Collector plates used to be highly prized and in high demand, making them household essentials. This occurred sometime between the 1970s and the 1980s. Prior to that, the market was increasing quickly, but a downturn changed the trend of the value of collector plates.
The Franklin Mint began creating and selling various kinds of collector plates in the second part of the 20th century. As soon as these collectible plates gained popularity, everyone was vying for a piece of the item.
The excitement around Franklin Mint items has subsided after several decades. Then why did people rush to gather these things in the first place? Are Franklin Mint plates still worth anything today?
Have you recently discovered a Franklin Mint plate and are curious about its potential value? Do you possess a collector’s plate but are unsure whether it was made by the Franklin Mint, another company, or a replica?
This article attempts to inform you about priceless Franklin Mint plates, their potential value, and where to get them. This article will help you learn more about the Franklin Mint’s history and some of its most priceless collectible plates.
But first, let’s talk a bit about collectible plates!
Table of Contents
What are Collectible Plates?
Collector plates, like every other vintage object, are a collectible artifact that gained popularity in the 1970s and 1980s. Collectors favored purchasing porcelain collecting plates to use as home decor or as an investment.
The most prized collectibles in the 21st century are collector plates. The majority of these magnificent porcelain works of art are family heirlooms. Anything from nature to abstract art to popular culture to special occasions like Christmas might serve as an inspiration for their designs.
Even if these plates aren’t meant to be used at the dinner table, they nonetheless have a nice aesthetic element. On the other hand, the great majority of plates are essentially worthless now and go for $20 or less.
As previously indicated, these plates used to sell for $20 or more, but with time they began to lose value. Some plates in good condition might be valued higher than this. Collector plates with the artwork of various painters or with any other specialty may also be quite expensive.
Some people may connect these plates to certain feelings and sentimental values. They may be from their preceding generation due to a special occasion, the time period they belong to, or both.
How to Identify a Franklin Mint Collector Plate?
Franklin Mint was not the only manufacturer of collectible plates back then. Thus, it can sometimes be difficult to distinguish a Franklin Mint collector plate from a different company.
These collector plates are recognizably based on some of the qualities that also influence their worth, similar to any other vintage object. Fortunately, distinguishing collector plates from other vintage items, which are easily replicable, is not as difficult.
The most crucial factor to take into account when thinking about purchasing collector plates is to learn as much as you can about the various types and styles of vintage collector plates.
Knowing the well-known designs, patterns, and materials utilized to create collector plates in bygone eras will greatly aid you in determining the authenticity of the plates.
For instance, if you have a knowledge about the common designs and patterns followed by the Franklin Mint collectible plates, you would easily be able to tell them apart!
You will find it simpler to determine whether the license plate is legitimate or false if you have this information. Additionally, many plates have various editions and titles that you can use to recognize them.
Franklin Mint History
As stated on Franklin Mint’s official web page, Joseph Segel founded the corporation in the United States in 1964. The company produced collectibles such as antique and rare coins, decorations, jewels, miniatures, and porcelain products like plates and dolls.
When Segel realized how valuable the silver coins that were about to be taken out of circulation had become, he got the idea to create a company that sold relics from that time in history.
Are Franklin Mint Plates Worth Anything Today?
Over the years, many people gathered sizable collections of Franklin Mint plates. This frequently raises the question if the Franklin Mint collector plates value is still significant today. Well, that depends!
The majority of Franklin Mint plates were sold for a few dollars, although some went for several hundred. Depending on the specific item, the value of a Franklin Mint item may be higher or lower in the current market.
Plates made of precious metals like gold or silver have seen a huge increase in value. Instead of the specific item, the increase in the price of the components is to blame.
As was already mentioned, not all collector plates are worth much these days. As a result, you need to search for a number of variables that can affect Franklin Mint plates value.
Collector plates contain very precise back stamps; flip the plate over to reveal the piece’s date. These plates are fairly simple to recognize because some of them were created exclusively as collectives over time.
The plate number, series, company’s name, and date were also stamped on these plates. It will be simple to determine the collector plate’s manufacturing date and value. Typically, the older the plate, the greater the value.
You must take into account the manufacturer’s limited production run of the plates when determining the variables that can have an impact on the value of Franklin Mint collector plates.
