According to new research by the Yesterday channel to mark new series Trading History, UKTV have discovered nearly three quarters of the country is keeping historical items in the hope they will be worth something in years to come.

Yesterday UKTV

“There is a wealth of fascinating historical detail behind the items featured on Trading History. People collecting items is a way of bringing the past alive, and the show explores how much these artefacts will make at auction. It’s fascinating to find that we are a nation of collectors, with three quarters of the population holding onto items in the hope they’ll be able to profit from them one day. It’s also good to see that a good portion or people hold onto items for their historical value too.” – Adrian Wills, general manager for Yesterday

With a new 12-sided pound coin due to be introduced in March next year, the findings reveal that old coins are the most popular historical item kept by Brits, followed by classic vinyl albums and singles, stamps and football programmes. Yes collections include everything from 1970s Beano annuals and original Beatles records to WW2 ration books and gas masks.

The brand news series explores history through items up for auction – from previously unheralded World War Two heroes, incredible forgotten characters and tales from the 20th century to amazing new discoveries of historical items. And according to the research conducted among 2,000 adults on behalf of the programme, 72% of Brits say they keep items because they think they will be worth something one day – with fewer than one in ten (9.25%) saying it’s not something that interests them.

The Top 10 items Brits have bought in the hope that they will go up in value, according to Trading History:

  1. Old coins (bought by 26.1% of Brits)

  2. Vinyl records (21.5%)

  3. Stamps (19.9%)

  4. Football programmes (9.5%)

  5. Celebrity autographs (9.3%)

  6. Annuals (9.1%)

  7. Old video games (8.6%)

  8. Football shirts (8.5%)

  9. CDs (8.4%)

  10. Star Wars collectibles (6.1%)

Toys are an increasingly popular area for adults to buy in the hope that they increase in value, with over one in ten (13.9%) admitting they have purchased toys purely for their potential value, keeping them unopened and not allowing children to play with them.

The most popular toys considered likely to increase in value is Lego, bought by 7.9% of people quizzed, followed by price comparison site Compare The Market’s Meerkat figures (4.1%), Doctor Who figures (3.1%), Action Man (2.92%) and Disney Frozen toys (1.74%). A quarter (24.5%) say they put their historical items on display somewhere in the home, usually in frames or on shelves, while a further one in five (22.8%) bring them out to show guests who call.

And around one in thirty (3.26%) regularly post photos of their historical items on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. However, one in twenty (5.75%) admit they have sold, lost or thrown away something that is now worth a fortune – while a similar number (7.65%) have sold, lost or thrown away something which was worth a fortune at the time without knowing.

But money doesn’t always matter to collectors, with a quarter of Brits (24.5%) keeping hold items purely for their historical importance – the most popular subjects being pre-decimal coins, from before 1971, kept by 33.1% of those quizzed, World War Two memorabilia (32%), 1970s memorabilia (22.3%), 1940s memorabilia (21.5%) and World War One memorabilia (20.6%).


Trading History is on every Wednesday, from November 16th, at 7pm on Yesterday.
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