Bought for: $14,000
Sold for: An estimated $33 million
The House of Faberge was a jewelry firm that made unique jeweled eggs with precious stones for the Russian royal family in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Only 43 of the 50 eggs made are known to exist and are either in museums or private collections.
A Midwestern scrap metal dealer, however, bought a gold egg at a flea market presumably somewhere in the midwest – the man remains anonymous in press reports, and he didn’t reveal the location of the sale – for $14,000. He thought he’d melt it down for the gold.
He soon discovered that what he had purchased was the missing Third Imperial Egg made by Faberge in 1887 for Czar Alexander III, which is worth more than $30 million.
In 2014, the man sold the egg to a private collector for an undisclosed amount. Trade publication JCK wrote that the sale was rumored to by $33 million.