $425.00 (private party); and a stadium cushion from old Kezar Stadium which rented to the fans for 25-cents in the 60s, and signed by six 49ers Hall of Famer players topped out at $375 (SCP auctions).

The craze for tangible 49ers relics and collectibles, and the allure of the collecting hobby expanding into the mainstream of 49ers nostalgias, has continued to stir into a profitable business. It's not only the 49ers game-worn garments or high-energy cards; it's the advent-guard generation of participants who continue to stimulate its avocation. The oldies are always the goodies, and they are continuing to command dynamic values.

Personally, I have only witnessed a very slight depreciation in the collectible market. And as long as the quality and provenance of the collectibles are assured, they are still a solid investment. Quality 49ers memorabilia always holds a premium, so keep collecting the names of Montana, Rice, Lott, Young, Tittle, McElhenny, Perry, Nomellini, and St.Clair. Also, it's thrilling to witness lively enthusiasm from collectors for the newer 49ers like Gore, Willis, and Clements. You can expect to pay a high premium for autographs, signed jerseys and helmets from any of these 49ers mega stars.

Better than the Stock MarketLike the stock market, collectible pricing is based on perceived value. When the economy's general market seems uncertain, the perceived value of enduring 49ers collectibles typically increases, because the consumer can touch, feel and smell what it is they're attaining – unlike stocks and bonds. This is just one of the reasons why 49ers collectibles hold their own during any slowdown in the economy. Another reason the collectible market jumps during recession is due to the collector having control of the materials. They can choose to sell or buy creating their own collection value. Just remember, buy smart and buy quality.

Be CautiousTo be sure, there is sometimes a pothole or two on the road to success. But more often than not, the general trend of enhancement in the sports memorabilia industry provides security and promises greater rewards than any other financial endeavor. Follow your eye and your heart - this is an exciting and flourishing hobby we're all in. Savor your lovely 49ers collectibles- the new, the old, the obscure and the unique.

Future OutlookRemember, acquisitions of 49ers memorabilia is a dynamic and well seasoned mature investment, and it generally glitters with immensely more radiance than a featureless stock certificate. It's an exciting way to diversify your portfolio - invest for college, or just to enjoy en route to a cozy retirement. One great feature as a 49ers collector - you can always safely redeem your investment.

Martin Jacobs has been an advanced collector of 49ers memorabilia for 57 years. He has established himself in the hobby as a respected market authority in virtually all major areas of the advanced sector. He continues to enhance his collection and welcomes any comments and desires any 49ers memorabilia to purchase. He also offers free appraisals. He can be reached by

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