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(UPI)   Scrap dealer buys golden egg for $13,000 intending to sell it for scrap. meh: He couldn't find a buyer and holds onto it. Fark: googles the name "Vacheron Constantin" that was in it. Ultrafark: It's one of the missing Faberge eggs   (upi.com) divider line 31
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14727 clicks; posted to Main » on 19 Mar 2014 at 10:11 PM (31 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2014-03-19 09:02:39 PM  
7 votes:
that article makes no sense. he bought it to melt it down but held onto it for a decade? if he was going to melt it why did he need a buyer? that entire thing was just illogical bullshiat.
2014-03-19 09:32:03 PM  
4 votes:

Radak: This one has a little bit more information and makes somewhat more sense.  Also includes a link to the article he found which told him it deserved a better home than sitting next to his salt and pepper shakers.


thats a little better, I still am not buying some flea market sold a 15k egg to someone buying on weight for scrap, who also was too lazy to weigh it and overestimated its gold content, then he proceeded to try to find a buyer but since he paid too much he just let it sit for 10 years rather than cutting his losses. then they are playing up this rags to riches poor folks find a treasure thing. poor folks don't buy 15k worth of gold on spec. gold is one of the easiest things in existance to price and no scrappers would sell to someone else to smelt like they are describing.
2014-03-19 08:30:22 PM  
4 votes:
i.imgur.com

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.
2014-03-19 11:23:16 PM  
3 votes:

ongbok: NickelP: that article makes no sense. he bought it to melt it down but held onto it for a decade? if he was going to melt it why did he need a buyer? that entire thing was just illogical bullshiat.

No what doesn't make sense is that an antiques dealer didn't know that they had the holy grail of antiques and sold it for 13000.


Probably wasn't an antiques dealer so much as a guy who was asked to come in and manage the estate sale. There's a reason collectors hit those things every weekend- families are often just trying to clear Great Uncle Mike's stuff out of the house so they can sell it and be done with the affair, and a lot of rare and expensive stuff gets put out with $10 price tags. Valuable paintings get found at those things all the time, and small knick-nacks where the value isn't immediately obvious get sold for nothing all the time. The people trying to sell the stuff off are often the kids of the owner- they're not antiquities experts, and it often doesn't cross their minds to do serious research.
2014-03-19 10:37:10 PM  
3 votes:

Radak: I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first? I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide. It seems like something that would be worth looking into. Maybe it's just me.


First off, this! The thing is supposedly one of the great treasures of art and craft, and the guy wants to melt it down?

Secondly, he's all like "I'm just humble folks", but he purchases something for 13,000 dollars (which means he thinks it's worth more than that---otherwise he'd just hang on to his dollars) and then doesn't even investigate it? Or even if he is going to melt it down---doesn't do that either? Sorry, I don't know many "humble folks" that can just toss that kind of cash out the window.
2014-03-19 10:19:39 PM  
3 votes:

Radak: [i.imgur.com image 232x306]

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.


Were you around for the threads about the people who discovered gold coins stolen from the mint 100 years ago? Farkers were suggesting melting them down for the raw gold in order to hide any connections to a crime. Never underestimate the destructive power of ignorance and greed.
2014-03-19 10:48:28 PM  
2 votes:
What antique dealer, jeweller or collector doesn't immediately recognize the name Vacheron Constantin?
2014-03-19 10:31:47 PM  
2 votes:
yeah I wonder if he met with the british guy hoping to sell it directly to him and that kind of fell apart. what is so special about that guy that the owner flew to the uk to meet him in person having never known him before?

he almost had to think this was stolen but he could sell well above scrap on the black market.

also some blue collar dude living next to a dunken donuts does not keep 15k in gold on his bookshelf.
2014-03-19 10:29:50 PM  
2 votes:
Yes, your honor, I do intend to stick with this story.
2014-03-19 10:27:17 PM  
2 votes:

NickelP: that article makes no sense. he bought it to melt it down but held onto it for a decade? if he was going to melt it why did he need a buyer? that entire thing was just illogical bullshiat.


No what doesn't make sense is that an antiques dealer didn't know that they had the holy grail of antiques and sold it for 13000.
2014-03-19 10:26:39 PM  
2 votes:

KidneyStone: How did it disappear? Do we expect "scrap dude has to hand over stolen egg" as a follow up?


It was last seen in public in March 1902, as part of an exhibition of Imperial treasures in St Petersburg.
Seized by the Bolsheviks, it was last recorded in Moscow in 1922 when the Soviets decided to sell it as part of their 'Treasures into Tractors' policy.

