Thanks to the film Elvis, starring Austin Butler and directed by Baz Luhrmann, the iconic singer received a surge of interest from both old and new fans. But make no mistake about it, the singer deemed the King of Rock and Roll never went anywhere, even after his tragic passing back in August of 1977. According to Stephen Shutts, a veteran collector and founder of Rockology Auctions, the demand for Elvis Presley memorabilia has been constant and surprisingly increased with each passing year.
Like most, Stephen Shutts believed the market for Elvis Presley’s items would eventually fall off, which happens often. But for the King of Rock and Roll, Shutts said, “I know when I talk among other collectors and historians like myself, we think, ‘Will it taper off on the 30th anniversary?’ It didn’t. ‘Will it taper off the 35th?’ And it didn’t. So every anniversary we’re surprised. There was talk before this film last year of, ‘Is anyone going to be around for the 50th?’ And today, I would say the 50th is going to be even bigger than the 45th. I don’t see it dropping off now in my lifetime at this point. I think with the new generations… the interest will continue to accelerate. And therefore, I think those that have disposable income to acquire and buy will… see it as an investment.”
Elvis Presley’s Wealth Continues To Climb
And it isn’t just Stephen Shutts’ who sees the value in owning a piece of Elvis Presley. “I know there’s a lot of foreign buyers coming in that are traveling now since COVID [restrictions] lifted. And everyone I’ve talked to, from the travel side of it to the collecting side of it, they’ve seen a real spike in their sales and in businesses, which is good. It keeps Elvis’ name out there, but it’s also good for people like myself [who] are truly immersed in the Elvis business side of things.”
Although Elvis Presley’s net worth was only around $5 million at the time of his death, thanks to his estate, Forbes ranked him seventh when it came to highest-paid celebrities who passed away. With new ventures and partnerships, Presley’s name added around $30 million to his estate.
The Dangers Of Replicas
For those who see the value in Elvis Presley, Stephen Shutts warned about the surge in forgeries seen circulating. One item to be especially concerned about are jumpsuits of the late singer. “When I hear ‘jumpsuit’ I’m immediately skeptical for the fact that I know where all of them are located, whether it’s in Graceland or private collectors’ hands. About 25 years ago, the jumpsuits were in the $70-$80,000 range. Now they’re in the $350,000 range. Capes and belts once brought in $15-$20,000. They’re now in the six-figure realm… I could see in my lifetime a jumpsuit from a key concert or key era hitting the million-dollar mark.”
Holding an auction surrounding items owned by late artists, Rockology Auctions promotes several possessions of Elvis Presley including a scarf, golden jewelry, and a rotary telephone encrusted with gold.