Original memorabilia of the "King of Rock and Roll" is highly collectible, but for Elvis fans, his records hold a special significance. Albums from his pre-military service era (pre-1957) are the most collectible and valuable, while rare post-1960 albums have brought in high amounts at auction.
The Sun Records Era
Elvis only produced five 45 RPM records for his first label, Sun Records, and they are the most sought-after of all his albums. Some individual 45s have fetched over a thousand dollars at auction, with most mint Sun records worth at least $500.
The Early RCA Label Records
RCA signed Elvis Presley to their label in 1955, and many of his singles and LPs are quite valuable. Records from his pre-military service era, especially those with hit songs, can bring in anywhere from $25 to several hundred dollars each.
Post-Military Service Records
Many Elvis records from the 1960s and 1970s are still affordable to even casual fans, some with a value under $20. Some of his early 1960's albums, like "G.I. Blues," and rare albums, like the "Live From Hawaii Via Satellite" album, have brought in hundreds of dollars at auction.
Condition can make a difference in the value of the record. Mint records are sometimes worth double the same record in fair condition.
Album sleeves and covers
While the vinyl record itself is what most Elvis collectors seek, the album cover or sleeve can add some value to the item. While the original Sun Records 45s were released in plain brown sleeves, many of his later single and regular LPs feature classic photography sought by collectors.
Victor Medina has served as a Community Voices columnist for the Dallas Morning News and editor of the NORTH TEXAS HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS REPORT. He has also been featured in THE WALL STREET JOURNAL and several national magazines. He blogs about politics and social issues at VictorMedina.com.