There are natural and man-made items that have only been seen by a few people in the world, and these rare items would usually fetch for millions of dollars at auctions or in the resell market. Interestingly, some of those items are possibly hidden in your grandparent’s attic or stored somewhere in the house and eventually forgotten. So, you would need to know what to look for if ever you are given an antique box filled with old items or if you find a box stuffed with memorabilia. To help you know more about these valuable items, here is a list of rare items you may not have known about.
The three schilling banco error of color, better known as Treskilling Yellow, is a postage stamp in Sweden that was produced in 1855 and was error stamp that features mismatched colors and values. According to records, when Sweden’s currency was known as the skilling, the government issued postage stamps that show the value of each stamp by skilling, as well as the corresponding color for that value. A 3-skilling stamp is supposed to be printed in blue, while the 8-skilling stamp is produced with a yellow color.
Due to unknown reasons, one of the 3-skilling stamps was printed in yellow, and that stamp eventually become one of the rarest items in the world. A theory suggests that the stereotype (a mould that dictates what will be pressed on paper) of the 8-skilling stamp got damaged and was replaced accidentally with a 3-skilling stereotype in order to keep production running. After the person responsible for printing the 8-skilling stamp noticed that the replacement stereotype is for the 3-skilling, the person immediately stopped production and only printed one error stamp. The error stamp still got out of the factory and was in circulation for many years before it was sold by an auction house in 2010 for more than 1 million euros.
T206 Honus Wagner
The T206 Honus Wagner is a baseball card that depicts Honus Wagner, who was a baseball player for the Pittsburgh Pirates when the card was produced between 1909 and 1911 by the American Tobacco Company (ATC). A card belonging to the T206 set, the Honus Wagner card became one of the rarest sports memorabilia in the world because there were only 50 to 200 units of it that were produced, although the exact number of cards is still unknown.
Its scarcity in the market is mainly attributed to Wagner’s refusal to continue the production of the cards by ATC. There are several theories surrounding the reasons why Wagner refused to support the card’s production, but two of the most popular ones are that Wagner didn’t want kids to buy cigarettes to get his baseball card and that Wagner wanted to get more compensation from the American Tobacco Company. In Jefferson Burdick’s The American Card Catalog in 1933, the card’s first listed price value was at $50, which is equivalent in $1000 today. The most recent price value of the Honus Wagner card is at $3.12 million, which was achieved when it sold at an auction in 2016.
The Gutenberg Bible, also known as the Mazarin Bible and the 42-line Bible, is one of the earliest books that were printed using a movable metal type or printing press. Because it is an early printing press book, the Gutenberg Bible is considered as the symbol of the Gutenberg Revolution, which is an era that revolutionized how books and other written materials are mass-produced using a printing press. In addition to its historic significance, the Gutenberg Bible is also recognized for its aesthetics, as it features several art pieces and beautified letters in specific pages.
The number of Gutenberg Bibles produced in the 1450s is unknown, but as of 2009, there are 49 known surviving copies of the book. However, out of the 49 copies, there are only 21 books that are complete. The first edition of the Gutenberg Bible is valued at more than $25 million, but if you only find or own one page of the bible, you can still sell it for a high price of $25,000.
Edible Bird’s Nest
As its name already implies, the edible bird’s nest is the house made by birds that is fit or suitable for human consumption. The most common edible bird’s nest, which is prepared in several countries in Asia, is made from the nests of edible-nest swiftlets, Indian swiftlets, and other species of swiftlets that are solidified using the birds’ saliva. Edible bird’s nests are particularly popular in Chinese cuisine due to its rich flavor, its nutritional value, and also its rarity.
Because of how rare edible bird’s nests are, one would find them priced at more than $3,000 in the market, and the value of the nests would even vary depending on their quality or grading. The food product has been a part of Chinese cuisine for more than 300 years, and the most common dish prepared using this ingredient is bird’s nest soup. Because of its rarity and exquisite flavor, the edible bird’s nest is considered by many culinary experts to be the “Caviar of the East.”
Action Comics #1
Revered as the most prized comic book in history, Action Comics #1 was published on June 1938 and written by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster for DC Comics. The comic book features the first appearance of Superman, one of the most popular superheroes of all time, and it was first priced for only 10 cents ($2 in 2019) during its time of publication. Besides having the first appearance of Superman, Action Comics #1 is also considered to be the pioneer or catalyst of the superhero genre not only in comics but also in TV and film.
The original run of Action Comics would continue for 904 numbered issues before the numbering for the title restarted in 2011 for The New 52 revival or reboot that was launched by DC Comics. However, the original numbering would return in issue #957, which was published on June 8, 2016, and the title published its 1,000th issue in 2018. The highest value that Action Comics #1 got in the market was $3,207,853, when a 9.0 CGC grade (near-mint condition) copy sold for that price on eBay.
Those are five rare items that most of us may not know about, and some of these items were once common back then that they have probably been hidden and forgotten inside old cabinets or closets. A few sellers of Actions Comics #1 and the Honus Wagner card found their copies in their grandparent’s basement, and if you’re lucky, you might be one of them too if you keep looking for the rarest item on earth inside boxes that your parents or grandparents kept.