Prices Plunge

Tarnishing collectibles

> Investors in 1979 paid about $7,500 for a set of three 1930 U.S. Zeppelin stamps at auction—a big increase over the 1961 price of $175. But this year at a California auction, the stamps' sale price fell 27%, to $5,500.

> A top-quality, one-carat round diamond had increased in price in less than a decade by nearly 940%, to $62,000.

But today the rock goes for a mere $44,000.

> Orient Handel, a store in San Francisco, accumulated a stock of Persian rugs worth $1.2 million to meet strong customer demand. But many of the rugs remain unsold. Says Manager Albert...

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