Someone scribbled their name on the cover of the silver age book you just bought? It could be worth more than you think if it’s a Pedigree book!
I admittedly knew little about these books before doing the research prior to this article. I was interested in a book on eBay when I noticed there was a name scribbled on the front. This typically puts the book into a lower grade. However, I could read the name fairly well. I thought to myself, this could be from a famous collection that I know nothing about. I wish the story ended with me picking up a nice silver age book for $50 only to find out that it was part of a pedigree collection and is now worth 10x that amount. That’s just not the case, unfortunately. Fortunately for you, I was able to find out more regarding pedigree books as well as some resources online that can help you learn more as well.
What is a Pedigree?
Let’s start with the basics. According to CGC, a pedigree is an exceptional collection that they are willing to recognize with unique labeling. The collection must have come from one original owner, it needs to be primarily golden and silver age books, it has to include a considerable amount of comics (over 1,000 as a starting point), and the comic books need to be in high grade. There are currently 60 recognized pedigree collections by CGC, and they can be spotted easily with their newer gold pedigree labels. The idea is that there were and are collections out there that have been preserved over the years making them both unique and desirable. This brings us to our next point on value.
How much more is a Pedigree Book Worth?
This brings me back to eBay and my original question around pedigree books. I wanted to know what type of value these particular books hold. I did some basic research and found that a pedigree (Green River) copy of Strange Adventures #205 graded at 7.0 recently sold for $700 on eBay. For comparison, the fair market value for a regular 7.0 graded copy is only $475. Basic math tells us that it sold for a 47% premium over the FMV. While this is just one example, it shows that people are willing to pay well over FMV for pedigree books. It’s hard to say exactly how much over FMV a certain pedigree book is worth mainly because each pedigree is essentially a 1 of 1.
Are Certain Pedigrees Worth more than Others?
Based on my research, the Edgar Church/Mile High pedigree is one of the most sought-after collections. It was the first recognized by CGC and holds a lot of books in excellent condition. The collection surfaced in the late 1970s and was considered the best comic book collection ever found, at that time. Since then there have been more collections recognized, even as recently as last year! The Chinatown pedigree was announced in August of 2020 by CGC. It came from the Chinatown district in Vancouver, Canada, and has some of the highest grade copies of certain golden age books in existence.
Another great resource aside from CGC that I found is comicpedigrees.com. It has a lot of great information on what to look for, the history behind the collections, as well as nearly 28,000 scanned copies of pedigree books. For me, learning about these collections has added another fun aspect to the hobby. Do your research and determine if pedigree comic books have a place in your collection!
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