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 | , , , , , ,


  1. The Honus Wagner card is EXTREMELY rare. This was a card distributed with cigarettes, a tobacco card. Mr. Wagner was totally anti-tobacco, and had the card removed from circulation. I believe only 9 are supposed to be in existence, which is why it sells for $1.62 million to $2.7 million…

    Comment by Jerry | January 11, 2009

  2. the ferrari is timeless.

    Comment by joe | January 14, 2009

  3. Congratulations, I got your link via Dark Roasted Blend – are all the post going to lists?

    But I feel that the rich have bad taste, if you are going to buy expensive material you need to make everything extra super pretty.

    Comment by Designsdelight | January 14, 2009

  4. […] 10 extraordinárias compras de 2008. Da vila na Riviera (foto acima) comprada por US$750 milhões por um fundo de investimentos Russo, passando por uma Ferrari de 1961 de US$11 milhões, por um diamante azul de US$9 milhões, um almoço de US$2,1 milhões com Warren Buffett e terminando em pinturas de Francis Bacon de US$86 milhões. Veja a matéria completa na The Avid Collector. […]

    Pingback by 10 extraordinárias compras de 2008. « FunSurfer | January 20, 2009

  5. […] 10 Extraordinary purchases in 2008. I was just discussing how fantastic #1 is the other day, but you’d have to own at least an entire US state to afford one. […]

    Pingback by | January 21, 2009

  6. […] 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 […]

    Pingback by Extraordinary 2008 Purchases by (Apparently) Extremely Rich Collectors - | January 22, 2009

  7. That is a massive collection. TYhe ferrari..mwah love it!

    Comment by Blackpool | January 23, 2009

  8. […] 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 […]

    Pingback by Extraordinary 2008 Purchases by (Apparently) Extremely Rich Collectors | Monkeys Review Celebrities | January 24, 2009

  9. […] Δείτε μερικά από τα πιο εντυπωσιακά αντικείμενα που πωλήθηκαν μέσα στο 2008 εδώ: εξωτερικό link […]

    Pingback by 10 απίθανες, πανάκριβες, πωλήσεις του 2008. (Αμάξια-σπίτια-και πολλά άλλα) « ΠΑΛΑΙΟΚΑΣΤΡΟ ΦΘΙΩΤΙΔΑΣ (ΚΑΛΩΣ ΗΡΘΑΤΕ ΣΤΟ ΧΩΡΙΟ ΜΑΣ) | January 29, 2009

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