Sports memorabilia collectors must make many decisions while pursuing the hobby: deciding kinds of items to collect, deciding whether to collect player items or team items, and deciding how to preserve the memorabilia.
There are many different ways to preserve sports collectibles. Determining the best method depends on the type of item being stored. Simple items such as unsigned paper items, replica jerseys or equipment may not require much more than keeping them in a clean box on a shelf.
For items with sentimental value, collectors may want to take more care to keep them safe. For investment-grade items -- signed equipment, game-worn or authentic jerseys or autographed photos -- the best preservation methods available are required.
For pieces of equipment, there are a range of cases to choose from. For smaller items such as baseballs, hockey pucks or mini football helmets, collectors can buy cases that can fit one piece or cases than can hold multiple items. Basketballs, footballs, full-size helmets and other larger items have their own cases.
Collectors can even find cases for unusual items such as die-cast cars or bobble-head dolls.
Display cases for items can be made of glass or of acrylic. Various types of frames including solid wood, and assorted colors such as mahogany, honey and black are available. Cases can be made to resist fingerprints on your collectible, keep dust away and protect items from ultraviolet rays. Additionally, cases can be mirrored to provide 360 degree views of the display object. Some cases for team items cases can be etched with team logos.
Choosing the right case depends on the collector's desired protection level. The more valuable the item, the better it may be to purchase a sturdier model.
For a quality jersey display case
, collectors can choose from large cases able to display a full jersey to smaller cases that can display a folded jersey.
Jersey display cases are usually made of the same materials as equipment cases and, like the smaller ones, can be customized. Cases can be made for holding multiple items (such as jersey and a bat) or can be made with an engraved nameplate.
Photos, autographs, lithographs and programs can be stored in cases or they can be framed. When framing a piece, care must be taken not only to keep light exposure to a minimum but to keep the item from coming into contact with the frame's glass or acrylic front. This prevents damage to autographs.
Paper frame backings may also be problematic. Acids used in bargain-frame backings can damage collectibles.
A collector choosing to frame an item should consider hiring a professional, preferably one with memorabilia experience or finding a reputable provider of quality display cases and frames. Although it may cost more up front, this investment may pay off later in an item made more valuable though better preservation. One such provider is SportsCaseKings.com. Sports Case Kings has been providing superior display cases since 2003. They are also licensed to etch NFL and NHL logos on a variety of
their cases for those who desire it.