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Collecting Elvis

Elvis Presley died on August 16, 1977. He left a rich legacy that continues to inspire many fans to this day. In addition to his mansion, Graceland, his mountain of hit records and his ultra popular movies, Elvis still connects with collectors more than 30 years after his untimely death. Beloved by millions, Elvis was a visionary talent and a star among stars.

Elvis Presley Collectors are very devoted to Elvis and what some call Elvisabilia, in a manner that differs from that of other celebrities or rock stars. Elvis was an icon, and while his hit records are valuable on today's secondary market, it is his global appeal that has attracted so many collectors to Elvis objects-both musical and otherwise. People collect objects relating to Elvis' career, home, family and his lifestyle because they were inspired and impressed with him. Elvis made a career out of connecting with his audiences. What's more, his personal decisions to serve in the military and to support American causes contribute to his widespread popular appeal. The King of Rock and Roll raised funds to help construct Hawaii's famed U.S.S. Arizona Memorial, and he was immortalized on a U.S. postage stamp in 1992. The Elvis stamp remains the most publicized stamp in U.S. history, yet its collectible value is rather low since so many- over 500 million-were distributed.

When it comes to collecting, objects devoted to the King are a good longterm investment. Each year on the anniversary of his death, the prices for Elvis collectibles temporarily spike.

Many objects that relate to the King of Rock and Roll are quite pricey, today. His bejeweled performance costumes have sold to collectors in a range from $25,000 to $300,000. An avid collector of American automobiles himself, Elvis enjoyed the fastest cars of the Post War Era and purchased many automobiles from the late 1950s to the mid-1970s. An example from his classic car collection sold to a fellow collector for $295,000.

Elvis posters are popular, like the 1955 printed board announcement from the Grand Ole Opry that sold for $12,650. A traditional early career leather jacket brought $37,000. In addition, Elvis recordings continue to bring high prices. A Sun Record recording of That's All Right in its original paper sleeve, 45 rpm, sold for more than $1,100.

Major artists also helped to further immortalize Elvis to his ever-growing numbers of fans. Andy Warhol's characteristic pop art masterpiece of Elvis Presley from 1963 entitled, Single Elvis, in silkscreen ink on a silvered background sold at auction for $3.3 million. It's good to be King. It's even better to collect the King.