Six-Figure Find – Woman’s $3.99 Goodwill Find Was Worth a Lot More

Source: Flickr/Mike Mozart / Provided/Jessica Vincent

If you’ve ever been looking through Goodwill, you might be surprised to find a few brand-name things stuck in between the rest of the stuff. No one ever expects the vase they found there to be worth six figures, but that’s precisely what happened to Virginia resident Jessica Vincent. Here’s what happened to her.

A Regular Goodwill Trip

Source: Flickr/MPCA Photos

Jessica was on a typical Goodwill trip, not looking for anything specific but poring over what was on offer. She stumbled upon a piece of solid glasswork. Unlike most of the other glass pieces on display, this one had some weight to it. She examined it to see why this thing weighed so much.

Looking over the piece, she noticed the “Murano” mark on it. While Jessica wasn’t a glass expert, she had heard the name before and figured it must mean something. Still, a piece as well-crafted as this would probably be worth a lot, even in a Goodwill.

Cheaper Than Expected

Source: Flickr/Jeremy

With a bit of hesitation, Jessica took the glass construct to the desk to cash. Even if it was a little on the expensive side, Jessica knew she wanted this glassware. The Murano imprint made her think it was some kind of novelty she could show off to others.

To her surprise, the price showed a mere $3.99 when they rang it up. Without thinking twice about it, she paid for the glassware and went home. The first thing she did when she got there was take a picture of herself and her find and post it to a Facebook group about Murano glassware.

What’s Murano Glass?

Source: Flickr/Stefan Jurca

It is strange that a group would exist for something as specific as a company making glass, but Murano is no regular company. Murano Glass comes from a district in Venice where the glassmakers still use ancient techniques to make their glassware.

The glassware made there is solid, of the highest levels of construction, and is worth quite a lot of money. Many of the world’s wealthiest people buy and cherish Murano glassware, even passing it down from generation to generation as family heirlooms.

Why Is It Worth So Much?

Source: Flickr/Vincent

Glasswork experts worldwide consider Murano Glass among the most exquisite pieces of the art form of glassmaking. The glassmaking itself is shrouded in mystery as artisans and their apprentices keep the secrets of their techniques close to the chest.

At one point in time, Murano’s glass was a currency. Christopher Columbus even carried Murano Glass beads to the New World to help in bartering. It brings with it a depth of history that few other glass productions could match.

A Quick Response

Source: Wright Auction House

Within a few hours, people were commenting and messaging Jessica about buying her find. The very first offer she got from someone was for $10,000! Immediately, Jessica thought this might be worth a bit more than she initially suspected. She turned down the offer, but others followed.

Members of the group quickly helped her identify the vase and the collection it was from to get a gauge of its price. The vase belonged to a collection designed by Carlo Scapa, a Venetian architect who helped assemble the collection in the 1940s.

Learning More About It and It’s Worth

Source: Wright Auction House

When Jessica learned a little about the vase’s history, she immediately called in Richard Wright of the Wright auction house. If this were what she suspected it was, then she’d need someone who had a little experience in running an auction and securing the best price for the glassware.

Richard was intrigued by the piece. In a phone conversation with Jessica, he explained a little bit more about the piece and its history, and they decided to put it up for auction. Richard realized this was a rare piece of glassware and would probably command quite a price on the block.

Examining the Glassware With a Professional Eye

Source: Wright Auction House

Jessica headed down to Richmond, and Richard examined the glassware for the first time. He was skeptical, of course, since it’s not every day that something as celebrated as a Murano piece from the 40s would come into his auction house.

Taking the care that a professional would have, he examined the glasswork, the logo, and the details of the piece. Richard said that it was a remarkable find, mainly since Jessica had found it at Goodwill. He could count on his hands how many times he’d seen something like this happen.

Getting The Vase Sold

Source: Flickr/Kushal Das

Wright’s input into the sale of the vase was instrumental. It’s different when a woman says that she found a Murano Glass piece in a Goodwill store and wants to sell it on Facebook to a well-renowned auction house putting the piece up for sale.

In this case, Wright’s had already sold a few of these pieces, so they knew what they were offering to buyers. Not only would it be available for regular buyers to see the vase and purchase it, but it would also be open to bidders from around the world who had an eye on the auction’s website.

A Closing Price Way Above the Purchase Price

Source: Flickr/Ken Teegardin

The initial auction price for the vase was set at around $10,000, which was along the lines of the first offer Jessica had for it. Wright advised her that she probably shouldn’t put her hopes on it, surpassing $50,000 at the fall of the hammer.

Jessica didn’t have any idea what the final price would be. The bidding continued online, and little by little, the price crept up. It surpassed the $50,000 value and kept on climbing. By the time the vase was sold, the item’s final price was a whopping $107,000.

Not a Typical Occurrence In Goodwill

Source: Flickr/Mike Mozart

While you might be prompted to head over to your nearby Goodwill and go treasure-hunting, it’s not the most common thing in the world to run into priceless items there. Goodwill doesn’t typically go through its items with a fine-toothed comb, so there’s a slight chance of finding something great.

Jessica was surprised at the piece’s price, considering how much she spent to acquire it initially. She said that the income would change her life and would allow her to pursue more of the things she wanted to. It’s a beautiful example of what happens when you have a bit of general knowledge.

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Charlotte Clad

Written by Charlotte Clad

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