Yard sales are a great place to discover forgotten treasures. While you might not always find something worth a lot of money, the important thing is that it's valuable to you. Of course, that doesn't stop us from dreaming about finding an original Picasso or Babe Ruth baseball card hidden among stacks of old magazines and VHS tapes.
Well, for one New York family, that dream became a reality. Who knows what they were looking for when they stopped by that fateful yard sale, but it probably wasn't a piece of history from halfway across the globe. Keep reading to learn what that lucky family found that turned them into millionaires overnight.
In 2007, a family living in New York visited a yard sale. They were probably expecting to find some good deals on kitchenware and old paperback novels. Maybe a unique piece of furniture, if they were lucky. None of them were prepared for the treasure they were about to discover. The family has requested to remain anonymous, and when you hear what they found, you'll understand why.
Sitting among the used plates and silverware that day was a small, white bowl.
Intrigued by its unique floral design, the family purchased it for the low price of three dollars.
They took it home, placed it on their mantel, and admired it for many years before they decided to investigate its history. When they did finally get it appraised, they couldn't believe where it came from.
The $3 bowl was actually 1,000 years old and worth more than they ever could have dreamed. A relic of China's Song Dynasty, this tiny dish is rare because there's only one other one like it in existence. Sotheby's, the famous London auction house, gave it an estimated presale value between $200,000 and $300,000. When it finally went to auction, however, it was purchased for $2,225,000 by art dealer Giuseppe Eskenazi. That means they got back 741,666 times what they had originally invested - not bad for an afternoon spent browsing a yard sale!
Want to see more incredible yard sale finds? Check out these discoveries that are almost too good to be true.
Andy Warhol Sketches
Andy Fields stumbled upon some old sketches at a yard sale in Las Vegas. After purchasing them for five dollars, he later learned that they were drawn by Andy Warhol when he was just a kid. While there were some doubts about their authenticity, that didn't stop them from selling for just under $2 million.
Photo Of Billy The Kid
Randy Guijarro bought this old photograph from a junk shop for $2. Little did he know, it was a forgotten piece of history worth millions. Click here for the full story.
Original Coca-Cola Stock
This might look like old stock in Palmer Union Oil Co., but it's actually a distant relative to stock in Coca-Cola. After discovering the connection, the Marohn family sought legal action to gain the 1.8 million shares in the soft-drink company they felt they were entitled to. Unfortunately, the court did not rule in their favor, and they were left with nothing more than a cool souvenir.
The Declaration Of Independence (Seriously)
It's every history teacher's dream, and it actually happened to a Philadelphia man in 1989. After purchasing an old painting for $4 at a yard sale, he discovered one of the original 500 copies of the Declaration of Independence hiding in between the painting and the frame. He chose not to hang on to it and ended up getting over $2 million after auctioning it off through Sotheby's.
Rare "The Velvet Underground" Vinyl
Vinyl is expensive enough as is, so it's only fitting that an extremely rare record would sell for a whole lot of money. Back in 2002, someone picked up this record at a street sale in NYC for a measly 75 cents. To his surprise, it ended up being a rare Velvet Underground acetate worth around $25,000.
Thanks to the popularity of Breakfast at Tiffany's, the jewelry store's name is now synonymous with luxury. Crafted in 1905, this mirror is valued at $25,000, which is impressive considering the owner bought it at a yard sale in New Mexico for two dollars.
LeBron James Jewelry
While it didn't ever belong to LeBron James himself, it was far more valuable than Vaneisha Robinson bargained for. What she thought was a piece of costume jewelry she found at a yard sale ended up being a $10,000 diamond pendant from Lebron James' marketing company. Unfortunately, the company announced that it was stolen property as soon as word got out about what it was, and Robinson was forced to return the pendant to its rightful owners.
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