Inspired to seek out some colorful tins of your own? First, get the scoop on collecting and caring for vintage and antique containersLook high and low: • Flea markets and antique malls may yield pieces ranging from 50 cents to $14; however, collectible tins like our oyster bucket can cost as much as $70 or $80. If you’re serious about collecting, hit antiques stores in search of these more valuable wares. • Keep your eyes peeled at yard sales, where you’ll find the lowest prices—often, people don’t know how coveted their pieces are. Become an expert: • Learn to tell the real from the reproduction. Old tins are often made of a heavier-gauge metal than their contemporary counterparts and will also not be as brightly colored. The inks used in earlier eras were not the super-bright versions of today, and aging generally causes further fading. • Study up. To learn more about collecting vintage tins, check out Advertising Tins: A Collector's Guide by Robert Opie. If you’re interested in contemporary tins, try Modern Collectible Tins: Identification & Values by Linda McPherson. Handle with care: • Preserve the colors of vintage and antique tins by storing them out of direct sunlight. • Never clean a tin with an abrasive cleaner and use soap only when absolutely necessary. It’s best to clean with a soft, lint-free cloth moistened with fresh water. After washing, wait 24 hours before putting a cover back onto a tin, as any moisture trapped inside can cause the container to rust.