10 things you probably didn’t know about Precious Moments figurines

'I've Got Your Back' Precious Moments figurine
Precious Moments

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The teardrop-eyed Precious Moments dolls, first introduced to the world in the late 1970s, have evolved over the years into popular collector’s items and classic gift-giving pieces. From figurines to ornaments and more, Precious Moments has been a growing brand for more than three decades.

If you’ve been curious about these beloved figurines, check out some fun facts about the Missouri-based company.

MORE: Your Precious Moments figurines could be worth thousands 

1. Only One of The ‘Original 21’ Figurines Is Still Being Produced

When creator Sam Butcher first made the 3D figurines that would be spark the Precious Moments industry, he started with an initial collection of 21 pieces, titled “The Original 21.” Now that the company has grown, there is currently just one of the 21 still being produced and sold today: Love One Another.
Precious Moments figurine with two children

$44 at Wayfair

2. You Can Get The Other 20, But It Might Cost You

If you’re an avid Precious Moments collector, you may be interested in acquiring all of The Original 21 figurines. You could probably make that a reality by purchasing the figurines you’re missing from the retired Precious Moments website, though some of the pieces are sold out. However, you’ll also find that owners of the Original 21 are also selling their collectibles on eBay and Etsy.

3. The Most Expensive Figurine of the Original 21 Is ‘God Loveth a Cheerful Giver’

Of all the Original 21 figurines on the retired Precious Moments site, God Loveth a Cheerful Giver is the most expensive. It’s currently on sale for $399, reduced from $799. Compare that to the Jesus Loves Me figurine, which is currently listed as the least expensive at $14.97, down from $46.

4. The Marking on the Bottom of Each Figurine Isn’t a Coincidence

Starting in 1981, each figurine came with a special marking on the bottom, a shape pressed into the porcelain that symbolized a special edition doll or a kind of theme for the year in which the figurine was produced. For example, in this image from an eBay listing for a Precious Moments figurine, the symbol is a trumpet, which was stamped on the bottom of all 1994 Precious Moments pieces to represent “loving, caring and sharing.” Other Precious Moments production marks over the years have included a cedar tree, cross, dove and olive branch. In 1998, the company made its production mark glasses for its 20th anniversary to say “the vision is still the same.”

bottom of a Precious Moments figurine
eBay

5. There’s a Precious Moments Park and Chapel in Missouri

Heavily inspired by The Sistine Chapel in Rome, a Precious Moments Park and Chapel was opened in 1989, with dozens of murals all hand-painted by Butcher himself.

The artwork depicts various stories of the Bible — the Old Testament is displayed on its east side and the New Testament is on the west side. Here’s a look at it from the site’s Facebook page.

6. There Is Also a Collection of ‘Chapel Exclusives’

One reason to visit the Missouri chapel is to gain access to a special collection of figurines called Chapel Exclusives — such as the A Heavenly Moment to Celebrate figurine below — that are available at the Chapel Gift Shoppe (and on the Precious Moments website). In addition to making a unique souvenir, 20% of the proceeds from Chapel Exclusives sales is donated to the Precious Moments Foundation, which supports the Precious Moments Chapel and allows it to be free to the public.

A Heavenly Moment To Celebrate Chapel figurine
Precious Moments

7. Over 2,500 Figurines Have Been Made

The Precious Moments brand has produced more than 2,500 figurines! This makes sense, as the figurine line has produced everything from ornaments to wedding cake toppers.

Precious Moments wedding cake topper

$74.99 at Amazon

8. New Pieces Are Created 4 Times a Year

Precious Moments launches 25-40 figurines in a collection, and does so four times a year. However, figurines also get retired yearly, meaning they will never make that figurine again, and in fact, they destroy the mold that was used to make the discontinued figurine.

Some of the limited-edition pieces appear to be very special indeed, like this Cinderella figurine that is listed on the Precious Moments website for a whopping $1,500.

Precious Moments Cinderella figurine
Precious Moments

9. One Woman’s 2,000-Piece Collection Was Donated To A Cancer Organization After Her Death

In 2013, a man donated his late mother’s collection of Precious Moments figurines to a breast cancer organization in southwest Missouri. She had been collecting the dolls for 25 years. The collection she acquired worth an estimated $100,000 or more.

Precious Moments Memorial Angel Figurine

$54.99 at Amazon

10. Precious Moments Made Animated, Seasonal TV Specials

The company has made cartoon specials centering around Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter. In 2021, there was also talk of an animated comedic series for preschoolers featuring Precious Moments characters, though the project doesn’t seem to have been released.

 

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About the Author
Taylor Hosey
Miami University graduate. I believe that simplicity, originality and a little bit of wit can go a long way.

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