The Avid Collector

Always looking for one more thing

10 Extraordinary 2008 Purchases by (Apparently) Extremely Rich Collectors

As long as I can remember, I have always had my eyes open for something new to add to my collection. Usually the types of places I hunt for valuable finds are in flea markets and in old out of the way pawn shops, antique warehouses and used book stores.

Most of the time I have my eyes peeled for “collectors items” in the investment range of about $25. I usually try to negotiate with the seller to see if I can get the item for less, and I rarely spend more than that unless it is for something really special. Ok, I admit it – I am more of a budget collector. I am mostly seeking that undiscovered gem of potential value that I might find in the back of some old boutique.

The fact that I limit myself to a price range of $20 is not something that I specifically prefer, but more because of the fact that my current financial standing doesn’t really allow me to move much beyond the discount collector pieces.

Do you sometimes wonder what it would feel like to purchase some really rare item that would truly add monetary value to your collection? It seems that for some people cost is just not an issue, and they actually made some pretty extravagant purchases in the year 2008, most of them turning out to be pretty expensive investments as well…

1. 1961 Ferrari California Spyder Breaks Records with $10,894,900 Price Tag


This amazing looking car was purchased for an equally amazing price at an auction in Maranello, Italy last year by buyer Chris Evans, a popular British radio host. The Ferrari, previously owned by actor James Coburn, was finally sold at almost twice the price that it had been estimated to sell at. It seems that some people are happily willing to pay top prices for quality.

via source: autoblog

2. World’s Most Expensive License Plate Sold for $14.3 Million


It turns out that there is quite a demand for certain license plate numbers, especially among those buyers who have the kind of funds that are necessary to make this kind of a purchase. This particular deal cost roughly $14.3 million and was made by UAE based businessman Saeed Abdul Ghafour Khouri who paid this record breaking sum for the respect of showing that he is really number 1 – with a Abu Dhabi license plate aptly labeled “1” purchased at an auction held at the 7-star Emirates Palace Hotel in Abu Dhabi. I can’t help but wonder if the owner of the license plate and the Ferrari above shouldn’t just get together and combine their purchases to create one of the world’s highest priced car + license plate combinations ever… I wonder what the resell market price would be on an item like that?

via source: elite choice

3. Rare Blue Diamond Sells for World Record Price of $8.9 Million


We all know that diamonds are a girl’s best friend, but it turns out that some girls have much more expensive taste in friends than other girls. The awesome blue diamond pictured above is a 13.39 carat beauty that sold for the record price of $8.9 million at a sale at Christie’s in Geneva last year. The diamond is considered quite rare and contains boron, giving it a slightly bluish color as well as giving it properties that make it a semi-conductor that conducts electricity. My grandfather would say that it had better do more than conduct some electricity – for that price you would expect at least bolts of lightning.

via source: luxist

4. 1909 Honus Wagner Baseball Card Sells for $1.62 Million


You may think that this has got to be the record price paid for a baseball card. Actually no, the record price for a baseball card is really $2.8 million, which was paid in 2007 for another Wagner card. I guess this guy must have been a really good baseball player! I wonder how much his yearly salary was back in 1909…

article via source: Chicago Tribune image via source: wikipedia

5. Rare 3 Cent Stamp Sells for Over $1 Million


This 3-cent, rose-colored “B Grill” stamp is among only 4 examples of this valuable stamp known to be in existence. An anonymous buyer made this part of their personal collection when they secured the winning bid of $1,035,000. Nothing like purchasing a quality stamp for your collection.

via source : Fox News

6. Russian Oligarch Pays Record Breaking $750 Million for Riviera Villa


This mansion, built by King Leopold II of Belgium in 1902 was purchased in 2008 for a sum far above the going price, even for a luxurious villa on the French Riviera. Mikhail Prokhorov is said to have paid more than $750 million for Villa Leopolda, located between Nice and Monaco. Now this is the type of place where you can really entertain guests…

via source: Telegraph

7. Painting by Francis Bacon Breaks Record with Selling Price of Over $86 Million


Triptych 1974-77 by Francis Bacon (1909-1992) sold for $86.3 Million in May last year making it the most expensive work of art ever sold at auction and the most valuable Contemporary work ever sold in Europe. If you have ever wondered how prices go so high for pieces like this, it turns out that some folks just seem to have more money for their “collection” budgets than many small countries.

