10 most expensive things people threw away as trash

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Have you ever found yourself in the situation where you realize that something valuable was thrown away because of wrong decision-making? If so, you definitely aren’t alone. If this has happened to you, feel free to relate to this list of 10 expensive things people threw away as trash!

1. Hard drive containing 7500 Bitcoins

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One of the unluckiest men in the UK, James Howells, threw out an old hard drive before realizing that it had 500 millions pounds worth of Bitcoins on it. He never got it back and the hard drive went to a landfill site. The currency is locked with a privacy key and can’t be accessed.

2. First edition Harry Potter novel

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Over time, later copies of the Philosopher’s Stone has been known to fetch upwards of £50,000. One of J.K Rowling’s first interviews was with a man who received a first edition copy of her book. He thought it had no value and threw it in a bin, but because he made this mistake, copies of the Philosopher’s Stone have become worth upwards of £50,000.

3. Blueprints to the Freedom Tower

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One of the most carelessly discarded items on this list is blueprints for the Freedom Tower which include detailed plans for a building in New York. Although there was no real monetary value to them, the blueprints were described as ‘priceless’. These blueprints were found in 2008 and luckily ended up with a homeless man instead of someone who could do harm with them.

4. A violin by a famous Italian artist, worth $50,000

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An American man found a new violin and it turns out that it was made by Giuseppe Pedrazzini, one of the most famous historic Italian violin makers. While he was wandering around to buy his wife a violin for her birthday, he found this one in a dumpster. When he showed experts of the antique roadshow, they said that it might be worth cashing in on.

Giuseppe Pedrazzini is a famous violin maker, who found his talent for violin making at the prestigious Milan School. The violin found in the garbage was crafted by him and when restored to good condition, would be worth up to $50,000

5. A California woman threw out the first edition Apple computer worth $200,000

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One of the few original Apple I computers, made in 1976, was thrown away without understanding its worth. However, an e-waste recycling firm that recognises the value of the computer sold it at auction for $200,000. The company tracked down the woman and gave her a 50% cut as per the company’s policy. The woman, who stated that her husband had recently died and that she needed to clean up their garage, did not request a tax receipt and refused to leave her name.

6. A rubbish remover found Mayan artifacts dating back to 300 B.C.E. – 500 C.E. in New York

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Artifacts worth $16,500 were found in the trash of an artist. The artist had been working on a job to clean the house and studio of a man who had lived there for five years. Nick DiMola was hired to clean out the studio and basement storage for $4,000. While cleaning the storage space, DiMola mistakenly scrapped his hand against the cardboard barrel that was filled with jugs and bowls from ancient Mexican artifacts from 300 B.C.E-500 C.E. The original owners could not claim ownership of them, so DiMola was free to sell them for his own profit without giving anything back

7.  The declaration of independence

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A frame purchased for $4 at a flea market in Pennsylvania was deemed to be unsalvageable. When the local man took it apart, he discovered an antique document that turned out one of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence. It was sold for $2.42 million dollars

8. $1 Million “Tres Personajes” Painting

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This New York woman found a painting in the trash pile and she liked it so much that she hung it up in her home. One day, while watching Antiques Roadshow, she heard on TV that her find was the very painting that had been stolen 20 years ago. She returned it to its rightful owner and was awarded $15,000 for finding this valuable possession.

9. Employees accidentally trashed $5 million worth of diamonds

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A security guard was caught trying to sell $5 million worth of diamonds on the black market. When moving from one floor of J. Birnbach jewelry store in Manhattan, New York, the employees accidentally threw out a trove of precious diamonds that were worth over $5 million. When digging through a pile of rubbish on the same building, he found wooden boxes that contained the lost diamonds and sold them for $74,000 in the same building. Subsequently police arrested and charged him with criminal possession of stolen property as they had checked surveillance footage.

10. $1 Million Dollar Lotto Tickets

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Both times someone threw away a pile of scratch-off tickets, believing they did not have any winners.  But, after the garbage was collected, it was discovered that one of the tickets turned out to be a $1 million winner.  In both cases, the people who threw away their tickets sued the people who picked up their winnings because the rights to the scratchers should have been theirs.  Unfortunately, once you throw something away, it immediately becomes property of whoever comes across it next – finders keepers!  The moral to this story is always check all your old goodies before you discard them or else you might lose big


As we go about our everyday lives, we tend to discard things that don’t have any value to us. Sometimes this happens unconsciously, as something is simply forgotten or doesn’t fit into our current lifestyle. Other times, it might be a deliberate decision made in order to free up space in our homes or possessions. Regardless of the reason, throwing away valuable items can end up costing us more in the long run!

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