These thoughts come from a question asked on the You Tube channel.

A fellow is looking at a particular Castello pipe.  An uncommon shape in an uncommon finish. His question being, is it a good investment?

My initial thought is, do not “invest” in pipes.  The chance of your “investment” increasing in value is miniscule.   After I penned the reply, it struck me that much depends on your definition of investment.

If that definition is for pleasure, pride of ownership, joy, or a human personal level, there are few things I have gained more from than my pipes.  Beyond the physical attributes and smoking pleasures, is the number of friendships and personal relationships these wonderful briars have brought me.

I collect watches, pens, guitars, and have collected various other things throughout my lifetime.  Few have brought me the joy of my pipe collection as it has grown, diminished, and altered into where it currently sits. Thus, on this level of “investment” it has been worth it, for me.

On a financial level though? A very wise pipe collector I know once said, and I quote “I’ve bought a lot of high-priced pipes over the years and sold them for low prices”.

The purchase of any hard asset with the view of an increase in value should be only towards what most of the world views are hard assets.  For this I strongly suggest you find a professional in that area.  Have some goals in mind beforehand and seriously look at your financial situation.  Do not ask me for financial or investment advice!

Now pipes as a potential method to invest with hopes of an increase in value, is a mugs game, a roll of the dice, and anyone that rolls the dice in Las Vegas knows the odds are not in your favor.

Without the ability to time travel your collection will most likely not gain significant value in your lifetime.  Sure, if you could travel back in time 70 years, buy a truck load of patent era Dunhill’s, or Sixten Ivarsson’s, then return to today’s date, you would make a healthy profit.

In todays world of pipes values do not increase greatly or quickly, for the most part.  The exception might come with a new carver.  IF you buy in the carvers’ early stages, and IF the carver grabs attention, and IF the carver increases prices, and IF the carver has some longevity as a pipe maker, you might be able to see an increase in the value of the pipes you bought.

Hindsight is 20/20!   Had I known years ago what certain carvers’ pipes would retail for in today’s world, I could have made a ton of money.    There are several carvers I have dealt with in the past, that at their current wholesale prices are beyond my ability and willingness to afford.

The above being the case, the list of carvers who came into the game, left the game, had less than no impact on the game, and withered into oblivion is a much longer list.

Your chances of getting in early and catching that rising star aren’t great.   Invest in pipes for your pleasure, without a single thought about values increasing.  If it’s all about monetary values, then this probably is not the hobby for you.