Olympic Collectibles: Don't Call It Pin-Sanity

Trading in collectible Olympic pins can get a little crazy
Australian pin collector David Blair at the Olympic Park in London. Photograph by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Ask Scott Reed how many Olympic pins he has, and he will tell you about 2,000. The 55-year-old specializes in the pins that national Olympic committees give to their athletes, so-called NOC pins. He keeps these framed on the walls of his house in Atlanta. Talk to Reed a little longer, and he will tell you about the time be bought 1 million pins from a dealer in Tucson and had them shipped to his house in two 24-foot trucks. “It makes me sound obsessive,” Reed says of the 2005 bulk purchase. “I do this as a hobby.” He paid “a few pennies per pin,” he says, and sold about 100,000 for $1 each in the course of a year—via the website he set up, Everypinsadollar.com—until the chore of packing and shipping got to be too much. He keeps the remaining stash stacked in shelves in his basement.

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