Michael Sparks of Nashville, Tennessee may have had the best thrift store shopping experience ever. Sparks found a copy of the United States Declaration of Independence and plunked down $2.48 for the purchase.
Sparks noticed his copy had a date of 1823. There was a notation that it was “by order of the government”. He had an inkling that it might be valuable so he had it appraised.
It turns out he’s got the real deal! His copy is value at approximately $200,000.
The 1823 copies were ordered by John Quincy Adams. At that time, the original Declaration of Independence was showing wear. It had been sent around to various locations for display. Adams realized if he didn’t do something to preserve this historic document it would disappear. He ordered that 200 copies be made of the original.
Sparks is auctioning off his copy March 22. The opening bid is $125,000. That’s not a bad return for the price he paid.