Blankets are cozy and warm. Loren Krytzer was one such blanket owner and was struggling to make his ends meet. Fate took a turn for the worse when he met with a car accident and lost his leg.
He saw a blanket at an antique roadshow and saw a blanket that looked suspiciously similar to the one he had inherited from his grandmother a few years ago. Since no one in the family wanted it, Krytzer kept it safe in his grandmother’s memory. It turns out that blanket was worth $1.5 million after he took it to a California auction house!
Women love jewelry, don’t they? One such woman bought a ring for $13 at a car boot sale in the 80s. Thinking it was just a piece of costume jewelry, the woman wore it for years until she decided to sell it one day.
The woman didn’t know that she was showing off a 26-carat diamond ring for so many years! The ring was estimated to be around $325,000 to $400,000, but in the end, it sold out for a whopping $850,000!
In 1776, a total of just 500 copies of the declaration of independence were initially made. Of these 500, only 23 are known to have survived through 1989. One man in Philadelphia was browsing through a flea market and decided he wanted to get a painting frame.
Underneath the painting he bought, he found a perfectly preserved original copy of the Declaration of Independence and successfully sold it for $2.42 million in an auction!
A scrap metal dealer decided to buy this egg made of gold in a flea market in the American mid-west for $13,000, hoping he could melt it and profit from the precious metal. By happenstance, he read an article about the eight missing imperial Faberge eggs and how one of them was made for the Russian royalty.
Both the scrap metal dealer and the person that bought the Faberge egg from him chose to remain anonymous and have since vanished from the eyes of the public. It is, however, estimated that the egg was sold somewhere between $20 -$24 Million. Too bad we will never know the exact amount on it.
On his regular sailing, a fisherman caught a rock in one of his anchors in 2006. Since the rock was abnormal and considerably huge, he kept it in his home for almost ten years thing it was a good luck charm of sorts.
When the fisherman took it to a local tourism office, it turned out that his lucky rock was a massive clamp, and it had in it one of the enormous pearls anyone had ever seen! The giant pearl was one foot wide and two feet long and weighed 34 kg, valued at a whopping $100 million!
An older woman in France had the bright idea to have an auctioneer come and assess her belongings before moving out of her home. One particular item that caught her eye was a painting that hanged on her kitchen hot plate.
As fate would have it, it was a 13th-century painting by the artist Cimabue and was estimated to be worth somewhere between $4 million and $6.6 million! She had had the painting for so long that she doesn’t even remember where she got it from.
In Edmore, Michigan, a man used a rock as his doorstop for years when he inherited it from the farmland, he bought in the late 80s. Although odd-looking, he didn’t think the 23 – pound rock would have much value. However, while purchasing the land, he was even told that it was indeed a genuine meteorite!
Finally, after almost 30 years, when he took the rock for examination, a geology professor confirmed it to be a meteorite and estimated its values around $100K. Of course, some people just don’t know when luck favors them, do they?
The owner of this tiny painting bought it for a measly 38 dollars in Canterbury, England, sometime in the early 2000s. Having kept it in their cupboard for years, they happened to notice a small signature on the back of the painting.
Finding the signature made them question if it could be worth more and prompted them to require the services of an antique dealer to see its worth. Once they did, they found out that miniature painting was actually worth $400K!
In the 1970s, a woman bought a decorative plate from Rhode Island and hung it above her stove for many years. Being a plate collector, the unique plate quickly caught her eye and landed in her home.
However, after having the plate for about 40 years, she happened to see a plate similar to the one she had at home in an art gallery. She immediately took it to an antique roadshow and found out that it has an estimated value of around $10K to $15K.
Silicon Valley is full of opportunities and rewards to all who depend on it. Even the recycling units have their fair share of good days. On one such perfect day, a woman dropped off boxes filled with electronic junk in 2015.
When the time came to open them, the recyclers were stunned to find out that the boxes contained an original Apple I computer designed and assembled by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne. Only 200 such computers were ever made. When they couldn’t trace the woman back, they sold the computer for a whopping $200,000!
In 2015, someone bought a photo for $2 in an antique shop in Freemont, CA. They probably bought it for the aesthetic and didn’t give it much thought.
