People Share What Things Turned Out to Be Valuable That They Thought Were Junk

One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Or maybe what one person THINKS is trash is another person’s treasure.

That certainly seems to be the case in these tales from people who found what they thought was junk but it turned out to be valuable.

Let’s check out some cool stories from folks on AskReddit.

1. Good quality.

“My grandfathers violin. Sat in my garage for years before I dug it out because I wanted to learn violin and couldn’t afford to buy one.

Turns out, it’s a pretty high quality violin (and celebrating its 100th birthday in a few months!)”

2. Junk box.

“Garage sale box of junk for $5.

Had a rare Eisenhower silver medallion that was for a meeting in South America.

It was on eBay for 30 seconds and sold for $500.

Telescoping Luke action figure. $300. I’m a coin dealer so I see some cool stuff.”

3. PBR.

“I collect Pabst Blue Ribbon stuff. I have a cup full of bottle caps.

The Pabst bottle caps have playing card numbers/suits under them. I haven’t gone through my caps in a while but I wanted to see if I was any closer to having a full deck.

So I empty my caps out onto the table and all of a sudden a coin falls out! A 1937 Washington quarter. 90% silver. I have no idea where it came from.

My weird cap collection found me some silver.”

4. Joy Division.

“In a shop, found a first pressing of joy divisions album “unknown pleasures” in almost perfect condition.

When I held it up to the light and saw that ruby glow (they’re translucent but only in very strong light), I nearly fell over!

Big fan. $2 well spent! Now worth about $150 here in Australia!”

5. Oops!

“A 1973 Honda 250 Elsinore. Picked it up for a hundred bucks. Rode it until it died put a couple hundred bucks in it rode it some more.

Eventually it wasn’t worth fixing and it was trashed. Learned later it could be worth as much as $10,000 in good shape”

6. It’s mine now.

“My grandfather worked a trade all his life.

He was doing some pipe work at a house, when the owner of said house asked if my grandfather wanted to buy an old sword for $10, but it was broken in half. My grandfather said sure, he would have the money the next morning.

His coworker went behind his back and bought the sword, so the home owner said he had another one fully intact, and sold it for $1.

The date on the hilt is 1863, forged during the American Civil war. It is now in my possession.”

7. Awesome!

“One of my dad’s friend’s fathers died in about 2000.

They were cleaning out his garage and found a banjo…they gave it to me “since I played guitar,” whatever they thought that meant in regards to banjoes.”

Anyway it was a late-‘20s Gibson. I dusted it and took it to the music shop I trusted most: it appraised at about $15,000.

I took it back to my dad’s friend, of course. First thing I said was, “so I got you a present from your dad…”

About a decade later my friend’s wife’s uncle left her “the old guitar in my closet.” It turned out to be an early 1960s Gibson ES-335. That one’s good for about $30,000.”

8. City dump.

“I found a LaBlanc clarinet in a city dump in perfectly good condition.

I called the company with the serial number. They told me it was one of 100 Bflat clarinets made in 1952 and worth $2,500.”

9. Hang on to it.

“My grandpa gave me a really good condition Han Solo and Tuan Tuan figure, I didn’t think it was a piece of junk, and still liked the look of it. He said, “take good care, hold on to it, and don’t open it.”

I never knew what he meant until I looked on amazon and eBay, people were selling them for hundreds!

Now I know what he means, as it collects dust, it also collects value.”

10. Rusted out.

“Me and my aunt found an old rusted piece of pin that’s the size of a coin

When we cleaned it, we found markings on it. We asked my aunt’s friend who works at a museum and he said it was most likely an earring from precolonial times of the natives in our country.

The museum bought it from us for around USD380 or about 20k in our money.”

11. Jackpot.

“Years ago a family friend found an old record at a garage sale.

Turned out to be one of two copies of a Velvet Underground recording. If I remember right, the original owner had worked with the band, passed away, and his wife sold a bunch of his records.

Family friend bought it for 75¢, and sold it for a cool $25,000 on ebay. A couple places even reported on it back in the day.”

12. Good deal.

“Saw an ad on Facebook of a bass for $30.

Bought it and it turned out to be a fender jazz bass which is like $600 on the fender website!”

13. Pearls.

“I bought some black pearls from a box of “junk jewelry” at an antique mall for $5 each for matching bracelet and necklace.

They turned out to be the real thing Tahitian Black Pearls, worth several hundred dollars.

I wear them on special occasions.”

14. Gold watch.

“My dads girlfriend found a gold watch in a thrift shop that was made in Switzerland for .50.

It sold for around 1,800.”

15. Hiding cash.

“My grandpa died when I was young and my parents had a garage sale to get rid of junk and they almost sold a cookie jar before checking what was inside and it was a wad of $100 bills.

Turns out my grandfather had a habit of hiding money in random places and he had false books hiding pearls, false bottoms in drawers hiding gold or cash and about $1000 in a bicycle’s left handlebar.”


Have you ever found something you thought was junk that turned out to be worth something?

If so, tell us all about it in the comments. Thanks!