I was recently gifted a vintage jigsaw puzzle, and it got me thinking about are old jigsaw puzzles worth anything. The answer to that question depends on your purpose for the purchase.
You can typically find vintage jigsaw puzzles at second-hand stores, antique shops, auctions, and online on sites like eBay.
Are Old Jigsaw Puzzles Worth Anything?
I was given a vintage puzzle, a Philmar jigsaw puzzle as a gift, and it got me thinking about the pros and cons of purchasing vintage jigsaw puzzles.
Why do you want to buy vintage jigsaw puzzles or old puzzles? Do you want to add them to your collection? I certainly do; in fact, I have a Waddingtons limited edition Christmas set because not only do I appreciate the older style artwork but also because it’s fun having a complete set.
You might buy vintage jigsaw puzzles with the intent to resell them at a higher price, or because you appreciate the process and want to work on something not many other people are.
What Makes a Jigsaw Puzzle Valuable and Collectible?
A jigsaw puzzle’s value does not come from its age or a limited edition label. There are many other features that could affect the value, such as the condition of the puzzle and how many pieces are missing or damaged.
How difficult it is to find another one like it. If there is a lot of interest in the design, e.g., people are looking for it specifically because they want that particular design. Whether it comes with all original accessories, like posters included in the packaging condition.
What Are Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles?
The term “vintage” has become synonymous with “old,” but be wary of this word when shopping online. Oftentimes, sellers will use this label to make their items seem more valuable than they are. If an item is described as a vintage, do your own investigating to verify its worthiness.
Any jigsaw puzzle made more than two decades ago would be considered vintage, although some people feel that it should date back even further.
Antique items are defined as being over 100 years old. There are some jigsaw puzzles that fall into this category since the interlocking style we know and love was introduced in 1900. My circular Philmar jigsaw, for example, is vintage because this manufacturer stopped trading around 1980–so it’s at least 40 years old.
I was pleased to find that my puzzle was still sealed in its original packaging when it arrived. If I had wanted to sell it, however, I should have left it unopened as opening a sealed puzzle could decrease its value.
The Quality of Vintage Jigsaw Puzzles
Keep in mind that jigsaw puzzles from different eras can differ in quality and how easy they are to put together.
Cardboard jigsaw puzzles that are vintage might have reduced quality. For instance, they could be thinner making them harder to pick up and place pieces, more susceptible to tearing from age or have a high-gloss finish that creates a glare under artificial lighting.
Although vintage wooden puzzles are usually better quality, they cost more. And that might be a problem for people who tend to buy lots of jigsaw puzzles.
Jigsaw puzzles have come a long way over the years. It’s not fair to compare a vintage jigsaw puzzle or older jigsaw puzzles with one that is much newer. With vintage puzzles, you will find some peeling where parts of the design (especially the little tabs) are coming away from the thick cardboard base.
Peeling oftentimes happens more on the back of a jigsaw than on the front because reverse pieces are frequently moved around, resulting in damage from friction.
The edge pieces of a jigsaw are more likely to experience wear and tear, such as scuff marks and damage because they always take the brunt of any knocks or scrapes. They also tend to be out of the box for longer since people often do the edge pieces first.
Are Old Jigsaw Puzzles Worth Anything-Bottom LIne
Whether or not a vintage jigsaw puzzle is worth anything depends on the above factors and how much someone is willing to pay for it. Your best bet is to do research on the specific puzzle you have, as well as looking at similar puzzles that have been sold. In general, though, vintage jigsaw puzzles can make for a fun and unique additions to anyone’s collection. Just remember, their value does not necessarily come from their age alone.