It’s everyone’s dream: finding an unassuming item in a yard sale or a thrift store and discovering it’s actually worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
It’s harder and harder to find rare gems nowadays, as most of them have already been discovered and taken in by museums or people who can afford to collect priceless artifacts.
But not all valuable items are obviously so.
Yes, gold jewelry, hand-painted 19th-century china and first-edition items are worth looking out for, but don’t only look for those things, or you might just miss out on a steal.
Take a read through these top 14 most valuable things in the world and you’ll see exactly what I mean.
1. Honus Wagner baseball card
Honus Wagner might not be as famous as other baseball legends, but his baseball card is by far the rarest and most valuable. The 1909-11 Honus Wagner card set a new record for a baseball card, selling for $3.12 million. Imagine – all for a piece of colored card!
2. Gutenberg Bible
The advent of the Gutenberg printing press was certainly an important moment in modern history. Pre-printing press, books were written entirely by hand. The Bible was the first book to be printed by the Gutenberg printing press in 1456, and only 21 full copies now exist. A single page in good condition can fetch $25,000.
3. Rarest coin
It might not look like anything special at first glance, but the rare 1934 $20 double eagle is the most expensive gold coin to ever be sold at auction. Most of the coins, which feature an eagle on one side and Liberty on the other, were melted down before they even went public in a strategy to stabilize the American economy. One coin was recently sold for $7.9 million.
4. Shakespeare’s signature
William Shakespeare, perhaps the most famous English poet and playwright, is known for works that are still celebrated 400 years later. While his works aren’t rare, it’s extremely rare to find his signature. There are only 6 verified copies in existence, and they’re each valued at $3 million or more.
Painite, the world’s rarest known gemstone, was originally discovered in 1950 by a British mineralogist. Pantie contains two chemical elements that don’t usually associate in nature, making it truly unique. For this reason, a single carat of painite can cost upwards of $60,000.
6. Spiderman comic
Spiderman is unarguably the most beloved superhero of them all, and early Spiderman comic books are extremely hard to come by. Spiderman’s first appearance in “Amazing Fantasy 15” is by far the most highly valued comic in the world, with the most recent sale of one of these comics selling for more than $1.1 million.
7. Treskilling yellow stamp
The yellow Treskilling is a Swedish stamp that currently holds the world record auction sales price for a single postage stamp. The Treskilling stamp was usually printed in green, but because of a printing mistake, several yellow Treskilling stamps made it out to the public. The only known copy in existence was recently sold for more than $2 million.
8. Levi’s jeans
No, your average pair of Levi’s won’t sell for millions, but if you can get yourself on an original pair, you could make some serious cash. A pair of Levi’s original jeans were purchased for $60,000 in 2005. With these pants being one of a kind, they’re considered the rarest in the world.
9. Double Fantasy album
One of the most famous murders in history is John Lennon’s murder in December 1980. Before Lennon’s murderer fired the fatal shot, he asked Lennon to sign his album, Double Fantasy”. This album might be a morbid piece of memorabilia, but it was later sold for $465,000.
10. Sorraia horse
The Sorraia is a breed of ancient horses from Portugal. This extremely rare breed is one of the few types of ancient wild horses that are still living. With this beautiful creature almost in extinction, it’s certainly one of the most valuable horses on the planet.
11. Blue Empress
When Harrod’s in London unveiled the Blue Empress, the reaction was crazy – and that’s because the necklace was valued at around $16 million and was incredibly rare. It was bought at auction for $20 million.
12. 1787 bottle of wine
If you’re a wine lover, you’ll know that wine is valued based on its taste and its history. One bottle of wine from 1787 had it all. The Bordeaux wine was produced in a French vineyard and sold for nearly $200,000, thanks to its connection to Thomas Jefferson.
13. Ming Dynasty vase
An old vase might just pay for your retirement – like an ancient Chinese vase that was discovered on a wooden shelf in one couple’s home. The vase sold for $22.6 million, almost twice its first estimated value.
14. Caviar of the East
Bird’s nest is often called the “Caviar of the East”, because of its high cost and because it is treasured as a delicacy. Swiftlets, a type of bird native to Southeast Asia, weave these nests with their saliva (sounds delicious, right?). The nests are incredibly difficult to harvest, which makes them pretty expensive, with some going at $10,000 a gram.
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