In 2011, Fabergé researchers found the first proof that the egg survived into the middle of the 20th century: a picture in a 1964 catalogue for Parke Bernet, the New York auction house later acquired by Sotheby's. It was described as a "Gold Watch in Egg-Form Case" and sold for £875 to a female buyer from the Deep South.

She died in the early 2000s, and her estate sold off. The egg, not believed to be of great value, found its way to the bric-a-brac market.
Mr McCarthy said: "This should give hope to every antiques enthusiast out there. There are great treasures still to be found."
2014-03-19 10:18:23 PM  
2 votes:

Tellingthem: NickelP: Radak: This one has a little bit more information and makes somewhat more sense.  Also includes a link to the article he found which told him it deserved a better home than sitting next to his salt and pepper shakers.

thats a little better, I still am not buying some flea market sold a 15k egg to someone buying on weight for scrap, who also was too lazy to weigh it and overestimated its gold content, then he proceeded to try to find a buyer but since he paid too much he just let it sit for 10 years rather than cutting his losses. then they are playing up this rags to riches poor folks find a treasure thing. poor folks don't buy 15k worth of gold on spec. gold is one of the easiest things in existance to price and no scrappers would sell to someone else to smelt like they are describing.

Yeah I'm a little dubious as well. I can't believe that he didn't try to find out if it had an antiquities value before even thinking about scrapping it. If he was a scrap metal dealer maybe he never considered it. I'm doubtful...but whatever. It's still pretty cool whatever the reason.


dnrtfa but offhand I can think of a couple of reasons that someone would want to downplay how much they knew about this thing before they bought it. The extent to which he took advantage of the seller, the degree to which he suspected it was stolen goods or otherwise iffy, recording it in a misleading way on the books, maybe some more personal/specific reasons since it sounds like he's had it around for a while...
2014-03-19 10:17:36 PM  
2 votes:
This sounds like one of those stories where somebody stole this egg decades ago and sent some yokel off later to sell it. I'd be interested to know the provenance of the egg, because this story is ridiculous from all angles.
2014-03-19 09:07:17 PM  
2 votes:

InterruptingQuirk: Is that a pic of the item in question or another?


That is the item in question.  That picture and various other photographs of the same egg accompany a bunch of other articles about this find.  Unbelievable that someone would a) consider melting that down or selling it without researching it and b) let it sit around on the kitchen counter for years like a knickknack.
2014-03-20 03:54:21 AM  
1 votes:

cptjeff: ongbok: NickelP: that article makes no sense. he bought it to melt it down but held onto it for a decade? if he was going to melt it why did he need a buyer? that entire thing was just illogical bullshiat.

No what doesn't make sense is that an antiques dealer didn't know that they had the holy grail of antiques and sold it for 13000.

Probably wasn't an antiques dealer so much as a guy who was asked to come in and manage the estate sale. There's a reason collectors hit those things every weekend- families are often just trying to clear Great Uncle Mike's stuff out of the house so they can sell it and be done with the affair, and a lot of rare and expensive stuff gets put out with $10 price tags. Valuable paintings get found at those things all the time, and small knick-nacks where the value isn't immediately obvious get sold for nothing all the time. The people trying to sell the stuff off are often the kids of the owner- they're not antiquities experts, and it often doesn't cross their minds to do serious research.


can't be an easy way to make a living.  For every diamond in the rough that you find at an estate sale, you'll find 10,000 pieces of shiat.

It really makes me wonder why some stuff is considered valuable.  "Oh, it's rare".  Well, maybe it's rare for a reason like it's a piece of crap and no one wants it."But it's old!"  So is the dirt in my yard, but nobody wants it.
2014-03-20 02:06:58 AM  
1 votes:

NickelP: Oldiron_79: rebelyell2006: Radak: [i.imgur.com image 232x306]

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.

Were you around for the threads about the people who discovered gold coins stolen from the mint 100 years ago? Farkers were suggesting melting them down for the raw gold in order to hide any connections to a crime. Never underestimate the destructive power of ignorance and greed.

Id rather melt down (insert most precious art item made of gold) than let the government take it from me at bayonet point and me get nothing for it.

in the situation he is referring to they would get at worst a 25% or so finders fee, which was millions. the scrap value was a tiny fraction of that. keep in mind the coins were literally stolen in a robery of a us mint. so yeah you would be an idiot to melt them and the government paying a pretty hefty finders fee for recovering stuff stolen from them isn't exactly paying nothing and confiscating goods at bayonet point.


Actually no. It was stolen property (gold coins) so you would get jack squat from the us government. The problem is, I believe if I remember that story correctly is that the government would have to melt the coins down anyway which is a crying shame.

