Tags: priceless items

9 'Priceless' Items That Turned Out to Be Worthless

The Czech National Museum
The Czech National Museum (Leonid Andronov/Dreamstime.com)

By    |   Wednesday, 13 November 2019 11:01 AM

We often hear stories of rare and expensive items that were found in unlikely places. Three years ago, a 1966 Ford Mustang Shelby was found in a forgotten storage unit and went on to sell for $159,500. Earlier this year, a masterpiece attributed to the 13th-century Italian painter Cimabue was discovered in an elderly French woman's kitchen.

But there are plenty of "priceless" finds that turn out to have no value, and those riches-to-rags stories have been rounded up by Lovemoney.com in a recent report. Here are nine "priceless" items that turned out to worthless.

  1. A collector's bottle of whiskey.  Two years ago, a customer at the Waldhaus Am See hotel in St. Moritz paid roughly $10,500 for a glass of whiskey that came from one of the only bottles of Macallan 1878 scotch whiskey — but it was later discovered that the whiskey only dated to 1970 and was deemed a worthless collector's item.
  2. A pirate's loot. A U.S. explorer claimed in 2015 that he had discovered the loot of 17th-century pirate William Kidd on the ocean bed in the Indian Ocean. Within weeks UNESCO dismissed the claims, revealing that the so-called treasure was worthless.
  3. A massive inheritance. Claudia Moretti was stunned to discover 100 million Italian lire in the safe of a house her uncle had left her, but when she went to exchange the cash into euros, she learned that the currency had been made worthless when Italy moved to the euro in 2002.
  4. A haul of Roman coins. A pair of treasure hunters in Suffolk could not believe their luck when they stumbled upon a haul of Roman coins, but the excitement was short-lived. It turned out that a TV crew that had been filming in the area had left the fake coins behind.
  5. Diamonds and sapphires galore. For years, people were led to believe that diamonds and sapphires exhibited at the Czech National Museum in Prague were real and worth millions. But in 2018 during an inspection, it was discovered that the precious stones and minerals were fake.
  6. A collection of ancient Chinese relics. The Jibaozhai Museum in northern China's Jizhou shut down in 2013 after it was established that a number of artifacts included in its collection of ancient relics were fake.
  7. Pre-Hispanic artefacts. In 2017, San Francisco's Mexican Museum made headlines after it was determined that 96% of its pre-Hispanic artefacts were forged. There were 1,917 fake items found in the 2,000-piece collection.
  8. A Picasso painting. After years of searching, experts thought they had finally found the original Picasso painting Tete d'Arlequin that was stolen from Rotterdam's Kunsthal, but it was a fake. It turns out that two Belgian directors had tricked an art expert into believing it was real as part of a project they were working on.
  9. Palace furniture. An antique dealer and chair specialist duped experts when they sold counterfeit medallion chairs to the Palace of Versailles. The furniture, which was believed to have been created by Louis Delanois in the late 1700s and intended for the palace's living room, sold for an estimated $1.9 million. The pair was caught out years later.

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Tthere are plenty of "priceless" finds that turn out to have no value, and those riches-to-rags stories have been rounded up by Lovemoney.com in a recent report. Here are nine of them.
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Wednesday, 13 November 2019 11:01 AM
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