Most people didn’t realize that the picture featured the famous wild west outlaw, Billy the Kid, and his famous gang members. It was taken while they were hanging out to play croquet. It is one of the only two pictures ever confirmed to feature Billy the Kid and his gang.
Inheriting money can be a significant boost to our income. What’s more, if you inherit jewelry and other valuables, that’s an even better investment option. And then, if you happened to inherit something like this from an ancestor that was married to a congressman, that’s a rainbow at the end.
One such woman found out the worth of her three-piece jewelry set on an episode of Antiques Roadshow in 1998 and was said to have an estimated value of $257,000 altogether! That’s over $ 400,000 in today’s money!
A San Diego woman in 2010 decided to visit an antique roadshow with a Cherokee satchel and a letter from her lieutenant great grandfather who explained that the satchel was given to him from a Cherokee warrior as a gift
From expert estimations, the satchel was estimated to be around $25,000. However, thanks to that letter, the price grew to a much higher rate at $145,000!
Thea Jordan spent £20 on a brooch in a junk shop sale in 2011. When asked what she initially thought about it, she replied, saying it was more like just an ordinary, “flashy old tat.” Little did she know she had stumbled upon a lovely fortune and was about to have a great blessing!
That junk store brooch was a 20-karat topaz in a scarce pink color! On top of that, it was surrounded by diamonds all over. This made the total value of the brooch at an estimated £4,000 in 2011. Imagine its price now!
A woman inherited a set of old baseball cards from the 19th century from her great grandmother. The cards featured the then “Boston Red Stockings” players, and she was pregnant of the value to now be around five to ten thousand dollars.
Little did she know that this particular set of cards was worth over a million dollars! That’s right, the experts at the antique roadshow examined the cards and confirmed their validity and declared the amount.
It was 2015, and just like any other typical day in a watch collector’s life, one person walked into a goodwill store and bought a unique watch for $6K suspecting it to be worth a lot more.
Boy, was he right?! As it happened, that 1959 watch was one of the first watches ever made that featured a particular alarm for divers. He posted his findings on Facebook and was able to sell it at $35,000 successfully.
The saying “we make our luck” is true indeed. A husband found an old, abandoned violin by the road and picked it up so that he could use its parts as a spare to repair his wife’s violin. But, not to be hasty, he decided to take it to an antique dealer to have it authenticated.
He was surprised to find out that it was a 1922 Giuseppe Pedrazzini, and the antique dealer estimated it to be around $1,000. Wanting to make his luck again, he decided to get it re-evaluated at the antique roadshow. The experts there examined it and said it was actually worth $50,000!
An Englishman went to Las Vegas on a business trip and stumbled across a garage sale. There he found several paintings at $5 per piece. Happy to purchase them, he took one particular painting.
Once home, when he took the image out to reframe it, he immediately recognized the signature of Andy Warhol. Upon expert inspection, he found out that Warhol could have made it when he was 10 or 11 years old and was worth at least $2 million!
A woman in West Virginia bought a painting from a flea market in 2009 and kept it wrapped in garbage covers for two and a half years. She only wanted the frame and didn’t bother about the painting. It took her mother almost three years to urge her enough when she finally found the time to appraise the painting.
That painting was an original Pierre-Auguste Renoir from 1879 and worth $75,000 to $100,000. However, to her dismay, the FBI showed up and confiscated it because it was a stolen artifact.
An English carpenter named Brian Cairns wanted to make £60,000 from the scrap metal of doorknobs, handles, knockers, and light switch plates he had recently bought. They were lying in a basement for over 40 years!
Just before he did anything to them, he wondered if they were antique. So, to test his luck, he had them appraised and finally found out they were all vintage Italian pieces at least 65 years old!
Alphonse Donsir was a regular chap that went to look for work in the vineyards in Cognac in 1870. As payment, he was awarded several bottles of the tasty brewery. A few of these bottles were found in the basement of his family home recently.
That collection included a 1762 cognac and is considered the oldest cognac to be sold in an auction. Sotheby’s online auction sold it for a total of $144,525! The website says it would taste best after spending all these years in the cellar.
