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Prospectors: Are Sealed Records the New Gold?


"Cletus! We struck gold!"

We are always looking for the next thing to collect and invest in, and we may have just found it. But let's go back to gold. What makes it so valuable? Some say that it's the chemical makeup and durability of the metal, and others say it's because it cannot depreciate. The main reason, though, is its scarcity. It's a finite resource that is challenging to find, and it takes a lot of work to process it from its natural state to one of value. 

A common trend in the vinyl community is YouTube pundits and collectors advocating the opening of sealed vinyl records. Why? Because 'records should be listened to, not preserved.' There are other reasons, such as the shrink keeps shrinking over time and could cause damage to the jacket and, ultimately, warp the record. However, that problem is much rarer than what collectors make it out to be.

Our question is, 'what happens when they run out?' It is essential to the collectible's hobby to preserve the history of the collectible. Like gold, examples of sealed vintage records with high grades are becoming less common each day that goes by, and like gold, they're hard to find and it takes work to preserve them, so they become a tangible asset that we can appreciate for many years to come with no fear of harm to the asset.


Even if you have to pay a premium for a sealed record, it is expected to do quite well once encapsulated. You don't always have to pay a lot, though. Check your yard sales, thrift stores, flea markets, local classifieds, and even more conventional outlets such as eBay, Discogs, Mercari, WhatNot, and others. They're still out there; you need to dig. 

One thing is sure; it's not just that sealed records are tough to find, but finding a copy in excellent condition is even more difficult. 

When looking for sealed vinyl records to collect, what should you look for to ensure you're getting a quality piece?

The shrink should be clear, have no tears, and there should be no dirt or mold under the shrink. PLEASE NOTE that if you find a sealed record that doesn't meet some or all of these requirements, that's OK. However, they will likely not grade as high. 

Say, for example, there is surface dirt and dust on the outside of the shrink, stickers or sticker residue, or unwanted price tags. You may order AAGS add-ons, and we will improve the quality of the shrink to increase the piece's grade as much as possible. 

Once all is clean, AAGS will encapsulate the record along with an informative label and serial number, which is not only physically preserved but also preserved and documented in a population report. 

Would you like to learn more about collecting sealed vinyl records, complete in-sleeve, (CIS) and loose vinyl records? Check out our free eBook.

US Letter - 8,5_ x 11_ brochure with changeable color_Page 1_40 from Collecting Vinyl Records 101 eBook - Edited - Edited (1)

If you are interested in vinyl record encapsulation or any of our other services, please visit us at to learn more about how you can bring your collection to the next level!