Q My sisters and I inherited a 40-binder collection of non-sports cards that range from 19th-century tobacco cards through cards printed in the 1970s. None of the cards have been graded. How do we go about establishing the value of the collection?
A Tobacco cards were first included in cigarette packs in the 1870s to keep the package from getting crushed when they were shipped. Cards featured pictures of athletes, entertainers, famous people, and historical figures and scenes. You can contact www.psacard.com (Professional Sports Authenticator), a grading and authentication company, or an auction house that sells advertising and sports memorabilia. You can also take the cards to a local dealer to get an idea of value. Grading cards requires expert knowledge. You can contact auctions and dealers who sell similar cards to learn value. You will be charged for the expert’s time and experience.