Any minute now — or several hours from now if you wait for tonight’s NBC broadcast, the Olympic flame will make its way into the opening ceremony in London, and pass from the 8,000th torch in the Athens-London relay to the big cauldron. It’s easy to get swept up in all the pageantry and tradition; enough to make some folks ponder parting with a pile of cash for one of those torches. But if you just wait until after we’ve all recovered from Olympics fever, you won’t spend nearly as much.
“I’ve already seen a bunch of the London Olympic torches on eBay, and some of the prices are absolutely bonzo,” says Olympics memorabilia collector Craig R. Perlow tells Collectors Weekly. “They are selling for $7,000 to $9,000. There are torches 30 to 40 years old that don’t go for that much money.”
We found a few on eBay, one currently going for $10,910 and another for a little more than $6,000, but some collector out there has reportedly paid around $240,000 for a single torch.
There are 8,000 official torches that were used in the relay and most of them are likely still in possession of the people who carried them during their stretch of the trip. As time goes on, more people will part with their torches and interest will drop. This means that prices will go down.
Also, while a 1988 Calgary torch can fetch more than $20,000 at auction, only around 150 of these were ever made. So considering that more than 50 times that amount were used in this latest Olympics torch relay, it could take an awful long time before the 2012 torches become worth the 5-digit price tags some sellers are asking.
The Hottest Thing at the Olympics? [CollectorsWeekly.com]