Many people have heard of the ever-popular Hummel figurines, but less people know about Hummel plates, which are not as often collected. While the first figurines were introduced in 1935, Hummel plates did not arrive on the scene until 1971.

Hummel figurines are often worth thousands, but Hummel plates are not so valuable. They range from about $10 to a couple of hundred dollars apiece.

This blog posts will discuss a brief history of Hummel plates, their value as an investment, which Hummel plates are the most valuable, and how to care for your collection.

History of Hummel Plates

First introduced in 1971, Hummel plates featured pictures with scenes of characters that look like those depicted in Hummel figurines. They were produced by Franz Goebel, who was the head of a famous porcelain company located in Rodental, Germany. This company was called W. Goebel Porzellanfabrik.

Franz Goebel based his designs off of the art of Sister Maria Innocentia Hummel, a Bavarian nun who was formerly known as Berta Hummel. Sister Maria honed her artistic abilities at the Academy of Fine Arts in Munich. Many of her designs featured the young children that are depicted on Hummel’s porcelain figurines.

In 1935, Goebel and Sister Maria entered into an agreement that enabled him to use her artwork as inspiration for his figurines. Hummel plates were introduced many years later.

Are Hummel Plates Worth the Investment?

While Hummel plates are a great collectible item for their unique designs, they are not as valuable as the famous Hummel figurines. If you are looking to collect Hummel plates, you should do so because you love the plates and their designs. They are not the best option for the collector-investor.

Identifying a Hummel Plate’s Value

Age and cosmetic condition determine the value of a Hummel plate. They are also more valuable when they come in their original packaging. Read on for a more in-depth look at each of these factors.


A Hummel plate’s production year has a huge role in determining its value. The plates were made between 1971 and 1995. The year of release is indicated on the underside of the plate. Older plates are more valuable than recent plates.

Cosmetic Condition

The condition of the plate also determines its value. Here are the categories your plate could fall into:

Mint Condition: A mint condition plate comes with the original box, and both the plate and the box are in perfect condition. These bring in the highest prices on the secondary market.

Excellent Condition: A plate in excellent condition usually comes with the original box. The box may be somewhat worn, but the plate is in great condition, without cracking, stains, or discoloration.

Good Condition: A plate in good condition may not have its original box. The plate can have some discoloration, and some of the gold may have rubbed off.

Fair Condition: Usually without their original packaging, these plates have crazing, chips, and cracks. This usually has a big impact on their value.

Original Box: A Hummel plate in its original box will always bring in a higher value than one without it.

The Most Valuable and Desirable Hummel Plates

There are multiple series of Hummel plates that were released, and today they are popular with fans and collectors of the plates. Read on to learn about the different types of Hummel plates that you can collect.

Hummel Annual Plate Series

Between 1971 and 1996, Goebel released a special annual plate every year. In 2000, they continued to release five more Hummel annual plates. All the plates in the annual series are popular among collectors.

Friend Forever Plate Series

This plate series contains four unique plates, which are different then the annual series and feature a different border design on the outer edge. They are 7″ in diameter.

Four Seasons Plate Series

Designed by sculptor Helmut Fischer, this four-plate series was released between 1996 and 1999. Each plate represents a season.

Annual Hummel Christmas Plates Series

Goebel first released a Christmas plate in 1995. These plates have raised reliefs instead of a flat image.

Celebration Plate Series

This series of plates was released for club members, and was created by sculptor Gerhard Skrobek. They celebrated the 10th anniversary of the Goebel Collectors Club, which is now called the M.I. Hummel Club.

Little Music Makers Mini-Plate Series

This four-piece series of miniature plates was released between 1984 and 1987. The plates were produced in a limited run.

Little Homemakers Mini-Plate Series

This adorable miniature plate series featured images of characters taking care of their homes. They were designed by Gerhard Skrobek and were produced in a limited run.

Century Collection Miniature Plates Series

Produced between 1986 and 1999, these miniature plates featured a limited-edition M.I. Hummel figurine.

