6 Things You Should Know About Those Precious Moments Figurines

All the world is divided into three parts: People who love Precious Moments figurines, people who, umm, don’t love them, and people who have no idea what I’m talking about.

For the uninitiated, Precious Moments are small figurines featuring cartoonish, teardrop-eyed boys and girls. Each one depicts a common emotional moment in life — love, caring, prayer, marriage, babies, et cetera. They debuted in 1978, the brainchild of Sam Butcher, who made his living illustrating Christian-themed greeting cards.

The statuettes were an instant hit. If you are a woman of a certain age, it’s very likely you received at least one Precious Moment as a gift when you were a little girl – probably from your grandma.

Precious Moments also became a collectible, an affordable alternative to Hummel and Lladro figurines, which can run hundreds of dollars. New Precious Moments cost an average of about $50 to $250.

Some other interesting facts about Precious Moments:

cheerful giverCourtesy of RetiredPreciousMoments.com

1. “God Loveth a Cheerful Giver,” is considered the most collectible PM. It was part of the first 21 figurine series. If you can find one on eBay it will cost you between $300 and $600.

pm-cakeFlickr User downing.amanda

2. As of 1998, the bride and groom Precious Moment had stood atop two million wedding cakes, according to The Chicago Tribune.

pm-sistine-chapelFlickr User Missouri Division of Tourism
pm-sistene-chapel-2Flickr User Missouri Division of Tourism

3. The Precious Moments chapel in Carthage, Missouri is based on the Sistine Chapel and features 5,000 feet of murals painted by PM creator Sam Butcher.

4. Limited Edition Precious Moments are capped at 3,000 pieces and cost $150 to $250. However, one current limited edition is being offered for $975.

5. Back in the 1990’s, there were actually several Precious Moments animated TV specials, all with a Christian theme, including one in which a little boy follows a star to the baby Jesus.

6. A 2,000 piece Precious Moments collection donated to a breast cancer organization in 2013 was reportedly valued at up to $100,000.

Yeah, about that last one… While collectibles certainly can play a role in an investment strategy, we need to keep things in perspective. No collection – comics, cars, guns, and figurines – should play a central role in planning for your financial future. Collections offer limited liquidity and are subject to swings in public interest and sentiment. For example, at its height, the Precious Moments Fan Club had 500,000 members. Today, it has just 30,000 adherents. Tell you something?

So, if you are among those who love Precious Moments, by all means continue to buy and share them. Just remember they are an investment in your happiness – not in your financial future.

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Cover Image: Flickr

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