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Collectible Elephant Piggy Banks

Collectible Elephant Piggy Banks

Money box, coin bank, mechanical bank—piggy banks are called different things but generally mean something similar: a place to store coins and small bills. Elephant piggy banks come in so many different colors, shapes, sizes, and materials, that its no wonder some people love collecting them. Piggy banks have actually been around for centuries. Some historians believe that they date back to the mid-1500s. While those early banks were more like pots for storing money, more modern piggy banks generally have a coin slot and a plug of some kind so you can take or rather shake the money out. In particular, elephant piggy banks have been around almost as long as those early banks.

What Makes an Elephant Piggy Bank Collectible?

  • Vintage Piggy Banks: Of course, a piggy bank does not need to be antique in order to be collectible. Put simply, any bank, whether pink, polka dotted, or generic, that someone might want to have can be considered collectible. If a vintage piggy bank is more appealing, it may cost more simply due to the cachet that the word has.
  • Where the Elephant Originated: If a collection of elephants focuses on banks from all over the world, buyers should be aware that cast-iron banks from other countries will likely be more expensive.
  • Rarity of the Piggy Bank: There are many resources for researching collectibles. The collectors preferences aside, the rarity of an elephant bank is often a significant basis for the price.

What Factors Should You Consider?

  • Wear and Tear: It depends if the elephant bank is intended to be an investment. Collectors know that the action of using the bank will put more wear on it than if keeping it unused.
  • Coin Slot and Plug: Older banks might not have a removable plug for taking money out without smashing the piece.
  • Piggy Bank Materials: Toy elephant banks are usually plastic or some form of resin, but cast iron, other metal, and ceramic elephants are available as well.

How to Care for an Elephant Piggy Bank

  • Storage: If the piggy bank will not be used, storing it out of direct sunlight is the first step to keeping it in good condition. Also, consider keeping it in a place that is out of the way so it cannot be knocked over and potentially damaged.
  • Cleaning: Especially if the bank is vintage, buyers should know that cleaning could potentially reduce the value of the item. For example, if a vintage cast iron elephant piggy bank is purchased with rust or an enameled elephant has a verdigris patina, cleaning this off might lower its value. Collectors should make sure to check with sources they trust before deciding to do any drastic cleaning of their new purchase.