Also, this story is dubious as FARK. 10 years? perfect amount of time from it being stolen to when it would resurface to gain legitimacy again.
2014-03-20 12:05:07 AM  
1 votes:

ElLoco: A series of core assays


Who the hell does core assays on jewelry? Are you on Mars?
2014-03-19 11:56:05 PM  
1 votes:

rebelyell2006: So, you'd destroy history in the name of making a quick buck?


Not every gaudy piece of jewelry is in fact worth much more than it's components.

Take Tiffany rings. A thin silver ring from Tiffany's with a sapphire so small you need a loupe to see its color properly goes for more than 100 dollars. Anyone who make jewelry can whip up the same damn thing for you, $30 including parts and labor.

I saw a jeweler once who had a model chair in gold and silver studded with emeralds, rubies, and sapphires. Selling price? $1500. (it wasn't that big) Basically at cost and a bit. Why? No one knew his name. If Tiffany released the same chair, it would have been sold for $10,000 at least.

This egg is gauche, but it's a lot of gold and some gems. $13000 seems right for a scrap dealer to pay. On the other hand, because some famous guy made it, it's actually worth MILLIONS. But that's just dumb luck. If you can prove Emma Watson waved it around a bit and said "Forgeticus" with it in her hand, you can sell a stick of firewood for a good bit of money. Doesn't make the wood special.
2014-03-19 11:55:29 PM  
1 votes:

NickelP: cptjeff: ongbok: NickelP: that article makes no sense. he bought it to melt it down but held onto it for a decade? if he was going to melt it why did he need a buyer? that entire thing was just illogical bullshiat.

No what doesn't make sense is that an antiques dealer didn't know that they had the holy grail of antiques and sold it for 13000.

Probably wasn't an antiques dealer so much as a guy who was asked to come in and manage the estate sale. There's a reason collectors hit those things every weekend- families are often just trying to clear Great Uncle Mike's stuff out of the house so they can sell it and be done with the affair, and a lot of rare and expensive stuff gets put out with $10 price tags. Valuable paintings get found at those things all the time, and small knick-nacks where the value isn't immediately obvious get sold for nothing all the time. The people trying to sell the stuff off are often the kids of the owner- they're not antiquities experts, and it often doesn't cross their minds to do serious research.

a buddy of mine actually liquidates estates for a living. some random bullshiat may slip by, but they work on a commission basis and take a percent of sales. there is 0 chance an antique gold egg like that with a well known watch makers piece on it just gets floated out without anyone looking into it. on the off chance it does, the liquidator would but it at spot himself. like another poster said, if this thing sold in a collection of stuff for $20 it would be more plausable. everyone involved sounds like they were into this for 10k plus.


Not everyone hires a pro, and even if they did, how deep do you think the expertise on Fabrage eggs goes when you're in the deep south? Face it, there ain't a lot of money in that part of the world, and it's not something you generally dig up. The owners got $13,000 out of it, which sure as hell ain't nothing. They knew it had some value, just not how much. The people cleaning out the estate probably called the metal dealer saying, 'hey, we got an old gold bauble, wanna come buy it off of us?' Guy drives over, sees gold thing- is used to seeing a lot of gold jewelry that looks pretty but isn't actually worth anything, makes an estimate, buys it. Is stupid and doesn't look it up.

I find it's always safer to assume stupidity than it is to assume a conspiracy. People, as a rule, are idiots. Most everyone involved was probably way out of their depth, and the idea that it was one of the most sought after pieces of jewelry in human history probably didn't even cross their minds. And I'm not sure I blame them- it was in a damn inconspicuous place.
2014-03-19 11:49:29 PM  
1 votes:

KarmicDisaster: MNguy: KarmicDisaster: .  Assuming that thing weighs more than 2 pounds,

Assuming you're maybe functionally retarded

Well, it depends on the size. Here they site another one of the eggs as being 3x5 inches.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gatchina_Palace_%28Faberg%C3%A9_egg%29
so they are lot bigger than a regular egg. Don't know about this new one. Gold is heavy, 19.3 g/cubic cm
Assuming a sphere with diameter of 4 inches, the volume would be about 523 cubic cm. That would weigh 10 Kg, or about 22 pounds if solid Gold. Obviously the egg isn't anywhere near solid solid, but with the base shown there could certainly be at least 2 pounds of Gold in it, which at the time was worth $12800.


That's all assuming the salvage buyer just took it on faith that the item was pure gold... which I can't imagine ever happens even in the bizarro world that guy is living in where he drops 13 large on a trinket, then puts it next to the dinnerware.