A man called Scot Amos was cleaning the attic of his childhood home when he found a still sealed mint condition Kid Icarus Nintendo game and a paid receipt from JC Penny’s for $38. Looking at the December purchase date, he suspected it was a Christmas present that he never received.
Scot successfully sold it online for $9,000 and said he would be sharing the money with his sister and go to Disney land together. I’m sure whoever bought it way back when didn’t remotely think things would end up like this.
Two hundred years ago, a chessboard was found on the isle of Lewis from the 12th or at most 13th century. However, five pieces were missing from the chess set and weren’t seen for long. Then, one day suddenly, a grandfather brought one of them to Sotheby’s.
He had purchased the piece for $6 in 1964 and passed it down to his family. Experts instantly recognized the chess piece said it was worth $1.2 million!
For 15 years, David Rose went through garbage dumps hoping he would find anything worthwhile. He took whatever he wanted from the junk piles that other people discarded and one day stumbled across a box containing a cigar, top hat, and some letters.
When he brought them to antique roadshow in 2019, he was confirmed to have the belongings of none other than Winston Churchill, the former prime minister himself! All of the content in the box was estimated to be worth $13K.
A painting called “Judith Beheading Holofernes” painted by artist Caravaggio was found in an attic collecting dust. Caravaggio was believed to have made two versions of this painting, and no one knew where the second one was until this one showed up in the attic in 2014.
Although many are not convinced that Caravaggio is an authentic painting, experts still estimate its value to be around a whopping $141 to $171 million!
A maintenance worker in a Milwaukee mall found a pair of sneakers in the garbage while he was on the job clearing a pretty much already empty storage room. When he carefully examined the shoes, he found out Michael Jordan himself signed them.
The size 13 sneakers had Mr. Jordan’s signature to the side, and the words “with my best” were written as well. Experts believe that the maintenance man could sell those shoes for about $20,000. I wonder what his shoe size might be?
This one is a bit funny than lucky… the plot is, Roger Ballion decided to store his classic barn collection in rural France for safekeeping. And somehow completely forgot all about it and moved on with his life. Till one day, two “motor specialists” happened upon the barn and found the lying stack. They promptly informed Roger all about his forgotten treasure.
It was 50 years since Roger Ballion forgot about his collection and was promptly pleased to be reminded that his 100-year-old barn was protecting it all this while. Why won’t he be? The collection was worth $ 18 million!
In 1969, when NASA sent astronauts Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin to the moon, they collected several samples and brought them back to earth. Due to a technicality, NASA sold one sample of moon dust to a woman named Nancy from the suburbs from Chicago in 2016 for only $995.
When content the space organization found their mistake, they tried to reclaim it back from the woman. However, she had already sold it at Sotheby’s auction for a total of $1.6 million! They missed out on a ton of funding on this one, didn’t they?
An unemployed man found a print in a local thrift shop in Ohio and assumed it was just an ordinary commercial print. He bought it for just over 14 dollars. The word “Exposition” was written across the front and some French too.
He made the mistake of never having it officially appraised but could still sell it for $9,000 online to a private collector. I wonder just how much it would have been worth had he had it appraised from an expert?
An Indiana man purchased this painting at “next to nothing” to cover the hole in his wall. He didn’t know that it’s a painting from a 19th-century artist named Martin Johnson Heade.
The man noticed a similar painting featured in a board game called “Masterpiece” and then researched his hole covering. In 1999, the museum of fine arts in Houston paid him $1.25 million for the same hole covering!
Sometimes you just have to have a knack for these kinds of things. Justin Whiting was one such person that knew when to smell an opportunity. Having been out of work for quite some time due to back problems, he came across an old photo on eBay that he felt was strikingly similar to the famous outlaw Jesse James.
Having taken a slight risk considering his financial situation, he paid £7 for the picture. He had it analyzed by experts who confirmed the picture’s authenticity and told him it would be worth $2 million!
In 1998, Mcdonalds released a Szechuan sauce in promotion of Disney’s Mulan for a limited period. Although people loved and remembered Mulan, the Szechuan sauce from Mcdonalds’ was long forgotten. In 2017, AdultSwin released its popular sitcom Rick and Morty, and the old Szechuan sauce was back in high demand.
One lucky Mcdonald’s fan found an entire jug in storage in perfect condition and successfully managed to sell it on eBay for a total of $15,530!
