Searching through dusty antiques is a fun adventure. The average collector will wonder through a store, browse a few items, and maybe buy a couple of interesting oddities. But what if one of those oddities turned out to be worth a small fortune? It does happen, often completely changing the life of the lucky finder.
Here are a few true stories of antique collectors that hit it big with a single, unassuming item.
Thrift Store Vase
One antique collector picked up a nice, but not amazing vase for $4.99. Making the purchase in Indiana, the collector went on to have the vase evaluated a few years later. As it turns out it wasn’t just any ordinary vase. The pottery was a prime example of work done by the famed Overbeck Pottery sisters, an early premium crafts company operating in Indiana decades ago.
What did the vase get evaluated? Around $50,000 to $100,000.
Declaration Of Independence
This story is now legend, standing as an example of what a sharp collector can uncover. Descendants of colonial settlers, Long Island, New York, decided to rummage around in their storage. They discovered a desk, and in that desk discovered a copy of the Declaration Of Independence. Referred to as a Holt Broadside, the document was a copy used by John Holt, dated 1776. Only 500 Holt Broadside copies exist.
As can be imagined, it turned out the document was worth a cool $1.5 million. Checking cricket betting odds may be a gamble, but imagine finding a priceless document in an old desk?
Moon Dust Bag
Of all the strange items on this list, what could be more valuable than a copy of the Declaration Of Independence? Why, Neil Armstrong’s moon dust bag, of course. A seized asset auction somehow landed up with a bag apparently used to gather moon dust, though the item had not been authenticated.
The bag was purchased by Nancy Carlson, a lawyer that decided to risk the item being real. It turned out that the bag was, indeed, real, actually containing moon dust collected in 1969. After buying it for $955 Carlson auctioned off the bag for $1.8 million.
Movie Poster Gold
Incredibly, it might just be a movie poster that lands up making a small fortune. Assuming it is a unique poster, of course. In 2015 an anonymous collector decided to investigate a long closed cinema. He had worked there as a teenager, though hadn’t expected to find anything in the crumbling Long Island relic. He did find something; a poster of Frankenstein.
Not amazing so far, but what if the poster was from 1931, was the only in known existence, and happened to be in a printing style long ago abandoned? That would make the mint condition poster worth $358,000.
The Ruby Brooch
Imagine buying a brooch for $8, assuming its costume jewellery, only to realise you were carrying around a fortune. A brooch purchased at a garage sale turned out to be real, housing genuine diamonds, rubies, and emeralds. Value; $26,000. Not a bad return on investment.