Vintage Items Inside Of Your Parents’ Home That’s Worth A Fortune

Lindsey - December 14, 2023
Photo: SFO Museum

Antique Scientific Instruments

Instruments such as old microscopes, telescopes, or navigational tools can be valuable, particularly if they are well-preserved. The precision engineering, historical importance, and the evolution of scientific knowledge make these instruments appealing to those fascinated by the history of scientific discovery. Instruments associated with famous scientists or pivotal discoveries in fields like astronomy or microscopy can command significant interest and value.

Photo: Wired

Vinyl Records

Vinyl records, especially those from specific genres, artists, or with rare editions, can be valuable to collectors and music enthusiasts. Factors such as the condition of the record, the rarity of the pressing, and the popularity of the artist or album can significantly impact the value of these vintage music artifacts. Limited-edition releases, records in mint condition with original packaging, or those associated with groundbreaking moments in music history can command premium prices among vinyl collectors.

Photo: 1stDibs


Artwork, whether paintings, sculptures, or other forms, can be valuable, of course. This is based on the artist’s reputation, historical significance, and the uniqueness of the piece. Originality, artistic style, and the period in which the artwork was created contribute to its potential value, making it a sought-after item for art collectors and enthusiasts. Artworks associated with specific art movements, cultural moments, or created by influential artists can command premium prices in the art market, reflecting the broader appreciation for their cultural and historical context.

Photo: eBay

Vintage Glasses

Vintage glasses, especially those with unique designs or from iconic brands, can be valuable to collectors of glassware. The material, craftsmanship, and rarity of specific patterns or styles can enhance the desirability and value of vintage glasses among those who appreciate retro aesthetics. Glasses from renowned designers or those associated with particular fashion eras, such as the mid-20th century, are particularly sought after for their style and historical charm.


Old Dolls

Old dolls may be creepy to some, but to collectors? Potentially priceless! Factors such as the doll’s condition, age, and historical significance can significantly impact its value, appealing to collectors who have a particular interest in the history of doll-making. Dolls with original clothing, accessories, or those associated with famous doll makers can be prized possessions in the antique doll market.

Photo: Dorothea’s

Original Fiestaware

Original Fiestaware, produced by the Homer Laughlin China Company, can be valuable to collectors of vintage dinnerware. The bright and bold colors, distinctive designs, and rarity of certain pieces contribute to the appeal and value of Fiestaware, especially if the items are in good condition. Complete sets, rare or retired colors, or pieces with specific markings can be particularly sought after among Fiestaware enthusiasts and collectors of mid-century ceramics.

Photo: Antique Trader

Brass Collectibles

Brass collectibles, ranging from figurines to household items, can hold value based on their craftsmanship, age, and uniqueness. Items like antique brass candlesticks, decorative objects, or utensils may appeal to collectors who appreciate the aesthetic appeal and historical significance of brass artifacts. Brass collectibles with intricate detailing, unique shapes, or those associated with specific cultural or artistic movements look right at home on your mantel and in the vintage market.

Photo: Palm Island Coins

Silver Coins and Bullion

Check for old silver coins, silver bars, or other forms of silver bullion. Precious metals like silver can hold significant value, especially if they are in good condition. The rarity of specific coins, historical significance, and the purity of the silver content can contribute to their worth, making them sought after by both investors and numismatists. Silver coins with limited minting, unique designs, or those associated with historical events can carry additional value among collectors of precious metals.

Photo: Antique Trader

Vintage Coca-Cola Memorabilia

Items such as old Coca-Cola signs, bottles, or promotional materials can be valuable to collectors of soda memorabilia. Look for items with unique designs or from specific historical periods. The iconic nature of the Coca-Cola brand, coupled with the nostalgia associated with vintage advertising, adds to the desirability of these items among collectors and enthusiasts. Limited-edition items or those featuring classic Coca-Cola imagery reflect the enduring popularity of the brand.

Photo: LoveToKnow

Pocket Watches

Did your grandparents’ carry pocket watches? Well, the condition and rarity of specific models can contribute to their worth, attracting collectors interested in horology. Pocket watches often showcase intricate craftsmanship, and those with historical significance or intricate complications may command higher values. Complications such as chronographs, moon phases, or unique dial designs can add to the desirability of vintage pocket watches among collectors.

