NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A rare, 184-year-old copy of the Declaration of Independence found by a bargain hunter at a Nashville thrift shop is being valued by experts at about 100,000 times the $2.48 purchase price.
Michael Sparks, a music equipment technician, is selling the document in an auction March 22nd at Raynors' Historical Collectible Auctions in Burlington, North Carolina. The opening bid is $125,000 and appraisers have estimated it could sell for nearly twice that.
Sparks found his bargain last March while browsing at Music City Thrift Shop in Nashville. When he asked the price on a yellowed, shellacked, rolled-up document, the clerk marked it at $2.48.
It turned out to be an "official copy" of the Declaration of Independence — one of 200 commissioned by John Quincy Adams in 1820.
He didn't know he had such a valuable piece until doing some online research and then having appraisers at Raynors' offer an opinion.