Nearly three quarters of the country is keeping historical items in the hope they will be worth something in years to come - from 1970s Beano annuals and original Beatles records to Second World War ration books and gas masks, according to new research by the Yesterday to mark new series Trading History.
Research conducted among 2,000 adults on behalf of the new show, reveal that old coins are the most popular historical item kept by Brits, followed by classic vinyl albums and singles, stamps and football programmes. The fascination with coins is pertinent what with the announcement of a new 12-sided pound coin that is due to be introduced in March next year.
The Top 10 items Brits have bought in the hope that they will go up in value:
1. Old coins (bought by 26.1% of Brits)
2. Vinyl records (21.5%)
3. Stamps (19.9%)
4. Football programmes (9.5%)
5. Celebrity autographs (9.3%)
6. Annuals (9.1%)
7. Old video games (8.6%)
8. Football shirts (8.5%)
9. CDs (8.4%)
10. Star Wars collectibles (6.1%)
According to the research, 72% of Brits say they keep the items because they think they will be worth something one day - with fewer than one in ten saying it's not something that interests them.
Toys are an increasingly popular area for adults to buy in the hope that they increase in value, with over one in ten admitting they have purchased toys purely for their potential value, keeping them unopened and not allowing children to play with them. The most popular toys considered likely to increase in value is Lego, bought by 7.9% of people quizzed, followed by price comparison site Compare The Market's Meerkat figures (4.1%), Doctor Who figures (3.1%), Action Man (2.92%) and Disney Frozen toys (1.74%).
One in twenty people admit they have sold, lost or thrown away something that is now worth a fortune - while a similar number have sold, lost or thrown away something which was worth a fortune at the time without knowing.
But money doesn't always matter to collectors, with a quarter of Brits keeping hold of items purely for their historical importance - the most popular subjects being pre-decimal coins, from before 1971, kept by 33.1% of those quizzed, Second World War memorabilia (32%), 1970s memorabilia (22.3%), 1940s memorabilia (21.5%) and First World War memorabilia (20.6%). However, keeping hold of historical items can sometimes cause domestic disputes - one in five say their partner thinks they're daft, telling them they WON'T increase their value, while seven per cent keep their items a secret from their other half.
Regionally, history buffs in Wales are the most likely to collect items in the hope they'll go up in value, with a higher percentage of people in Aberystwyth more likely to keep 'lots' of items than anywhere else in the UK, followed by Cambridge and Portsmouth. And Worcester is the home of Lego-as-investment collectors, followed by Wrexham and (equally) both Coventry and Aberdeen.
Trading History explores history through items up for auction - from previously unheralded World War Two heroes, incredible forgotten characters and tales from the 20th century to amazing new discoveries of historical items.