There’s a reason people compare thrift store shopping to treasure hunting. Often, you walk out of the shop with something of great value, even if you purchased it at an affordable price. On multiple occasions, individuals have uncovered some unique treasures while thrifting that they later sold for large sums of money. Here is a list of the most expensive items ever found in a thrift store.
The Declaration of Independence
In 1991, a man came across a picture in an old wooden frame while thrifting at a flea market in Adamstown, Pennsylvania. He ended up purchasing it for four dollars. However, when the man returned home, he discovered a secret document behind the photo. Upon closer inspection, he realized it was a copy of the Declaration of Independence. He later sold this copy for $2.4 million. What an incredible find!
In 2006, a similar occurrence took place. Michael Sparks was looking through a thrift store in Nashville, Tennessee, when he spotted an old rolled-up document. He bought it for a little over two dollars. Eventually, he learned that the document was a copy of the Declaration of Independence from 1823. He sold this copy for $477,650 at an auction in North Carolina.
A man who worked as a scrap metal dealer was browsing a flea market for scrap metal when he found an intricate Fabergé egg. He purchased the egg for $14,000 and planned to melt it down to use as scraps. However, he discovered that this egg was one of only 50 authentic Imperial Fabergé eggs in existence. He sold this Fabergé egg at an auction for $30 million. Imagine if the man had melted it down for scraps. He would’ve missed out on the rewards from such a unique find. Instead, he truly learned how thrift shopping is like searching for treasure.
Alexander Calder Necklace
A woman was shopping at a thrift store in Philadelphia when she came upon a necklace that interested her. She bought the necklace for a reasonable price and took it home. A few years later, the woman was viewing an Alexander Calder jewelry display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art when she noticed that the original pieces looked nearly identical to the necklace she purchased at the thrift store. She contacted the Calder Foundation in New York to check the authenticity of her necklace. In 2013, she sold it for $267,750 at a Christie’s auction.
So, the moral of the story is that thrifting truly is like a treasure hunt. Check out your local thrift stores, and you might dig up one of the most expensive items ever found in a thrift store.