1932 Olympic Pin Collection
Click on picture for closer view
See my list of pins
for trade and sale.
The spirit of the games
are felt worldwide once again with this years upcoming Olympic
games. With the games, also comes "pin fever" as thousands
of Olympic pin traders take to the Olympic village in search of
new pins. I don't anticipate this years games being any different
for collectors, and i know many have gone to China in search of
that perfect pin. For the rest of us, please check out my pin
trading page and see if we can add something to each others collections.
and Olympic Sponsors from all over the world, produce vast numbers
of cloisonne, domed and enamel pins. All depicting the spirit
of the games, the pride of their country, along with advertising
their companies. Souvenirs of an important time and place in history.
Please see my list of
pins for trade and for sale. Pin trading
came to the United States with the 1980 Lake Placid Winter Games.
Crowds of people from around the world filled the streets of the
Olympic village all eager to trade sports oriented pins. Before
the games of 1980, pin trading was known only to world travelers
and skiers trading from resort to resort in Europe and Asia. If
you would like to find others to trade with go to my pin
Researchers of pin trading
and collecting were astounded to learn the announcement of a new
pin could spread world wide in 24 hours. Never before had so much
attention been paid to the little works of art. Today, with the
aid of the Internet, pin mania can spread much quicker. New pin
collectors are recruited at each Olympic games, making pin collecting
one of the fastest growing hobbies.
Pin mania came to Los
Angeles with the 1984 summer games. Anheuser Busch was the first
sponsor to give formal recognition and encourage pin trading.
By setting up a special booth, shaped like a six pack of beer,
not only could they advertise their company but also house a festive
area for pin trading. Coca Cola soon followed suit.
Before long, pin trading
and collecting had become a serious hobby for many people. As
with anything involving a collection of scarce items, the dealers
came to Los Angeles too. Unfortunately in order to get some of
the rarer pins, we are forced to seek out dealers to purchase
pins from. I have been very fortunate on how my collection got
Being a photographer
I got my share of photographs of the flaming torch at the Coliseum.
After all, it is a rare glimpse we usually have of seeing the
Olympic torch up close and personal. Therefore, I felt the need
to photograph the torch runners and well as the sight of the games
both in daylight and night. While there taking photographs I could
not help seeing the action of the pin traders going on around
me. When I had found out some of my regular clients at my job
would be perfect contacts to obtain pins from their companies,
I pulled as many strings as possible to get as many different
corporate pins as I could.
Many of the pins were
of such high quality, the more pins I had in my possession, the
more I wanted my collection to grow. My father who collected old
service and unusual pins, came across three original pins from
the 1932 Los Angeles Games. Needless to say, I was ecstatic over
these new treasures. I went back to the Coliseum to show off my
prized treasures. Instantly people were offering me lots of money
for the 1932 pins. In a stupor I came to the conclusion that if
people would offer me this kind of money for a metal medallion,
I certainly had something special and chose not to sell either
of them. I doubt these pins would bring in such a high price today.
Before I knew it I had
collected quite a few pins and had spent very little money getting
most of them from clients. In dealing with clients, I was able
to collect many duplicate pins of which I could use as traders
to get pins I lacked. The more pins I obtained, the more I wanted
a larger collection. I had no idea the number of sponsors out
there producing pins.
As the years went by,
I tried writing to sponsors and companies to obtain more pins.
I generated a form letter with my computer but found people liked
the handwritten personal request, rather than a prepared letter.
During the 1988 and 1992 Olympics, I had not gotten much response
to my requests. It was not until the 1996 Olympics I got back
into the thrill of obtaining pins. I resorted back to writing
request for pins.
New area for you the
collectors."PIN TRADING" Add your email or site here
and help keep the trading alive. All you have to do is drop me
a line to Zola and request
your name be added to pin trading page. It's a free service and
my pin page gets quit a bit of traffic. Depending on how full
this page gets I will leave ads online for at least 6 months or
until you the user ask to have it removed. So don't be shy, share
your comments or tips to other pin collectors. If you would like
to be listed on this page as a trader or you have a web site on
Olympic pins, drop me a line and ask to be added to Zola's pin
Many people have asked
me to give them values on pins in their collection or how do they
know which pins to keep and which pins to trade. Here is what
I tell them...
Pin collecting is an
addicting habit!!! It is also a changing market too. For example
at the times of the games pin collecting is CRAZZZZZZZZY and then
3 months from the closure of the games,it dies down again for
Pins that were in high
demand during the games suddenly drop in prices, AND every pin
collector is different and places different values on their pins.
For example some collectors collect only mascot pins, some only
media pins, some only venue pins, some on winter games, some only
summer games, some just country pins, some just a particular sporting
event, and some collectors like me that collect pins from all
the games in all categories.
To me the more valuable
pins are those that are from past Olympics, 1980 and before. Sometimes
I can find these pins dirt cheap because collectors around L.A.
don't care too much for them. I have a lot of 1984 pins that when
I go to trading events in my area, no one wants to trade for them.
But I sell them like crazy to people outside my area, towards
the east coast, and especially in other countries. Pin collectors
from other countries trade me what I consider great pins for pins
they probably consider not so great pins. Pins you can't get in
your immediate area suddenly become more valuable to you. I also
see a lot of dealers at some of the pin trades I go to. These
dealers have values on some pins that are insane to me. Even if
a particular pin is worth what they are asking, I could never
bring myself to pay that type of price for a metal memory. I think
the highest I have ever paid for a pin was $35.00 for a 1932 pin.
It's not to say the pin may not be worth the money being asked,
just to me there are too many other pins out there to keep me
I wish collecting pins
could be as simple as say collecting coins, where there are printed
pricing books on what values will bring on the market today and
tomorrow and down the road. Then everyone would comply to the
same values. There were a few people who tried to publish catalogues
but depending on who you talk to, the prices were way off.
What works for me is
that I just love pins. To me they are all worth different values
because of either how hard it was for me to find them, or the
way I got them, or I just like the way they look. I give more
value to older pins. The way I look at it is older pins were not
mass produced like the pins of today are and there are less of
them around. Heck I have probably already 300 pins from the games
in Salt Lake City and it is 2 years away. Some of these pins are
already selling for top dollar and there are thousands of them
produced in hundreds of different patterns. It's getting crazy
What I have noticed
is that media pins always bring the most money. So I hang on to
them. Also country pins are always a good bet as well as bid pins
from the host cities trying to get the games in their state or
country. To a mascot collector, none of these have much value
but only to trade away for more mascot pins. Pins given on a special
night only to certain people that you can't get in the general
public will always have a value.
When I find pricing
for my pins on my trading page I look around at many other pages
and see what others are asking for their same type pins. If it
sounds reasonable that is the price I will use. If I have 10 of
the same pin, I will knock my price down just to sell them quicker.
If it was hard for me to get a pin I will charge a little more.
Sometimes I am cheaper than other sites, sometimes more. I tell
people on my pin page to make me an offer if they really want
a pin and don't want to pay as much as I have marked. Every time
someone has done that, in a reasonable mode, I have complied.
I prefer to trade as that is, at least to me, the fun of collecting
and how pin collecting first came about.
So until the day someone
publishes an actually guide, that all pin collectors adhere to,
I say a pin is worth what someone wants to pay for it. You can
have a pin you feel is worth $100.00 but without a buyer you just
have a pretty piece of metal in your collection. Hope that helps
you new collectors.