via source: NY Times

8. $2.1 Million Paid for Opportunity to Dine with Billionaire Warren Buffett


In the most expensive charity auction ever held on eBay, a Chinese investment manager won the chance last year to have lunch with the billionaire Warren Buffett by bidding $2,110,100. Zhao Danyang of the Hong Kong-based Pureheart China Growth Investment Fund apparently has an investment philosophy that he says is similar to Buffett’s approach, basically one of finding companies with a competitive advantage that are selling for significantly less than what they are worth. I hope that this little dinner get together was worth the extraordinary price but I just have to wonder… Did he also have to pay the bill for the food as well?

article via source: iht image via source: tonygallegos

9. European Billionaire Commissions World’s Most Expensive Watch


A $6.5 million watch was commissioned by a European billionaire for a one-of-a-kind timepiece made by Swiss watchmaker Vacheron Constantin that will make it the world’s most expensive new watch. The timepiece, which could apparently take years to complete, is expected to include the following:

  • Perpetual calendar and leap year
  • Star chart and celestial annual calendar
  • Tourbillon regulator
  • Sunrise and sunset indication
  • Perpetual time equation
  • Phases and age of the moon
  • Substantial power reserve
  • Multiple time zones and day-night indication

At least he got some special features designed into it. I have always wanted a watch with a star chart and celestial annual calendar. Lucky guy!

via source: ballerhouse

10. Rare Marilyn Monroe Photographs Sell for $150,000


A collection of 36 rare photographs thought to be the last professional images of the star Marilyn Monroe were sold last year for $150,000 at an auction in New York. The famous actress posed nude in this photo shoot for a 1962 issue of Vogue only six weeks before she died of an overdose. The pictures, taken by photographer Bert Stern, were eventually published in the magazine as a final memorial to the iconic actress.

via source: Reuters


January 10, 2009 Posted by | Collectors Items | , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A Collector’s Dream Come True – 10 Amazing Uncovered Treasures From 2008

It’s amazing what you can find! These unbelievable discoveries of 2008 make it exciting to be a collector, and for many of these lucky finders, provide quite a nice cash reward as well. Maybe it is finally time to dig your old metal detector out of the closet (doesn’t everybody have one of those?) and think about building some extra income this year – with some kind of awesome discovery! Avast, matey, buried treasure!

1. Gold Coins found in Jerusalem


Nadine Ross from Britain uncovered one of the most massive hoards of ancient gold coins ever discovered in Israel when she recently discovered 264 Byzantine gold coins dating back more than 1,300 years while volunteering on an archaeological dig in Israel. “”We moved some big rocks out of the way and I dug underneath and there it was.” Apparently before she left Britain for the dig, some of her friends had jokingly referred to her as Indiana Jones. “I don’t think they’d believe me if I told them I found … gold.” The coins appeared to be in excellent condition and were from the period AD 610 and 613.

via: source: (photo)  Globe and Mail
and CNN

2. A Hobbyist with a Metal Detector Strikes Gold… and Silver!


A hobbyist from the Netherlands struck both gold and silver when he discovered an ancient hoard of ancient Celtic coins while searching in a cornfield with a metal detector earlier this year. “It’s exciting, like a little boy’s dream,” said Paul Curfs, the 47 year old amateur collector about the amazing find. He had been searching in the field with the metal detector and had almost decided to finish up when he heard that first beep on his earphones and unearthed the first coin. “It was golden and had a little horse on it — I had no idea what I had found,” he said. Experts say that the cache of 39 gold and 70 silver coins was minted in the middle of the first century B.C.

via source: Fox News

3. 300 Morgan Silver Dollars Found in Backyard Treasure


While digging a trench to run utilities for a swimming pool , one of the plumbers had just dug about a foot deep when he discovered a bunch of dirty little objects. A closer look revealed them to be coins – old coins from 1887. Careful digging soon revealed a lot more coins – 300 to be exact, with Lady Liberty on one side and a picture of the American eagle on the other. The coins turned out to be mint quality Morgan silver dollars which were dated from 1878 to 1904.

