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Are Bradford Exchange Plates Worth Anything? A Detailed Look At Their Value

Many people have received Bradford Exchange plates as gifts over the years and wonder if they are actually worth anything.

In this detailed guide, we’ll take an in-depth look at Bradford Exchange plates and examine multiple factors that affect their value and desirability to collectors.

If you’re short on time, here’s the quick answer: While some Bradford Exchange plates can be quite valuable depending on their rarity and condition, most mass-produced plates only sell for $5-$20 on the secondary market.

Their value depends on the artist, subject matter, plate size, condition, and whether they were limited editions or not.

Background on the Bradford Exchange and Their Plate Collection

The Bradford Exchange is a well-known company that has been in the business of producing collectible plates for many years.

They offer a wide range of plates that cater to different interests and themes.

If you are wondering whether Bradford Exchange plates are worth anything, it is important to understand the history and background of the company, as well as the types of plates they produce and the themes they cover.


History and Overview of the Bradford Exchange Company

The Bradford Exchange was founded in 1973 by J. Roderick MacArthur, and it quickly became a leader in the collectibles market.

The company is known for its commitment to quality and craftsmanship, and its plates are highly sought after by collectors around the world.

They have built a reputation for producing limited edition plates that are meticulously crafted and beautifully designed.

Over the years, the Bradford Exchange has expanded its product offerings beyond plates and now includes a wide range of collectibles such as figurines, jewelry, and home decor items.

However, their plate collection remains one of their most popular and iconic offerings.

Types of Plates Produced: Limited Editions, Collector’s Plates, Decorative Plates

The Bradford Exchange produces various types of plates to cater to different collector preferences. They are well-known for their limited edition plates, which are produced in a specific quantity and then retired.

These limited edition plates often feature famous artists or iconic themes, making them highly desirable among collectors.

In addition to limited edition plates, the Bradford Exchange also produces collector’s plates, which are designed specifically for the collector market.

These plates often feature intricate artwork and are made with high-quality materials.

They are typically produced in larger quantities than limited edition plates but still maintain their value due to their collectible nature.

Lastly, the Bradford Exchange also offers decorative plates that are meant to be displayed and enjoyed for their aesthetic appeal.

These plates often feature beautiful designs, such as floral patterns or scenic landscapes, and can be a great addition to any home decor.

Themes and Subjects Covered: Norman Rockwell, Disney, Wildlife Scenes, etc.

The Bradford Exchange covers a wide range of themes and subjects in its plate collection.

One of their most popular themes is Norman Rockwell, a renowned American artist whose nostalgic illustrations have become iconic.

The Bradford Exchange has produced many plates featuring Rockwell’s artwork, which are highly sought after by collectors.

Another popular theme in the Bradford Exchange’s plate collection is Disney.

They have collaborated with Disney to produce plates featuring beloved characters such as Mickey Mouse, Cinderella, and Snow White. These plates are often cherished by Disney enthusiasts and collectors alike.

The Bradford Exchange also offers plates featuring wildlife scenes, such as majestic wolves or serene landscapes.

These plates appeal to nature lovers and collectors who appreciate the beauty of the natural world.

What Factors Increase a Bradford Exchange Plate’s Value?

When determining the value of a Bradford Exchange plate, several factors come into play.

Understanding these factors can help collectors gauge the worth of their plates and make informed decisions.

Here are some key factors that can increase a Bradford Exchange plate’s value:

Limited Edition vs Mass-Produced

One of the most significant factors that impact the value of a Bradford Exchange plate is whether it is a limited edition or mass-produced.

Limited edition plates are typically more valuable due to their scarcity.

These plates are often numbered and have a set production limit, making them highly sought after by collectors.

On the other hand, mass-produced plates are more common and tend to have lower values.

Plate Size and Weight

The size and weight of a Bradford Exchange plate can also influence its value.

Larger and heavier plates are generally considered more desirable and thus have higher values. 

Additionally, these plates often feature intricate designs and details that make them stand out among collectors.

Large Plate

Artist/Designer Name and Reputation

The reputation and name recognition of the artist or designer behind a Bradford Exchange plate can significantly impact its value.

Plates created by well-known and highly respected artists or designers tend to be more valuable.

Collectors often seek out plates by specific artists or designers, which can drive up their prices.

Subject Matter and Theme Popularity

The subject matter and theme of a Bradford Exchange plate can also affect its value.

Plates featuring popular themes or subjects that resonate with collectors are more likely to have higher values.

For example, plates depicting famous landmarks, beloved characters, or significant historical events may be highly sought after.

Condition and Damage

The condition of a Bradford Exchange plate is crucial in determining its value.

Plates in excellent condition, with no chips, cracks, or other damage, will generally have higher values.

Collectors place a premium on plates that are well-preserved and show minimal signs of wear.

Box and Certificate of Authenticity

The presence of the original box and certificate of authenticity can also impact a Bradford Exchange plate’s value.

Plates that come with their original packaging and documentation are often considered more valuable.

These items provide proof of the plate’s authenticity and can increase its appeal to collectors. By considering these factors, collectors can gain a better understanding of the value of their Bradford Exchange plates.

It’s important to note that the value of these plates can vary greatly depending on market demand and current trends in the collecting community.

Keeping track of market prices and consulting reputable sources can help collectors make informed decisions about their collections.

Estimated Secondary Market Value Range for Bradford Plates

Low-End Mass Produced Plates: $5 – $20

Bradford Exchange plates that fall into the low-end mass-produced category typically have a secondary market value ranging from $5 to $20.

These plates are often produced in large quantities and are widely available.

While they may not hold significant value, they can still be appreciated by collectors who have a sentimental attachment to specific designs or themes.