Elizabeth Gibson was happily walking home one day when she spotted an abstract painting by the side of the road in Manhattan in 2003. She is quoted to have said, “it had a strange power” to the NY times and had struggled to bring it home.
After four years, she found out that the painting was from the Mexican artist Rufino Tamayo and was called “the three people” and worth over a million dollars! Too bad it was a stolen painting and subject to an FBI investigation as evidence.
Dick Manola, in 2004, got an assignment to clean up an apartment since the artist who lived there had passed away recently. He found an old cardboard barrel and was told that it was trash. Nevertheless, he kept the barrel in a storage locker for five years.
When the time came for him to open it finally, he found a collection of jugs, figures, and bowls. Those artifacts were found to be ancient Mayan collections that were made between 300 BC and 500 AD. The entire collection was estimated to be worth at least $16,500!
Dan and Laura Dotson were the auctioneers of an old storage unit on a show called storage wars. The auctioned off an abandoned storage unit to a San Jose man for a mere $1,100 in 2011.
The man found an old Tupperware box in the storage unit he had just purchased and found several gold and silver bars in them. He even found some rare coins as well. When he had his treasure appraised, it turns out, and it was worth a total of $500,000!
Since 1990, pongs have been in and out of popularity among the masses. No one thought that these little pieces of cardboard would ever amount to anything. They were just marketing gimmicks and used for publicity for many films. But now, you could have your fortunes changed if you happen to have one of the sets of pongs.
One rare set, the six-piece holographic Jurassic Park set, was sold at an online auction for a million dollars in 2016!
In 2012, a man and his daughter happened to find an old Atari game cartridge for the game air raid. The game was in its original box and also had its instruction manual present in it.
This copy of the game was the only known complete set of the game, and the man was able to sell it for a nice $33,433!
Serious collectors always watch for hot wheels merchandise due to their uncanny resemblance to real-world cars. They don’t fetch anywhere nearly as much like the real deal but are still in high demand all the time.
However, one particular hot wheel car was sold for way more than regular cars. A pink Volkswagen beech bomb based on the Volkswagen bus with surfboards hanging out the back window never made it to market, but years later, I found a collector to buy it for $125,000 in 2015!
This comic introduced us to superman, and only 50 prints were ever made in 1938 when Superman was introduced to humankind.
An eBay seller in 2014 started the bidding price on one of these comics at $0.99 and found his bids were reaching a high amount. So, he ended up selling it for $3.2 million!
Sotheby’s held their first-ever exclusive sneaker collection auction in 2019 and featured a self-lacing back to the future featured sneakers that Nike only ever released 89 pairs of back in 2016.
The bidding price started at $40,000 and ended up fetching up a nice $70,000! Not bad for shoes that can lace themselves, eh?
David Bowie’s original cover photo for his album cover was a bit too pricey for the RCA when it was time to release. So, they ended up changing the cover, but the copies of this vinyl are still making the rounds.
Suppose you happened to find any such covers, though they might be a little offensive to you but can still fetch you a few thousand dollars. One such cover was sold for $3,550 in 2003!
Coming across a Charizard was always a big deal, even when the cards were first released. Today, the collector’s dream is to find as many as they can from the complete set. Unfortunately, each sells for no less than a couple of thousand dollars!
Someone sold just one card on eBay for an excellent $5,000, and another person had bid $12,000 for the entire set!
The Beatle’s Ringo Starr was known to own the first-ever copy of the self-titled double album of the amazing boy band The Beatles from 1968.
He managed to sell his first edition white album, a one of its kind, to an unknown buyer for a whopping $790,000 at an auction in the US.
Samantha Parkington was one of the first three American girl dolls to come out. One girl put out her doll collection and some furniture and accessories of the product that got damaged due to use over the years.
The bidding resulted in her getting paid an excellent $4,200, and one can only imagine how much they’d be worth in mint condition!
Handheld gaming devices came into the trend in 1989 with the release of the first Nintendo Game Boy. The devices were a revolution back then and remain to be a collectors dream even today.
One of these mint condition Game boys was sold for a hefty sum of $2,050 online, and given the long time it has passed since then, one can only assume that they’re much more valuable now!