Photo: Wikipedia

Antique Writing Instruments

Collectors should search for fountain pens and other writing instruments from renowned brands. Look for items in good working condition with distinctive designs. The craftsmanship, materials used, and the reputation of the manufacturer all play a role in determining the value of antique writing instruments, making them sought after by pen enthusiasts and collectors alike. Limited-edition releases, pens associated with famous individuals, or those with unique nib designs can command higher prices in the vintage writing instrument market.

Photo: The Spruce

Mid-Century Modern Decor

Mid-century modern items – like furniture, lighting fixtures, or decor pieces – command high prices. Collectors will love the sleek and innovative designs of this period are highly sought after by their brotheren. The unique aesthetics and functional appeal of mid-century modern decor contribute to its enduring popularity, and well-preserved pieces by renowned designers can command significant value in the market. Designers such as Eames, Saarinen, or Wegner gained fame during the mid-century modern period, so keep an eye out for their work.

Photo: SFO Museum

Vintage Clothing Accessories

Beyond clothing, accessories like vintage handbags, hats, or gloves from specific designers or eras may have significant value. Look for items in good condition with unique features. Vintage clothing accessories not only showcase the fashion trends of the past but also hold historical and artistic value, appealing to collectors and fashion enthusiasts who appreciate the craftsmanship and design of these items.

Photo: Atlas Obscura

Old Board Games

Vintage board games, especially those in good condition and with unique themes, can be valuable to board game collectors. Look for games from specific decades or with rare components. The rarity of certain editions, the popularity of the game, and the condition of the components all contribute to the value of vintage board games. Board games with innovative gameplay, unique artwork, or those tied to popular franchises will make your next game night (or auction) all the better.

Photo: Washburn Cultural Center

Antique Perfume Bottles

Check your parents’ home for bottles from renowned perfumers or specific historical periods – the more valuable! The artistry and craftsmanship of antique perfume bottles, coupled with their association with luxury and beauty, make them highly collectible. Unique shapes, intricate stoppers, and the presence of original packaging can enhance their desirability and value among collectors and perfume enthusiasts. Especially look for limited-edition releases or bottles associated with famous perfumers to make it big on the perfume bottle market.

Photo: Geographicus Rare Antiques

Antique Atlases

In addition to individual maps, antique atlases can be valuable, especially if they are rare or showcase historical cartography. The value of these items lies not only in their navigational utility but also in their ability to serve as visual historical records, making them prized possessions for collectors and history enthusiasts. Atlases with maps depicting exploration routes, early depictions of continents, or those featuring intricate cartographic details can command premium prices among antique map collectors.

Photo: The Pink Panther Wiki

Vinyl Lunchboxes

Vintage vinyl lunchboxes, especially those featuring popular characters or themes, can be valuable to collectors of nostalgic memorabilia. Look for lunchboxes in good condition with intact thermoses. These lunchboxes evoke a sense of childhood nostalgia. Collectors and enthusiasts appreciate their enhanced features as well. People appreciate them for their whimsical designs, with specific characters or themes often determining their collectible value. The condition of the graphics, hinges, and thermos can significantly impact the overall value of these lunchboxes, too.

Photo: Ruby Lane

Vintage Marbles

If you played marbles as a kid, you know the value a well-crafted marble can command. Collectors, too, see handmade or rare marbles. These small yet intricate artifacts hold appeal for their aesthetic qualities, and the rarity of certain designs or materials can significantly impact their value among marble enthusiasts and collectors. Marbles with unusual patterns, vibrant colors, or those crafted by renowned manufacturers are prized, reflecting the diversity and artistry within the world of vintage marbles.

Exploring the world of antiques and vintage collectibles in your parents’ home can be like finding hidden treasures with fascinating stories. As collectors and enthusiasts cherish these old items, they help preserve the legacy of art and design for the future. Each discovery not only highlights the value of these objects but also reminds us of their cultural importance, fostering an ongoing appreciation for the beauty of the past in our changing world.