How to Authenticate Your Hummel Plate Collection

Looking to determine your Hummel plate’s authenticity? Hummel plates that were produced by Goebel should have the current trademark from the date of manufacture printed on the back of the plate in the color cobalt blue, as well as the name of the plate and the series description.

Looking to determine if the Hummel plate you are looking at is genuine? Keep an eye out for these marks:

  • Goebel’s full name or the name of the series printed in a circular test design
  • M.I. Hummel printed close to the center of this circular text
  • The plate’s name, series descriptor, or Goebel’s full name printed above or below M.I. Hummel
  • Full-sized plates should have the Goebel trademark logo and Hum Number printed below the circular text
  • The mini-plates will have the Goebel TMK logo and Hum number printed above or below the center text
  • Look for Hum numbers on the back of a Hummel plate. This number corresponds with the company’s catalog.

If any of these marks are missing, your Hummel plate just might be a reproduction.

How to Assess the Quality of a Rare Hummel Plate Before You Buy

When purchasing Hummel plates, whether you buy online or from estate sales or antique stores, you’ll want to purchase items that are in top condition. This means items without fading in the design or any chips or cracks.

Be sure to purchase your plates from reputable sellers! If you are buying on auction sites such as eBay, or on Etsy, you can read the reviews of the seller to ensure that they are a good seller. You’ll also want to buy plates that have a lot of good photos from all angles, as well as a descriptive listing.

Besides assessing the quality of the plate itself, you’ll want to consider whether or not the original packaging comes with the plate, as this will add to its value. Do your research and see what the same plates are selling for on other sites before you commit to a specific price.

Protecting Your Hummel Plate Collection: Best Practices for Storage and Security

To preserve the value of your Hummel plates, be sure to store them in a safe and secure location. A curio cabinet with closed glass doors is a great way to display them without leaving them open to potential accidental breakage. Having them behind closed doors also prevents them from pick up as much dust.

Why Your Hummel Plate Collection Needs More Than Homeowners Insurance to Stay Safe

Did you know that your Hummel plate collection may not be sufficiently covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance? Often, homeowner’s insurance only protects your items up to a certain dollar amount, which may not be enough coverage for valuable collectible items. What’s more is that homeowner’s often fails to cover the full market value of your collection, which means that if it has appreciated, you may not be adequately covered.

For peace of mind when it comes to your collection, be sure to get the best coverage that was designed by collectors, for collectors. Get a free quote today to get started.


Can a broken Hummel plate be restored or repaired, and if so, does this affect the value?

Hummel plates can be repaired if they are broken, but this repair will greatly impact its value. Hummel plates with cracks, chips, or repairs are not worth as much as those in mint condition.

What is the best way to sell my Hummel plate and get the highest value?

To get the highest value for your Hummel plates, opt to sell them individually on auction sites such as eBay. If you sell to a reseller, they will offer you a lower price as they are looking to make a profit on the item. Do your research and find out what your plate is worth based on the style of the plate and its condition.

Does the rarity or condition of a Hummel plate affect its value?

Yes, the rarity and condition of a Hummel plate will affect its value. Rare plates tend to be worth more than more common styles. And condition is a huge factor contributing to a plate’s value. Also affecting the value is whether or not the plate comes with its original packaging.

Are there any Hummel plates that are not worth collecting or have no value?

Broken, chipped, or repaired Hummel plates have little value. Opt for collecting plates that are in good or mint condition and that still have their original packaging.

What should I consider before investing in a Hummel plate?

Hummel plates do not have considerable value as a collectible item, and they are not as valuable as Hummel figurines. Consider collecting the plates for the love of it, rather than viewing them as an investment.


About Collectibles Insurance Services

Collectibles Insurance Services has been protecting collections since 1966 and all coverage is provided by a carrier with a group rating of “A” (Excellent) by AM Best, the leading rating agency for the insurance industry.

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