Mid-Range Collectible Plates: $25 – $75

In the mid-range category, Bradford Exchange plates that are considered collectible can have a secondary market value ranging from $25 to $75.

These plates are often limited editions or part of a series that has gained popularity among collectors.

The value of these plates can vary based on factors such as the popularity of the design, the condition of the plate, and its rarity.

High-End Rare Editions: $100 – $250+

The high-end rare editions of Bradford Exchange plates have a secondary market value ranging from $100 to $250 or more.

These plates are highly sought after by collectors due to their limited production, unique designs, or historical significance.

The value of these plates can increase significantly if they are accompanied by a certificate of authenticity or original packaging.

The Most Valuable and Sought-After Issues

Some Bradford Exchange plates have gained a reputation for being the most valuable and sought-after among collectors. These plates can command prices well above the high-end range mentioned earlier.

For example, limited edition plates featuring famous artists, significant historical events, or popular culture icons can be highly sought after and may have a secondary market value that exceeds $250.

It’s important to note that the value of these plates can fluctuate over time based on market demand and trends.

For more information on the secondary market value of Bradford Exchange plates, you can visit websites such as or to get an idea of current prices and trends.

Where to Sell Bradford Exchange Plates

If you have Bradford Exchange plates that you no longer want or need, you may be wondering where you can sell them. There are several options available to you, each with its own advantages and considerations.

Here are some places to consider when looking to sell your Bradford Exchange plates:


eBay is a popular online marketplace where you can sell a wide variety of items, including collectible plates. It allows you to reach a large audience of potential buyers from all around the world.

When listing your Bradford Exchange plates on eBay, be sure to include detailed descriptions and high-quality photos to attract buyers.

Additionally, consider setting a reasonable price or starting the bidding at a competitive amount to generate interest.

Online Auction Houses

There are various online auction houses that specialize in collectibles, including plates.

These platforms provide a structured selling process and often have a dedicated customer base of collectors.

Some popular online auction houses include Heritage Auctions, Sotheby’s, and Bonhams.

Research the auction houses to find one that aligns with your goals and preferences, and follow their guidelines for consignment and selling.

Replacements.Com is a well-known website that specializes in buying and selling discontinued and hard-to-find items, including Bradford Exchange plates.

They have a vast inventory of collectibles and provide a platform for sellers to connect with interested buyers.

To sell your plates on, you can submit information and photos of your items for evaluation.

If accepted, you can negotiate a price with the company and complete the sale.

Local Auctions, Flea Markets, Antique Stores

Consider exploring local options such as auctions, flea markets, and antique stores in your area.

These venues often attract collectors and enthusiasts who may be interested in purchasing Bradford Exchange plates.

Participating in local events allows you to interact with potential buyers directly and potentially negotiate prices.

Keep in mind that you may need to pay a commission or fee to the venue for facilitating the sale.

Antique Store

Consigning with a Reseller Specializing in Collectibles

If you prefer to have someone else handle the selling process, you can consign your Bradford Exchange plates to a reseller who specializes in collectibles.

These resellers have expertise in pricing, marketing, and selling collectibles, including plates.

They will typically handle the listing, promotion, and negotiation on your behalf in exchange for a percentage of the sale price.

Research reputable resellers in your area or consider online options to find the best fit for your needs.

Remember, the value of your Bradford Exchange plates may vary depending on factors such as rarity, condition, demand, and current market trends.

It’s always a good idea to research and compare prices before selling to ensure you get a fair value for your collectibles.

Preserving and Protecting Your Plates

When it comes to preserving and protecting your Bradford Exchange plates, there are a few key steps you can take to ensure their long-term value and beauty.

Proper storage and display, preventing scratches, chips, and wear, and repairing any damage are all important aspects to consider.

Proper Storage and Display

One of the most important factors in preserving the value of your Bradford Exchange plates is proper storage and display.

It is recommended to store your plates in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.

Exposure to sunlight can cause fading and damage to the artwork.

Additionally, keep your plates in a sturdy display cabinet or on a plate rack to prevent accidental bumps or falls.

Consider using acid-free tissue paper or plate sleeves to protect your plates from dust and scratches. This will help maintain their pristine condition and prevent any potential damage during storage.

Preventing Scratches, Chips, and Wear

To prevent scratches, chips, and wear on your Bradford Exchange plates, handle them with clean, dry hands.

Avoid touching the painted surfaces as much as possible, as the oils from your skin can cause damage over time.

It’s also a good idea to use cotton gloves when handling your plates, especially if you have a large collection.

When cleaning your plates, use a soft, non-abrasive cloth or sponge and mild dish soap.

Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive cleaners, as these can cause damage to the artwork. Gently wipe the plate in a circular motion, taking care to remove any dirt or residue.

If you plan on displaying your plates on a wall, make sure to use proper hanging hardware that can support the weight of the plate. This will help prevent any accidents and keep your plates securely in place.

Repairing Damage

If your Bradford Exchange plates do sustain any damage, it’s important to address it promptly to prevent further deterioration.

Minor scratches or chips can often be repaired using a porcelain repair kit, which can be found at many craft or hobby stores. Follow the instructions carefully and take your time to ensure proper repair.

For more significant damage, such as cracks or breaks, it may be best to consult a professional porcelain restorer.

They have the expertise and tools necessary to repair and restore your plates to their original condition.

Remember, taking proper care of your Bradford Exchange plates will not only help preserve their value but also allow you to enjoy their beauty for years to come.


Bradford Exchange plates encompass everything from inexpensive decorative plates to highly valuable limited editions.

While the plates your grandma gave you may not be worth a fortune, they have nostalgic meaning.

Learn more about your plates using the tips in this guide before deciding to sell or keep them as family keepsakes.

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