via source: amarillo

4. Treasure Hunter Discovers Gold Ring with Rare Black Diamond


A treasure hunter was amazed when he uncovered a medieval gold ring with a rare black diamond set inside it while searching in a field in the UK earlier this year. According to the rarity of the black diamond which would have come from Africa, it is believed the ring would have belonged to a wealthy person either from the Church, or possibly royalty. The finder, John Stevens, couldn’t believe his eyes when he cleaned of the dirt and saw lettering that indicated that the ring was from an early medieval period. The ring has not been valued yet but is possibly from the 11th century and thought to be worth tens of thousands of pounds.

via source : Daily Mail

5. Amateur Hits Gold Unearthed Golden Collar Valued at over $500,000


An amateur treasure hunter from London hit gold when he uncovered an Iron Age golden collar worth more $520,000 dollars in a muddy field in Nottinghamshire this year. The finder Maurice Richardson will not get to keep his treasure but has received an undisclosed reward and his lucky discovery has been acquired by a local museum. “I was only in the field because a customer kept me late,” Richardson, a tree surgeon, told the Guardian newspaper.

via source: Guardian

6. Treasure Hunter Finds Rare Gold Coins


A treasure-hunter could be in line for a small fortune after discovering two rare coins bearing the likeness of a little-known rebel Roman emperor and dating back to AD286. While digging in a field in Ashbourne, Derrick Fretwell discovered the rare coins, considered to be “priceless” by experts at the British Museum and made from approximately 90 percent gold. “I’ll be intrigued to find out what they are worth, although to me their worth is their rarity value.” Gold coins of Carausius are considered extremely rare with only 24 known to be in existence.

via source: CoinLink

7. 72 Year Old Woman Uncovers Roman Treasure


A piece of Roman treasure was discovered on farmland near Clifton in the third find by 72 year old Alice Wright. Mrs. Wright, a metal detector enthusiast for over 35 years found the small golden leaf while searching on March 23. The tiny leaf , dating back to sometime between the first and fourth century was typical of Roman plaques that were dedicated at temples in Britain, has been declared a treasure trove meaning she may receive a reward for her discovery. She said: “It was so small and then we unfolded it and realised it was something ancient. We’ve got no idea how much it is worth – it’s only little.”

via source: This is Nottingham

8. Viking Hoard Discovered in Sweden


Hundreds of coins were uncovered in an ancient Viking hoard in Stockholm in a treasure made up mainly of Arabic coins that were buried about 1,150 years ago and are the largest early Viking cache ever discovered in Sweden. Archaeologists unexpectedly found the hoard of 472 silver coins, dating back to about A.D. 850 while excavating a Bronze Age tomb near Stockholm’s Arlanda airport. Kenneth Jonsson, a professor of coin studies at the University of Stockholm, has independently dated the hoard to about A.D. 850.

source via: National Geographic

9. Metal Detector Enthusiast Finds 6000 Roman Coins


6,000 copper alloy coins were found by Derek Eveleigh, 79 buried in two pots in a sheep field at Sully, Vale of Glamorgan by a metal detector enthusiast in a find that experts have called “exceptional”. The coins dating back approximately 1700 years, showed images from the reigns of various Roman emperors, notably Constantine I. He said: “I had a signal first and when it was deep I thought I better dig it – and that was it.”

via source: BBC

10. Bus Driver Digs up £80,000 Worth of Bronze Axe Heads


Mr Peirce, a 60 year old bus driver decided to take some time out to search a field with his metal detector after dropping some school coaches off at a local farm and ran across something that caused his device to start beeping strongly within only a few minutes. After digging about 10 more inches into the ground he discovered a piece of an axe head. After digging even deeper he discovered many more. Over the course of only two days, he and his colleague Les Keith uncovered nearly 500 bronze artefacts dating over 3,000 years old.

The exceptional discovery which included 268 complete axe heads, is one of the largest of its kind in Britain. Mr Peirce said: “We are extremely thrilled because this was a once-in-a-lifetime find. It’s like winning the lottery – you don’t think it is going to happen to you. You do it as a hobby, you don’t do it for the money but if you strike it lucky, so be it.”

via source: This is London

January 3, 2009 Posted by | Discoveries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments