Imagine my surprise when I stumbled upon that vintage tee shirt at the thrift store. It was a real gem.

Turns out I was way wrong.

Little did I know that seemingly ordinary $2 tee was a hidden treasure, potentially worth a lot more. This revelation pales compared to some of the Most Valuable Thrift Store Finds of All Time.

From Thrift Store Shelf to Priceless Art

It's a surprise to learn that one of the most significant finds, as listed by Work + Money, occurred in the unassuming state of Wisconsin.

This Alexander Calder print was listed as the world's 20th most amazing thrift find. It was mistakenly donated.

Found at a Goodwill location in Milwaukee, this piece of art was purchased for $12.

Wisconsin Shopper Scores Big with $12 Alexander Calder Print

Work + Money says, "Karen Mallet initially hesitated to buy the Alexander Calder print she spotted at her local Goodwill." However, she changed her mind after seeing Calder's signature.


Goodwill Gem: Mistakenly Donated Calder Print Now Worth Thousands

Calder is best known for his work with sculpture, and one of his best-known pieces is something he called The Universe.

If you had gone to the now-Willis Tower before 2017, you would have noticed Calder's "Universe" sculpture on full display.

However, a bitter battle ensued between the new and former owners of the now-Willis Tower, who were embroiled in a lawsuit regarding who owned the artwork and how to remove the massive structure.

However, due to the legal battle over the 'Universe' sculpture, Calder's 'Red Nose' painting, which was found at the thrift store, never went to auction and was never inside a massive skyscraper.

Keeping the Treasure: Shopper Cherishes Rare Calder Piece

The 'Red Nose' is currently valued at $9000, so it doesn't figure to end up in the bargain bin anytime soon, either. Work + Money says Mallet has "grown to love the piece and plans on keeping it."

Have you ever found a valuable item at a thrift store? Share your story in the comments below.

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Gallery Credit: Bethany Adams

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