By rare I mean either nobody else has it or very few people possess it. I have seen veblen goods and snob effect. I use them whenever I have the need for such a concept but do so when I have time to explain it to the listener.

Is there an adjective or noun that anyone here knows that would describe anything to be desirable only because of its exclusivity?

On a different note, is there a word for the desire to own such unusual, expensive or unique goods?

  • The desire to own unusual, expensive or unique goods. These goods usually have a high economic value, but low practical value.
    – vickyace
    May 6, 2016 at 15:42
  • 1
    About your "different note" (really, a different question), in psychology the mental process basing the desire and so describing the desire itself is sometimes called the 'scarcity heuristic', a form of cognitive bias. Psychology being what it is, competing theories and parallel terms are rife. Note that 'scarcity value' is distinct from 'rarity value', and the scarcity heuristic generalizes four parameters--quantity, rarity, temporality, and availability--that apply to cognitive bias in making decisions.
    – JEL
    May 6, 2016 at 16:45

3 Answers 3


That would be collectible

What is a 'Collectible' A collectible is an item that is worth far more than it appears because of its rarity and/or demand. Common categories of collectibles include antiques, toys, coins, comic books and stamps. Items that have been mass-produced, and thus are not rare, are often marketed as collectibles to drive consumer demand.

Read more: Collectible Definition | Investopedia http://www.investopedia.com/terms/c/collectible.asp#ixzz47tKaidlD

  • +1 for the word, but I got carried away while typing. Please read the last part I added after editing.
    – vickyace
    May 6, 2016 at 16:02
  • Ah, you want a term for that particular flavor of covetousness.
    – Phil Sweet
    May 6, 2016 at 16:08

Materialistic comes to mind, but that doesn't exactly mean that they want it because it's rare.

It sounds more like an obsessive collector, but that doesn't quite fit either, because a collector normally collects certain types of items and only those, like ancient artifacts, baseball cards, antique weapons, first edition books, etc.

It depends on if it's any rare item, versus a specific type of rare item.

Hmm... but those describe the person wanting it, not the object itself.

Antique, collector's item, memorabilia, artifact, relic, unique, invaluable, one-of-a-kind, exquisite, incomparable, matchless, peerless, priceless, antiquity, ethereal, commodity.

Hope this helps.


You could use "Scarcity value"


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