Most people don’t think twice while throwing things in the garbage and sometimes end up regretting it. They have a saying that “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” and it is a suitable one for the cases below. From a British man who accidentally threw a hard drive containing 7,500 bitcoins to a $1 million painting was accidentally spotted by a girl in the trash. Here are 10 expensive things people threw away as trash.
1 A first edition Harry Potter novel worth thousands of dollars thrown away unread.
The first edition of Harry Potter books is the holy grail for Potter fans. There are only 300 to 500 first edition Harry Potter books in existence today with an approximate value of $50,000 each. Nigel Reynolds is a lucky guy who got to interview J.K Rowlings before her book became a whopping hit. He received a first edition copy of The Philosopher’s Stone for free as a thank you gift, and what did he do? He straightforwardly threw it in the bin.
The most frustrating part was he didn’t even read it, and the book, which was worth thousands of dollars, simply went in the trash unread. He said that he believed the book wasn’t worth reading and binned it. In less than a year, Rowling’s book became a huge success, and the irony is Reynolds was standing in line to purchase a subsequent edition of Harry Potter signed by Rowling for his son. (source)
2 James Howells, a British man who threw $280 million worth of bitcoins in the trash.
James Howells will probably go down in history as the unluckiest man on earth. Today, a single bitcoin is worth thousands of dollars, but it wasn’t worth anywhere near as much a few years back. In 2013, James Howells, an IT engineer from Newport, Wales, threw his hard drive, which contained 7500 bitcoins, in the trash while cleaning his office. Bitcoins were not a priority back in 2009, but today that amount would be worth more than $280 million. Later, when he was casually browsing the web, he found out that bitcoins had surprisingly increased in value.
He started digging in his local dump in the hopes of finding his hard drive, which contained the security key to access his bitcoins. He had a whole consortium of experts who were looking for his hard drive, but so far, the Newport City Council has refused to permit him to search the landfill. Mr. Howell even offered to donate a quarter of his fortune to the city, but so far that offer was to no avail. Either way, Howells’s fortune is still under the piles of garbage somewhere in Newport City Dump, and he is still digging in the garbage in the hope of finding it someday. (source)
3 A violin made by Giuseppe Pedrazzini worth $50,000 was thrown away in the trash.
An American man accidentally found a violin made by the most famous Italian violin maker Giuseppe Pedrazzini. While randomly wandering around wishing to buy a violin as a gift for his wife, he found a violin in a garbage dump. He picked up the violin and took it to the antique roadshow to see if it was worth cashing in for a new one.
Fortunately, he found that the violin was crafted by the famous violin maker Giuseppe Pedrazzini in 1922. Pedrazzini was raised in Italy and studied violin-making in Milan school, the violin found in the garbage was one of his finest works. The appraiser said that if the violin gets cleaned up and restored to a good condition, it would be worth over $50,000. No one knows who threw such a piece of art in the garbage. (source)
4 The first edition Apple computer worth $200,000 was thrown away by a Californian woman.
A vintage Apple I computer is the only one of the few 200 first-generation desktop computers built by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ron Wayne in 1976. Unaware of the worth of the computer, a mysterious Californian lady threw an old Apple computer in the garbage while cleaning her garage.
She dropped off two boxes of electronics at the Clean Bay Area recycling center in April. The recycling center, after identifying the worth of the computer, swiftly sold the rare computer for $200,000. Now the recycling center is trying to locate the mystery woman to give her a 50% cut out of the profits as per their policy. (source)
5 Ancient Mayan artifacts dated back from 300 B.C.E. to 500 C.E. found by rubbish remover in New York.
“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.” This saying was proved right when an artist who collected trash from houses found some ancient Mayan artifacts worth $16,500. Nick DiMola, a 39-year-old man had been working for the past five years in Queens, New York as a rubbish remover. He was hired to clean out an artist’s Prince Street apartment for $4,500. While cleaning the studio and basement storage, DiMola mistakenly scuffed a cardboard barrel. Later when he opened it, he found dozens of ancient Mexican artifacts.
There were jugs, a mix of bowls, figurines, and stone axes that dated back from 300 B.C.E to 500 C.E. DiMola said that he wasn’t surprised after finding out the artifacts. He said there’s always something in the garbage worth money. However, even after knowing the truth, the real owners didn’t have any right to the artifacts, and DiMola was free to sell the artifacts on his own. (source)
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