Recently LoveToKnow was able to catch up with collectibles expert, Jon Warren, and talk to him about Franklin Mint collectibles. Jon has authored several guides for collectors and is internationally recognized as an expert in the collectibles field.
A Little Background on Jon Warren
LoveToKnow: What first drew you to the collectibles market as a career?
Jon Warren: I have been fascinated with beautiful objects since childhood.
LTK: How long have you been involved in collectibles?
JW: I started my first mail-order collectibles business selling rare stamps at age 15. I sold US commemoratives to collectors all over the world doing business under the name, Rarities, Inc. I have now been actively involved in collectibles for over 40 years.
Franklin Mint Collectibles - An Interview with Jon Warren
LTK: What is the history of Franklin Mint?
JW: The Franklin Mint is a private corporation founded in 1964, formerly based in Middletown Township, Pennsylvania, which markets coin-like tokens and other collectibles of its own designs. It was founded by Joseph Segel. It now manufactures not only coins but die cast cars, dolls, plates, figurines, and many other collectibles. Collectors from all over the world enjoy purchasing and displaying these items.
LTK: What sets them apart from other collectible manufacturers?
JW: The Franklin Mint's attention to detail, and an unerring sense of what collectors want, has set them apart in the field of limited edition collectibles.
LTK: Are collectibles an investment item or basically a hobby item?
JW: Because most of the Franklin Mint's output has been in precious metals such as silver or gold, their collectibles are considered both an investment and a hobby item.
LTK: Franklin Mint has a lot of different types of items for the collector. In your opinion what is the most popular?
JW: The most popular Franklin Mint items are their limited edition plates and also some of their beautiful limited edition dolls of the world. To a lesser degree, the limited edition coins and tokens are collectible, although today they are mostly valued for their silver content.
LTK: What is the difference between a Franklin Mint die cast car and something like Hot Wheels?
JW: Oh, the difference is phenomenal. The attention to detail and the craftsmanship is on a higher plane. They make items to the highest detail, nothing is left out.
Collecting Franklin Mint Items
LTK: Do you think in this economy collectibles will continue to be a popular item for people to buy?
JW: Lots of people are being forced to sell at the present time, due to the recession and the debt burdens people are carrying. It has hurt the market a bit.
LTK: If a reader has Franklin Mint collectibles that they want to sell what is the best way for them to go about that?
JW: The best way to sell Franklin Mint collectibles is to visit our website and get a no-obligation appraisal and offer. Sites like eBay are also good, but there are so many items already for sale there that it is hard to sell anything. And it costs money to sell whether you sell your item or not.
LTK: What should a collector look for when buying collectibles and what pitfalls should they avoid?
JW: Collectors should always buy from reputable sellers. They should also look to buy items in top condition, and avoid items with flaws or damage.
LoveToKnow wishes to extend its thanks to Jon Warren for taking the time to answer these questions and provide us with his image for the article. If you have questions about the value of your current or retired collectibles or wish to have them evaluated you should contact Jon through his website, iCollectFranklinMint.