One of the best ways to determine the value of your collector plate is to visit one or more of the numerous forums devoted specifically to plate collecting. No matter what your plate, someone will likely have information on it.
The first step toward putting a value on your plate is to know precisely what you have. In most cases, you can find all the information you need on the back of the collector plate, including the series, date and manufacturer. These plates were manufactured specifically to be collected, so having the first edition of any plate is always desirable.
The first collector plate was created in 1895 by Bing and Grondahl of Denmark. The Christmas-themed plate, titled "Behind the Frozen Window," included the date of manufacture as well as the plate's title. The plate was a success and the company continued to release one plate each year; they are now released under the Royal Copenhagen name. Christmas plates remained popular for decades, but other collectable plates began to be manufactured by the early 20th century.
The value of your collector plate goes up significantly if you have a rare, highly desired plate. Factors that determine a plate's value include, rarity, design, artist, manufacturer and historical significance. For example, Princess Diana plates gained instant value after she died. Several online sites, including the Glass Menagerie, list collector plates with their current value. Popular themes include Christmas, Disney, "Gone With the Wind" and Norman Rockwell but they are not necessarily the most valued plates because so many were manufactured.