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Beverly Chandler

Stanley Gibbons launches rare books index


Stanley Gibbons Investments has launched the first rare book index measuring the value of 30 first edition twentieth century classic books.  The firm believes that the index will help guide investors and collectors looking to build a rare book portfolio as part of a long-term investment strategy.

The index of first editions includes Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale and Live and Let Die, which are valued at GBP24,000 and GBP8,000 respectively; J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, valued at GBP65,000; while F Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the highest at GBP247,000. George Orwell’s Animal Farm has experienced significant value growth according to auction data, rising from GBP190 to GBP5,100.  Overall the index has shown 398 per cent growth, an 8.8 per cent annual growth for the last ten years.
Keith Heddle, Managing Director of Stanley Gibbons Investments, says: “As an authority in the collectibles market, Stanley Gibbons aims to help guide and provide access for investors who are looking to diversify some of their wealth into alternative assets. While the index may cause households to start examining their collections, it is important to understand that in order to be investment grade these books must be of a certain condition, have the ‘dust jacket’ still intact and have a particular history and rarity associated with them.  That said, they can give immense pride of ownership as well as strong capital growth potential.  There is a book in everyone and this resonates with investors.”
The rare books index follows the rare stamps and coins indices. Over the last ten years, the GB250 Index, which tracks the performance of the top 250 traded, investment grade British stamps, recorded a CAGR of 11.4 per cent. The GB200 coin index, charting the performance of 200 rare British coins, showed a CAGR of 12.75 per cent without a drop in that time.  Heddle describes rare, tangible assets as: “The iron defence in a portfolio – but with added sparkle.”

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