A series of core assays would be somewhat detrimental to the value of the item if he knew it had some artistic and historical value, but would definitely be done so he didn't buy a 18k plated rock for the trading price of .999% pure.

The whole story smells like shiat. There's more to it and someone is lying.
2014-03-19 11:42:33 PM  
1 votes:

Oldiron_79: rebelyell2006: Radak: [i.imgur.com image 232x306]

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.

Were you around for the threads about the people who discovered gold coins stolen from the mint 100 years ago? Farkers were suggesting melting them down for the raw gold in order to hide any connections to a crime. Never underestimate the destructive power of ignorance and greed.

Id rather melt down (insert most precious art item made of gold) than let the government take it from me at bayonet point and me get nothing for it.


So, you'd destroy history in the name of making a quick buck? Screw our past, screw our future, give me ill-gained money now?
2014-03-19 11:40:43 PM  
1 votes:

Fano: WelldeadLink: Radak: [i.imgur.com image 232x306]

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.

It is just you. You're looking at that one pretty thing. If this guy was buying this kind of thing, then he was also buying piles of other shiny stuff, so he's used to glittery semiprecious jewels and costume jewelry on gold fittings.

I will say, having seen the Fabergé portion of the wonders of the tsars exhibit, everything was so encrusted with gems they look like phony costume jewelry.


Royals have horrible taste.

When they finally killed the czar and his family in the basement of the palace, there were so many large gems on the women's gowns that some of the bullets ricocheted off of them.

Then of course the bodies went on this crazy scavenger hunt all over Russia, with Anastasia finally winding up under some planks, where scientists and historians finally found her, then they gave a lecture on how, which is where I learned about the bullet ricocheting story.
2014-03-19 11:35:39 PM  
1 votes:

WelldeadLink: Radak: [i.imgur.com image 232x306]

I know scrap dealers probably tend to see things in terms of the scrap value alone, but who in his right mind would consider melting down something that looks like this, or even selling it, without finding out what it is first?  I don't care if the scrap value is enough for a new doublewide.  It seems like something that would be worth looking into.  Maybe it's just me.

It is just you. You're looking at that one pretty thing. If this guy was buying this kind of thing, then he was also buying piles of other shiny stuff, so he's used to glittery semiprecious jewels and costume jewelry on gold fittings.


I will say, having seen the Fabergé portion of the wonders of the tsars exhibit, everything was so encrusted with gems they look like phony costume jewelry.
2014-03-19 11:29:50 PM  
1 votes:

ongbok: what doesn't make sense is that an antiques dealer didn't know that they had the holy grail of antiques and sold it for 13000.


Considering he claims to have bought it a decade ago, there were plenty of search engines available in 2003/4 to perform a search on "egg" and the name inside.  I'm calling shenanigans on this one.
2014-03-19 11:29:36 PM  
1 votes:
Those eggs are tacky and ostentatious like a lot of Russian crap. Unlike these Obama collectible plates (which I was banking on to make me a hefty return) the egg will at least yield something useful.
2014-03-19 10:40:06 PM  
1 votes:

Johnson: She died in the early 2000s, and her estate sold off. The egg, not believed to be of great value, found its way to the bric-a-brac market.


So the guardian of the estate "knew a guy" who would "probably pay a lot for something like this" and cut the family in for $13,000. I wonder how much he pocketed.
2014-03-19 10:39:45 PM  
1 votes:
the other theory here, outside of it being stolen, is its a fake since it sounds like it is being verified based on very old pictures.

another i'll toss out is it is real and owned by someone rather wealthy who doesn't want to be identified. he approached the guy in london and they fabricated this entire story to make as big a media splash as possible and drive up the value by adding more 'history' to it.
2014-03-19 10:36:28 PM  
1 votes:
freepatriot.org

Those things used to be really popular about 100 years ago, but now not too many people want one, so it is going to take up space in my shop for a long time. Best I can do is $20
2014-03-19 10:23:26 PM  
1 votes:

Hector Remarkable: The thing about golden egg-laying geese is that it, uh, it makes you greedy, and, uh, you kill the goose. Every time, everyone kills the goose, because they're greedy and stupid. I think that's the moral of the story - everyone is greedy and stupid.


That or Veruca Salt gets sorted as a bad egg and that German kid clogs the choco-tubes.
2014-03-19 10:14:15 PM  
1 votes:
How did it disappear? Do we expect "scrap dude has to hand over stolen egg" as a follow up?
2014-03-19 08:38:30 PM  
1 votes:
www.top10films.co.uk
 
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