It’s been a year since a lock of hair brought $35,000 at auction. The four-inch long swatch of hair was snipped from Beatle John Lennon’s head in Hamburg, Germany in 1966 by barber Klaus Baruck. Paul Fraser, a collector of Beatle’s memorabilia was the successful bidder.
The news blurb reminded me how much I used to love the Beatles, too. I still own copies of most of their albums and play them once in awhile. It would be fun to own some other memorabilia from the band like a ticket stub or an authentic autographed photograph. Perhaps a lock of hair would be OK, too. Although I can imagine paying premium prices for these things, $35,000 is much more than I’m willing to pay for some hair. Despite the fact that the hair was from the scalp of one of the Fab Four still doesn’t make it seem that valuable to me.
The idea about selling locks of famous people’s hair makes me wonder what value the buyers see in their purchases. I asked myself what I would be willing to pay for some Beatle’s hair. Maybe a thousand dollars? Is famous hair a good financial investment?
How and where would I display the lock of hair? Preservation of the hair would require a place that does not get direct sunlight. Average relative humidity and room temperature of some optimal level would need to be maintained. There is the risk of theft. Would the hair be worth the cost of equipping the home with sophisticated alarm and surveillance systems? What about bragging rights? Once my friends have seen the hair, they’re probably not going to fawn over it again. There’s just not much bang for the buck.
Once any thrill had worn off, the Beatle hair would probably get placed in storage or in a bank vault and maybe even forgotten. It seems rather morbid to display a lock of hair in the home. Maybe even a thousand dollars would be too high of a price to pay.
If I had the means to purchase something original by John Lennon, one of his sketches seems like a better choice. His artwork is pleasing to the eye and makes a better financial investment. Regardless of the purchase price, a sketch would be best. A John Lennon drawing would provide greater value to me.
Of course, value can mean much more than cash worth. A possession can depreciate and turn out to be a terrible choice as a long-term asset, but can still have great emotional value to the owner. Old family snapshots mean little or nothing to strangers, but to family members they can be priceless.
When we pause to ponder what things in life have the most value, we come up with a few important items like friendships, physical health, emotional well-being, and time.
People have pondered the subject of value since ancient times. In the end, humanity has determined that the greatest value in life is not necessarily what we receive; rather the greatest value is what we contribute to others. Individually, it’s not what we get; it’s what we become.
So value is often more than the amount of money that can be obtained for an item in the market. Value is a very personal concept.