Rare Book Index Launched By Stanley Gibbons

Best known in Asia as a dealer and specialist in rare stamps and coins, London based Stanley Gibbons has now composed an index of 35 first editions of 20th-century classics.

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 £24,000 and £8,000 respectively; J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit, valued at £65,000; while F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby is the highest at £247,000. George Orwell’s Animal Farm has experienced significant value growth according to auction data, rising from £190 to £5,100.

Overall the index has shown 398% growth, an 8.8% annual growth for the last ten years.

“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,” said Keith Heddle, managing director of Stanley Gibbons Investments.

“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.”

The rare books index follows the now established rare stamps and coins indices, which Stanley Gibbons says demonstrates these collectibles to be one of the most reliable, long-term ‘buy and hold’ alternative assets for investors looking for portfolio diversification and low volatility.

Over the past 10 years, the GB250 Index, which tracks the performance of the top 250 traded, investment grade British stamps, recorded a CAGR of 11.4%. The GB200 coin index, charting the performance of 200 rare British coins, showed a CAGR of 12.75% without a drop in that time.

You may want to check your bookshelf tonight for any of the novels below:

  1. The Great Gatsby (F Scott Fitzgerald) £246,636
  2. The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien) £64,420
  3. Ulysses (James Joyce) £24,557
  4. Casino Royale (Ian Fleming) £24,180
  5. In Our Time (Ernest Hemingway) £22,079
  6. Lord of the Rings (JRR Tolkien) £20,000
  7. Prufrock and Other Observations (TS Eliot) £17,500
  8. The Christopher Robin Books (AA Milne) £13,084
  9. Tender is the Night (F Scott Fitzgerald) £10,370
  10. Decline and Fall (Evelyn Waugh) £9,364
  11. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand) £8,540


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