By judith


February 15, 2014

That's an Olympic torch from the 1936 Games, above. Among other items, Olympic torches are hot collector's items. Collecting Olympic memorabilia is a way for those who can't get to the Games to share in the fun.

The most popular Olympics collectibles are the little lapel pins that athletes and fans trade with each other. These are inexpensive, so they are great items for beginning collectors. After that, there are the torches, participation medals (those given to all participants) and everything from photos of the athletes, to programs, event lists, parts of uniforms, and other clothing.

Value of Olympic collectibles varies with the source (who carried, wore, threw it) and especially with the particular Olympic Games. A great example of this is memorabilia from the 1936 Olympics.

The world was in turmoil as World War II approached, and Adolph Hitler of Germany especially wanted to best the Americans at the games. Jesse Owens' outstanding performance in those games certainly infuriated Hitler. Any memorabilia at all from that Olympics is highly collectible, as politics frequently finds its way into the Olympics.

The Olympic Torch, above, sells for approximately $6,000 today.

Judith Katz-Schwartz