1985 Michael Jackson "Thriller" Record Award

Value (2017) | $2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
I got this from my grandfather. He invested in all kinds of things, and he bought this at an estate sale with a bunch of other Michael Jackson memorabilia, one of which was a stuffed kangaroo doll, and this, I think, he had it in his house for a while. He passed away in 2006, and it came to me via my father.

APPRAISER:
It's an interesting thing that he picked up in an estate sale. We're not sure whose estate that was, so it's difficult to understand...

GUEST:
He went to a ton of these things. Like, yeah, he just loved to go to these all the time.

APPRAISER:
This is what we call an in-house record award. It was presented to him as a presentation piece. It's commemorating the fact that it is CBS Australia's most successful selling record of all time as of 1985. And, at this point, if we count them up, it's ten times platinum in Australia. They're actually plated albums. With record awards, there's a lot of different things you can look at for value in different hierarchy. One of the things we really look for is, who is it presented to? And we'll see here, it is presented to Michael Jackson. This is one that was created for him, and it's not to a radio station to thank them for playing his songs, so that's a really important key when you're doing record albums. Another thing that's important is, who's presenting it? And in this case, we have an in-house record award, which means the record company itself is commemorating him on how successful it was. The probably most sought-after record awards you can get are the R.I.A.A., which is the Recording Industry Association of America, and that is the official body that certifies record sales in the United States. Most of these artists are American. Like Michael Jackson, or if you had something like Bruce Springsteen, you would want their American reward first-- that would be the most desirable. If you have an artist like The Beatles, fans really like the British ones, as well. So sometimes, their home country has special meaning.

GUEST:
Okay.

APPRAISER:
This one is still pretty fantastic, because it's so big, and it's got a lot of impact on the wall here. One other thing that's also very important, when you're looking at the value of record awards, is, which album is it? You always want, obviously, their most popular album, and we have that here-- "Thriller," which is one of the greatest-selling albums of all time. So the fact that this is also for "Thriller" really adds to the value on all fronts. So we have no idea what he paid for it.

GUEST:
I have no idea what he paid for it.

APPRAISER:
Was he the kind of guy that would, like, really go for it? Or was he pretty conservative with what he...

GUEST:
I think he probably bought it because it said Michael Jackson. When it comes to those things, I think he was usually just trying to get a good buy all the time.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, if you tried to sell this the day before Michael Jackson died, you would have been hard-pressed to get $500 for it.

GUEST:
Really? Wow.

APPRAISER:
If this were sold back when he died in 2009, it would've been a different price than it is today. After he passed away, a lot of stuff hit the market. Right now, at auction, the estimate on this would probably be somewhere around $2,000 to $3,000. It's possible you might get upwards of $3,000 to $5,000 on a good day. If it were an R.I.A.A., it might be more like $8,000 to $10,000.

GUEST:
Ah, okay.

APPRAISER:
And if this were 2010, some of these sold for as much as $25,000.

GUEST:
Oh, okay.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
The Collector's Lab
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2017)
$2,000 Auction$3,000 Auction
Event
Portland, OR (August 12, 2017)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.