There are four major variables to keep in mind when considering a collectible, according to Elyse Luray-Marx, of Christie's East's Popular Arts Department.
Rarity: How unusual is the item.
Value: This can be determined by comparing your item to another similar item recently auctioned or appraised.
Ownership: Did the object belong to a well-known person at one time? This can enhance the value.
Condition: An object's worth can be affected by wear and tear.
Christie's East describes the objects it auctions as "moderately" priced, whereas its parent company, Christie's, which opened in 1766, tackles the more pricey stuff, such as Vincent van Gogh's "Portrait of Dr. Gachet."
That means Christie's East gets to handle Hollywood memorabilia; Dorothy's ruby slippers from The Wizard of Oz were said to go for $165,000 in 1988.
If you would like an object to be discussed on The Early Show on future segments please send an email with your name, phone number and a description of the item you'd like to submit, or write to The Early Show, CBS News, c/o Leigh Goldman Balber, 524 West 57th St., 7th floor, New York, New York 10019
Please include a photo of any item but do not send the actual item itself. Describe the dimensions of the object, the date it was made, the medium (oil on canvas, chalk on paper), what it is made out of, signature markings on the piece, the price you paid, and ownership history. These can help the appraisers with their evaluations.
The Early Show would like to feature objects such as the following: costume and fine jewelry, silver, sports and Hollywood memorabilia, American Indian and American art, vintage clothing and handbags, U.S. space missions-related material, porcelain, books and manuscripts, and maritime pieces.