It indicates that the company purposefully produced a small number of plates in order to maintain them uncommon for a very long time.
The quantity of such unusual plates on the market may have an impact on their value. Such Franklin Mint collector plates undoubtedly have high pricing if only 10–20 plates are available.
The Franklin Mint collector plates’ condition, like that of any other antique item, plays a significant role in determining how much they are worth. The following elements can be used to determine the state of the plates:
- Mint Condition
The fact that the plate is in mint condition indicates that it still has its original box. It suggested that the plate and box had also been well-cared for by the owner. The original’s existence increases the selling plate’s worth significantly.
Due to never having been used, the plate is in perfect shape and free of any chips, scratches, or other damage. Although unusual, plates in mint condition cost higher than any other type of Franklin Mint collector plate.
- Excellent Condition
The box that comes with the plates in this condition isn’t in great shape. The price may have been reduced because it was used rather than the mint-condition plates.
The plates are flawless and free of any blemishes, scratches, stains, or cracks. The plate is, therefore, undamaged and entirely whole. However, the box’s condition slightly reduced its price.
- Good Condition
The phrase “the plates are in good condition” refers to the fact that the plate is undamaged and in good shape, but not the box. The original Franklin Mint package for the plate is missing. The collector just possesses the plate; the packaging is missing.
The plate may occasionally show slight evidence of usage or deterioration. Because of this, a well-kept plate is worth less.
- Fair Condition
A plate that is in fair condition has clearly been used and shows signs of that use. It might also have other defects like splits, chips, or discoloration. In the end, this has a negative impact on the Franklin Mint collector plates’ value.
The dealer generally considers these three factors when purchasing or selling the Franklin Mint plates.
15 Most Valuable Franklin Mint Plates
The most expensive examples are often sterling silver plates. But, porcelain plates can also be valuable if they depict something particularly well-known or a significant historical event.
Watch this video to learn about the six most valuable collectible plates by Franklin Mint.
Some of the most expensive Franklin Mint plates available are as follows:
● Audubon Birds Sterling Silver Plates
The book Birds of America by John James Audubon is a window into nature. It was published between 1827 and 1838 and is regarded as the standard work on wildlife illustration.
The Havell edition comprises 435 life-size watercolors of North American birds that were all copied from hand-engraved plates.
The Franklin Mint produced a line of Audubon bird plates with intricately engraved images of various birds. One set of four from this series is usually sold for a few hundred dollars, making it one of the most expensive series.
Here are a few instances of Audubon birds sterling silver plates by Franklin Mint listed online:
● Star Trek Porcelain Collector Plate
Gene Roddenberry founded the American science fiction media property known as Star Trek, which debuted as a 1960s television series and swiftly gained a global following in popular culture.
The franchise has grown to include a number of movies, TV shows, video games, novels, and comic comics. It is one of the most recognizable and highest-grossing media franchises in history, with a projected $10.6 billion annual revenue.
The official Star Trek Franklin Mint collector plate, which was released in 1999, is quite popular among collectors and Star Trek fans. This is an exception to the generalization that sterling silver plates are more valuable than their porcelain counterparts.
● Sterling Silver US Bicentennial Plates
The United States Bicentennial was a series of celebrations held in the middle of the 1970s to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the founding of the United States of America as an autonomous kingdom. It served as a focal point for the American Revolution.
The Franklin Mint issued a set of embossed and gold-plated sterling silver plates in 1976 to commemorate the bicentennial of the United States. These are among the most priceless plates by the company.
Even today, some of these plates can be sold for more than $100, like this set of 4 plates listed on eBay for $1250:
● Sterling Silver Richard Nixon Inauguration Plate
On Monday, January 20, 1969, the East Portico of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., hosted Richard Nixon’s first official launch as the 37th president of the United States.
The Richard Nixon plate, which was first sold in 1973, is another sterling silver plate that is particularly valued, specifically by his followers and supporters.
● Norman Rockwell Plates
American writer, painter, and illustrator Norman Perceval Rockwell was active in the 20th century. He is among the most well-known artists in the USA because Americans adore his work for how accurately it captures American culture.
