When most people bought Precious Moments figurines years ago, it was because they liked them, not because they considered them long-term financial investments.
That's why Precious Moments figurines have been on countless shelves since the release of the Original 21 collection back in the late 70s. Samuel J. Butcher created the models.
Butcher was an artist who had also taken up janitorial work to supplement his income as a minister.
His figurines were made famous by their characteristic teardrop-eyed children. The figurines were designed to offer encouragement and comfort.
However, when they stopped making some of these models, their demand did not go down, although their supply did, and that caused their value to increase dramatically.
Apparently, it's not easy creating a new figurine. The Precious Moments company admits that it takes about a year to create a new figurine from concept to distribution.
Butcher set out on this interesting journey after someone asked him to develop a three-dimensional figurine based on an artwork he had created named Love One Another. Since then, the company has been introducing new figurines each year.
Initially, the models were exchanged as gifts, but today, they are mostly considered collectors' items.
That explains why many of his models have biblical undertones. The figurines even have a Precious Moments Chapel in Carthage, Missouri.
Factors Affecting A Figurine's Value
As with most collectibles, the older the piece, the pricier it is. It also needs to have been a limited edition. Otherwise, it might not get you much money.
Figurines that have been retired and suspended also get more money in the market. Retired means that the mold used for that particular piece was destroyed, and so no such product will ever be made again.
Needless to say, defects on the items can seriously undermine its value. That includes scratches and chips.
Some buyers consider the original packaging when buying a figurine. Others don't think it matters one bit.
Usually, people purchasing the figurine to use as a gift might insist on getting the original packaging as well. Granted, such models have higher demand in the market as well.
Additionally, original packaging implies that the model is in better condition than a figurine that has been staying out in the open for all those years. Still, the condition of the model is more important than the condition of the box it comes in.
To ensure these collectibles remain in pristine condition, you should brush and wash them with a mild soap while ensuring that no water gets inside.
A limited-edition model also tends to fetch more since a limited quantity was produced to begin with. The shorter the period through which a limited edition figurine was produced, the more valuable it becomes.
Some figurines are also exclusive, such as those provided exclusively to club members. These are usually offered for a year and that's it, which makes them so valuable.
Finally, when the figurine has been signed by a famous person, it will cost a little more as a result. For instance, having a figurine with Sam Butcher's signature can get you more money.
Precious Moments Figurines Growing Value
Originally, a Precious Moments figurine cost $15. However, things have changed a big deal now, and you can get good money for these collectibles.
In fact, if you have the whole Original 21 collection, you could sell it for thousands of dollars. This collection is considered vintage, having been originally released in 1979.
The priciest of the Original 21 pieces is the God Loveth a Cheerful Giver. This statue has a blonde child with a bow in her hair, and she holds a sign saying "FREE puppies."
The young lady is also standing next to a wheelbarrow full of puppies.
This piece can cost as much as $750 today, despite the fact it was sold for just $15 when it was first released. So, you can imagine what having the whole collection of Original 21 could earn you.
Other highly valued pieces include We Would See Jesus, with an estimated value of $410, and Making Music Together for 30 Years, worth about $360.
Pieces like His Burden is Light can fetch $130, while Come Let Us Adore Him, Jesus Is Born, and Unto Us a Child Is Born can earn you $170. Of course, these pieces were retired back in the early 80s, which makes them extra special.
Other statues that can get you over $100 include Jesus is the Answer, Prayer Changes Things, Love Lifted Me, Love Is Kind, O How I Love Jesus, He Careth for You, Praise the Lord Anyhow, and He Leadeth Me.
Experts believe that these figurines were on the shelves for a lot longer have something to do with their noticeably lower value.
For instance, Jesus Loves Me figurine, which comes in two versions, goes for between $50 and $70 because the models were in production until 2003.
Models like God Understands and We Have Seen His Star are worth over $100 today. They were both retired in 1984.
The Special Prayer Changes Everything Model
There is an interesting story behind the Prayer Changes Everything model. Apparently, a young man whose marriage was on the rocks was walking in a department store when he saw it.
For some reason, the message got to him, and although he didn't buy it at the time, he came back for it and left it for his wife at the kitchen table. When the woman got home and saw it, she was so touched that the couple resolved to make their marriage work.
Selling this figurine today could earn you $195.
The Most Valuable Precious Moments Figurine
God Loves A Cheerful Giver became the most valued Precious Moments figurine with a price of $1,300 at one point. There are reports that the figurine has a value of more than $2,000, according to Paul Burton, an expert in the field.
The model was inspired by Debbie, one of Butcher's daughters.
She would spend all her leftover money adopting pets from veterinarian offices. She would then find them new homes.
Butcher remembers the girl asking if he had friends in need of kittens so she could give them some for free. The model, however, replaced the kittens with puppies.
The model was priced even higher because the note the girl held had a typo, it read "Free Puppies".
Limited Edition Precious Moments Figurines
Precious Moments has many limited edition figurines, and they cost quite some bit of cash. For instance, you will have to part with nearly $500 to get your hands on Disney Rapunzel In Tower Figurine limited edition set.
Fortunately, such pieces can sell for hundreds of dollars in some markets.
What Does This Mean For Other Precious Moments Figurines?
However, it is not just the Original 21 collection pieces that can sell for some decent cash. For instance, a Disney Precious Moments figurine featuring Cinderella and Prince Charming titled Your Love is a Perfect Fit can be sold for up to $100.
The statue features a boy putting a slipper on a girl.
You should check to confirm if your Precious Moments figurine is part of the Original 21 collection. This might take a bit of research since the company has released more than 2,500 models since it began in 1978.
The company releases about 25 to 40 new figurines each year. Up to 20 existing figurines are also retired each year.
We clearly can't go over each of them in detail here. However, once you know what figurine you own, finding out how much it's worth should be pretty easy.
Even if you get a few hundred dollars for it, that is still quite a bit of money for some figurine that was collecting dust on your shelf. But don't get your hopes up if your Precious Moments model is not of interest to collectors. Many of these figurines cost less than $30 on eBay.