Vintage valentines can be very valuable, especially Victorian era pop-up honeycomb ones. Values vary and can range into the hundreds of dollars up to thousands. Check Kovels Valentine’s Day collectibles Pinterest board for examples and values.
I am a valentine card collector. If you think you might be interested in becoming a collector, here are some tips on how to start.
What should you look for?
- Valentines that relate to the news of the day
- Valentines signed by someone significant
- Older homemade cards
- Victorian three-dimensional valentines
- Postcard valentines
- Die-cut school-type valentines from the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s
- Mechanical valentines with moving parts from the 1950s
Hairstyles, clothes, cars, or trains pictured in older valentines will help date the card.
Where should you look?
- Old scrapbooks
- Keepsake boxes for letters are stored for sentimental reasons
- Old heart shaped candy boxes
- Flea markets or ephemera shows
- House sales, garage/tag sales and thrift shops
Are contemporary valentines worth collecting?
The simply answer is yes if you look for certain characteristics according to Terry Kovel of Kovel’s Antiques, Inc.
- Cards should reflect current news, pop culture, and/or historical events.
- Cards depicting characters from Disney, children’s’ books, cartoons, movies, and television shows.
- Be cautious about new technology cards. Those record-your-own-voice cards will stop talking as they age.
Here are examples from my personal collection. I love displaying them each February.