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Check out These Unique Thrift Store Finds


Check out these Unique Thrift Store Searches

Secondhand stores are a great place to find vintage clothing, decor and other affordable things for your home. However, many people have discovered that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Here are 10 unique, valuable thrift store finds that have netted some lucky shoppers more money than they could have imagined.

10 Valuable and Unique Thrift Stores Found Across America

1. Ansel Adam’s Glass Negation

A Fresno, CA man discovered life in a garage sale in 2000. While looking around, Rick Norsigian found some vintage negatives of National Parks. Yosemite. Knowing he had something special, he negotiated to buy the plot of land for 45 USD.

After appraising them, he discovered they were worth $200 million. Unfortunately, the Ansel Adams Publishing Trust disagreed and sued the man for selling prints and stopping production of lost negatives.

2. An Original Jackson Pollock

Back in 1992, Teri Horton went to a local thrift store to buy a gift for her friend. She found an ugly painting for $5, gave it to her friend and the two had a good laugh. However, her friend sent it home with her.

Before giving it away, an art teacher advised her to do some research. And thank goodness she did! A forensic expert identified the fingerprint and verified that it was Jackson Pollock’s original. Since then, Horton has been offered $9 million for the work intended as a joke. However, she decided to keep the painting for now.

3. A rare photo of Billy the Kid

In 2010, another man in Fresno, CA was sifting through old photos in a thrift store when something caught his eye. Randy Guijarro came across some tintype photos that sell for $1 each. As he studied the photos, he thought he recognized one of the men in the photo.

Turns out he found something quite valuable. The photograph in question is one of only two known and authentic photographs of Billy the Kid. In the photo, the notorious gangster is playing croquet with members of his gang. Official appraisals put it at $5 million, making it one of the most valuable items on this list.

4. National Treasure

Michael Sparks was touring a local store in Nashville, TN in 2006 when he found one of the most unique thrift stores. He came across what he thought was a high-quality copy of the Declaration of Independence. Thinking it would make a nice display piece, he took it home for just $2.48.

However, upon closer inspection, he discovered that it was not a copy. In fact, it is one of 200 original copies commissioned by the founding father, John Adams! This copy is only the 36th one found to date. Sparks rediscovered a piece of American history that brought him $477,650.

5. High fashion

Back in 2005, a Philadelphia woman came across a bold statement at her local flea market. She was delighted to pick up a necklace for only $15 when she learned that she was in possession of a truly unique accessory.

Three years later, she attended an exhibition by Alexander Calder displaying several works at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. When she looked at the sculptor’s work, she noticed that there were striking similarities between the items on display and the necklace she had purchased. Not long after, her flea market painting was attested to be one of his originals from the 1940s. It was estimated to be worth about $300,000.

6. A Flemish Masterpiece

A former South Carolina antique dealer stumbles across a small fortune at the local thrift store she frequents in search of hidden treasures. She discovered a painting at Goodwill with a special frame. So she took it home for $3, not knowing what was in the frame.

Later, her daughter-in-law brought it in on the popular “Antiques Roadshow” to appraise it. The woman’s keen instincts paid off. The painting is an example of 17th-century Flemish art that was sold at auction for $190,000.

7. A piece of sports history

A couple in North Carolina love to find vintage clothing pieces from local stores that they can sell online. During one of their outings in 2014, McEvoys came across a West Point sweater at the local Goodwill store and bought it for 58 cents. Since it had some damage, they decided to repair it and keep it to themselves.

They then noticed the identical sweater in a documentary they had seen about the legendary football coach, Vince Lombardi. After examining the sweater, they found his name written on it. They quickly verified that it was the sweater and auctioned it for $43,020.

8. More than a standard watch

In 2015, a watch enthusiast, Zach Norris, came across a rare timepiece at a Goodwill store in Phoenix, AZ. While reviewing a gift box of watches, he discovered something of real value.

In the box he found a 1959 Jaeger-LeCoultre Deep Sea Alarm watch, one of only 900 ever produced. So he happily pays the $5.99 price tag. After validating it, he found another enthusiast who gave him $35,000 in cash and a $4,000 Mega Speed ​​Master watch.

9. A lucky find on the way to the performing arts

Another lucky woman in North Carolina happened to get a big paycheck in 2012. While on her way to an art show, she stopped at the local Goodwill in search of a blanket for the dates. cold winter. While looking around, she noticed several large paintings for $10 each. Thinking they were nothing special, she planned to use them again. Before she could paint them, a friend advised her to find out what they were.

The tip paid off when she discovered she had some unique savings. One of the pieces belonged to Ilya Bolotowsky, the abstract artist of the 20th century. The piece was eventually sold at auction for $34,375.

10. A piece of Picasso

Our last rare find occurred in Columbus, OH in 2012. Zachary Bodish was looking at wall art at a local thrift store when he found an old poster advertising a Picasso exhibition. He thought it was a great print and took it home for $14.14.

Upon closer inspection, however, he began to question whether it was a signed printout. So he reached out to an expert and confirmed it as an autographed painting by Picasso. Bodish later sold it for $7,000.

Have you ever come across a rough diamond at a thrift store? Share your findings below!

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Jenny Smedra is a world travel enthusiast, ESL teacher, former archaeologist and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad reinforced her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. Although most of her time is spent working with children, she also enjoys good friends, delicious food, and new adventures.



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