The last remaining copy of the Magna Carta remaining in private hands was recently auctioned for $24.8 million. $24.8 million sounds like a lot of money, but is it a good investment? A rough calculation shows that, if it cost the equivalent of $500 in today's spending power to make (which is a conservative figure, as vellum and calligraphy services were expensive back in 1297), a real return of only 2% per annum would have seen an investment of this amount accumulate to a present value of over $638 million. Even if this rare artifact appreciates more rapidly in future it probably isn't a good "investment" -- there is always the risk of it being destroyed, and the cost of insurance would more than offset the long-term gain in value.
Copyright Enough Wealth 2007