Collectible Lighters

Few collectible items have changed as much over the years as collectible lighters have. Once designed as carefully manufactured little appliances meant to last, they have evolved to disposable items that can be mass produced very cheaply.

Today they often hold no appeal beyond their practical use. One theme still runs strong in cigarette lighters however: a great many are meant to be keepsakes, items of greater significance that mean something to their owners. These are the ones with a theme and a story. These are the ones worth collecting and hanging on to.

Today they often hold no appeal beyond their practical use. One theme still runs strong in cigarette lighters however: a great many are meant to be keepsakes, items of greater significance that mean something to their owners. These are the ones with a theme and a story. These are the ones worth collecting and hanging on to.

Novelty lighters are popular and numerous today, but they are nothing new. When companies first started making lighters in the first decades of the 20th century, they quickly grasped the appeal of a lighter that was different, that had a special theme. It might have been the name or logo of an organization, or have a military symbol. Some had an unusual shape, or were personalized with the initials of the owner.

Ronson produced a walking stick in the 1930s that had a lighter built into it. As the years went by and the manufacturing process became more refined, collectible lighters got more ornate and creative. Some were shaped like familiar objects. Some were designed with ladies in mind.

With such a long history, and a constant demand over the years, there have been thousands of different vintage lighters produced, and many of them are still out there, waiting to be found by collectors. Some of them are very valuable, depending on their age, what their original value was, how rare they are, and what their present condition is. Some have gold plate or sterling silver, or other valuable materials incorporated into their design.

When the personal history of collectible lighters is known, they can be very valuable, as when the original owner is known to have been a crew member of the ship that is depicted on the lighter. Similarly, to enthusiasts of a certain style or theme, some novelty lighters are worth a lot.

Vintage lighters are generally worth somewhere between $100 and $300US, and this is what you can expect to pay from a dealer or on the secondary market. There are, of course lots of collectable lighters of lesser value, and these are a good place to start for a new enthusiast, or one with a limited budget.

There’s no reason why anyone can’t collect them—and there’s always the possibility of finding something valuable and acquiring it for a really good price. Recent novelty lighters are very affordable—many of them are available for between $10 and $20.

For both collectors and traders, the internet is a great resource: many dealers of vintage lighters have internet sites, and buy, sell, and trade web sites like eBay provide both a forum and a marketplace for these items. For collectors of modern novelty lighters, the internet is a good place to shop as well: it can be difficult to find that special item in local stores, but the search capabilities of internet browsers make it possible to shop the world in an afternoon.

The possibilities for fans of collectible lighters are far from limited—companies have been producing them for almost 100 years, and it doesn’t look like they’ll go out of fashion any time soon.

> > Collectible Lighters
Follow Me!
Google+