HOBBIES like collecting have surged during the pandemic, with lockdown affording collectors-of-old time to fully indulge their interests, but there is a specific new trend on the rise - covid collectibles.

Covid collectibles?

Antique experts have been referring to them as ‘pan-tiques’, advising that many items that have become part of everyday life in the midst of the pandemic could be viewed by generations to come as valuable, looked upon in the same way as we now would view memorabilia from the World Wars, with ration books and old tinned food now museum pieces, for example.

What would the items of note be now?

The articles that could end up being of interest by 2121 include seemingly pedestrian aspects of our lives now, such as vaccine certificates, Covid-19 testing paperwork, shielding letters and original NHS posters saying thank-you to health workers; all evidence of the events of 2020 and 2021 and the way in which our lives have been impacted and altered.

What’s their estimated value down the line?

The original NHS posters could fetch around £500, experts predict, while government letters - related to the announcement of lockdown by Boris Johnson, for example, or advising individuals to shield - could have a value of between £600 to £800, while vaccine cards could reach £450, testing kits £150 and testing paperwork £100.

What else?

According to the report by antiques portal LoveAntiques.com, "big-ticket" items in the future are likely to be the late Captain Tom Moore's autograph, which is estimated to have a market value of £25,000 by 2120/2121. A search of eBay reveals that even now, signed copies of his book go for hundreds of pounds.

But that’s not all?

Face masks worn by celebrities, including Kim Kardashian and Meghan Markle, could fetch around £15,000 and the wooden podium used for coronavirus updates from Downing Street at the peak of the crisis could be worth an estimated £4,000.

In the news?

Editions of newspapers from March 23, 2020, which was the first official date of lockdown, are also considered to be items likely to rocket in value, already exchanging hands for hundreds of pounds.

We are living through history?

Will Thomas, managing director of LoveAntiques.com, said: “The pandemic is a significant moment in history that generations will learn about, similar to a world war. Just as WW1 memorabilia is now valuable, memorabilia from the past year will also become valuable as collector items.”

But there’s a key requirement?

As with all antiques, they have to be in good order to retain value. Mr Thomas said: “It’s important to store any products in dry, cool places without risk of water damage, or colour fading from direct sunlight.  The area they are stored in should be a consistent temperature, especially not too humid. It is a good idea to invest in waterproof cases for valuables; not only will this provide an extra layer of protection it will ward off dust and lessen the chance of mis-shapen items.”

As for avid collectors?

For those who build up big collections of specific items, there is more to it than value. Psychiatrist Shirley Mueller, author of “Inside the Head of a Collector”, who is also an internationally known collector and scholar of Chinese export porcelain, owning at least 200 Chinese tea pots, told the Smithsonian Magazine in the US: “Collecting isn’t about science; it’s about emotion. Collecting provides solace and structure, and ways that we can still be productive doing something we can enjoy. Collecting is also about control. We can control our collections. We can’t control Covid.”