Neon signs are a popular form of decorative art that appeal to many people, including collectors. These signs can be found in homes, garages, restaurants, bars and other places. They are known for their vibrant colors and unique designs that capture the attention of passersby. They also have a timeless charm that attracts collectors. However, if you’re looking to add one of these signs to your collection, you should know how much it’s worth. The value of a neon sign value guide depends on its condition and how useful it is. If it’s used by a well-known business, the price can skyrocket. If it’s just a decorative piece, the price may be lower.
As with all antique items, neon signs are more valuable if they’re in good condition and still working. Those made in the 1950s or earlier are particularly desirable and tend to cost more than newer pieces. It’s important to note that not all neon signs are considered collectible; some are damaged, have broken sections or have faded paint. The most common type of vintage neon sign is the “Open” sign, which was commonly used by bars and restaurants to inform customers if they were open or closed. These signs can be found as solo pieces or merged with a brand name.
The smallest neon signs are the most affordable, while the most expensive ones are designed to promote well-known brands or companies. The most valuable signs are the rarest, and they can be worth thousands of dollars. For example, the most expensive neon sign ever was designed to advertise Musgo Gasoline. It was produced only from 1926 to 1927, and a few of these signs remain in excellent shape. One of these rare pieces sold for $164,700 at auction in 2016.
Although some neon sign repair shops provide pricing guides, these are generally meant as rough estimates and don’t take into account the specifics of each design. For instance, a “Beer” sign might require 2 hours of labor and fabrication, while a more complicated or artistic piece could take longer. The best way to determine the true cost of a sign is to ask for a detailed breakdown from the seller.
Despite their decline in popularity as LED signboards became more common, neon signs are gaining ground in cities and towns around the country. Communities are starting to recognize them as unique identifiers of their local character, and many are creating “sign parks” specifically to preserve these historic pieces.
If you’re interested in buying a vintage neon sign, the best place to start is by visiting online auctions like eBay or Etsy. You can also look for them at swap meets and rummage sales. If you’re willing to work for it, you can also find neon signs at dump sites or along the side of the road. These are usually discarded by people who don’t understand their value, and they can be great finds for collectors. Just remember to inspect them carefully for corrosion, sun damage and other problems that affect their value.