The Franklin Mint offered its first ever collector’s plate in 1970 featuring Norman Rockwell. The Christmas plate, “Bringing Home the Tree,” by Norman Rockwell, is made of silver. The Norman Rockwell engraving was only made for the Franklin Mint limited edition collectible plate.
The following set of Norman Rockwell Plates was sold on eBay for $695:
● Princess Diana Porcelain Plates
The British royal family included Diana, Princess of Wales. She was King Charles III’s first spouse and the mother of Princes William and Harry.
Because of her activism and allure, Diana became a global figure who enjoyed enduring fame and nearly unheard-of levels of public adoration.
She had natural charm and charisma, used her famous status to support a number of humanitarian causes, and set fashion trends with her ever-changing haircuts and outfit choices.
Franklin Mint issued several collections of Princess Diana’s plates, The People’s Princess and A Tribute to Princess Diana, to name a few. These collections were produced in the late 1990s and were highly sought-after by the fans.
● John Wayne Collectible Plates
Known professionally as John Wayne and known by the stage moniker The Duke, Marion Robert Morrison was an American actor who rose to fame through his leading performances in Hollywood’s Golden Age, particularly in Western and military movies.
For 30 years, he was one of the biggest box office attractions. Wayne was chosen by the American Film Institute in 1999 to be among the top male celebrities of old-school American cinema.
Since Franklin Mint used to produce collectibles featuring famous personalities or popular themes, it came as no surprise when the company launched a John Wayne Collectible Plates collection. In fact, these plates were highly valued by the collectors!
● Decorative Holiday Plates
The decorative holiday plates by Franklin Mint were another series that received an insane amount of popularity. Women, especially back in the day, loved collecting these plates to decorate their homes during festivals. These plates are still highly sought-after.
Look at the example below to realize how much they are worth today:
Set of 5 Decorative Holiday Plates Sold for $44.98 on eBay
● Birds and Flowers
While the birds and flowers series did not depict any historical event or a famous personality, they were just famous for their vibrant hues and floral patterns. The following set of 12 birds and flowers Franklin Mint plates sold for $175 on eBay recently:
● Grimm’s Fairy Tales
Two young German librarians named Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm released a collection of tales 200 years ago. It quickly rose to prominence as one of the most significant works of folklore in Germany, Europe, and eventually the entire world.
Franklin Mint considered it an opportunity to launch a collection featuring these tales, and expectedly so, these plates received immense love from people all around the world. Even today, the Grimm’s Fairy Tales collectible plates by Franklin Mint are worth a lot.
● The Simpsons
These cartoon series need no introduction, of course! The Simpsons collectible plates by Franklin Mint are greatly valued by people, as can be seen by the collection mentioned below, which was sold on eBay lately for a whopping $120:
For countless years, eagles have been revered as a symbol of elegance, courage, dignity, pride, tenacity, and grace. Because of its traits, this bird is significant to humanity and serves as an emblem.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why the eagle collection of Franklin Mint plates is worth more even today compared to many other collectible plates by the company.
Sold for $35.00 on eBay
● James Bond 007
James Bond films combine science fiction with spy stories, representing supervillains, the unknown, and world control or catastrophe, as well as a tonne of amusing inventions, spy gear, and technologies. James Bond is beloved by people of all ages. Hence Franklin Mint’s James Bond 007 Plates are still in high demand today!
● Phantom of the Opera
The Phantom of the Opera, which is based on a Gaston Leroux novel from 1910, tells the story of a musical prodigy with disfigurement who wanders the Paris Opera House.
The young singer Christine mesmerizes the Phantom, who seduces her as his protégé and falls madly in love with her because of her attractiveness and brilliance.
Many people loved it for its music and unique story. So, the collectible plates featuring the Phantom of the Opera were also greatly loved!
The most popular and valuable Franklin Mint collector plates featured abstract designs, scenery, birds, and forests. This set of 12 plates was sold for $44.64 on eBay recently:
While Franklin Mint collector plates may have lost their value over time, some collections are still highly sought-after. You just have to find the right buyer to sell them to; a single plate could fetch you at least 100 dollars!
Do you happen to possess any of the valuable Franklin Mint Collectible plates? Tell us about its theme and condition in the comments below!