Unique Treasures That Have Been Discovered in Abandoned Homes

Could you imagine finding these?

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Old American coins
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Coin you believe it?

It’s probably the closest anyone has ever come to swimming in coins like Scrooge McDuck, but back in 2007, Jeff Bidelman knocked down a wall in an abandoned home and nearly got showered with old coins. At the behest of its previous owners, the home had been abandoned for almost 20 years. There had long been talk that the former owners had hidden money in the walls, but no one was quite sure of the veracity of those rumours. Unbelievably, Bidelman discovered around $100,000 to $200,000 worth of old coins that date from 1826 to 1964. The haul included Liberty dimes and large one cent coins.

These kitchen items could be worth a lot of money.

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Paris apartments
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Painting payoff

When a 91-year-old woman died in 2010, her family hired auctioneers to inventory her apartment in Paris. Instead, they found a literal time capsule—the apartment had been abandoned before WWII and was perfectly preserved. Among the prized objects found was an original painting by famed Italian painter Giovanni Boldini.

The apartment was once owned by Marthe de Florian, a 19th century courtesan who had a brief romance with Boldini. De Florian’s granddaughter—the 91-year-old woman who passed away in 2010—inherited the apartment and painting but fled to the south of France as the Nazis invaded France and never returned. Unbelievably, the rent was still being paid until 2010. The painting eventually fetched $2.5 million at auction.

You won’t believe these fortunes found in attics!

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Mayan artifacts
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Mayan mega-find

A junk removal specialist discovered Mayan artifacts in an old barrel that could be nearly 3,000 years old. The artifacts were valued at $16,500.

Check out our roundup of weird archaeological discoveries.

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Rolled up U.S. bank notes
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Honing in on a hoard

An urban explorer who goes by Freaktography got more than he bargained for when he entered an abandoned home. As he explored and photographed the home, he discovered rolled up cash that totaled $6,800. But he didn’t pocket any of it. Inside he tracked down the family of the last owner of the home and brought it back to them.

Here are the craziest family secrets people learned after someone died.

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Old Belgian coin
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Belgian bonanza

Workers demolishing a house in France were shocked when one of them discovered 600 gold coins in the cellar after the rattling of a shell-shaped container. The coins dated to 1870 and were Belgian, which was known since King Leopold II had his face on them. Reports came out that the coins could be worth up to €100,000.

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Sculpture bust
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Darn valuable door stop

It’s tough to wrap your head around how a bust winds up as a door stop. But that’s what happened—it just took 270 years for someone to figure out. The bust was made by French sculptor Edmé Bouchardon and dates to 1728. It was found holding a door open on an abandoned shed in Balintore, Scotland. It was a bust of politician Sir John Gordon and was thought to be worth $1.8 million.

These are the most bizarre things thieves have ever stolen.

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Gold coins
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Golden parachute

How much does $3.7 million in gold weigh? Around 220 pounds. How does someone find that out? By discovering that much gold in a house they inherited in Normandy, France. In sum, there were 5,000 gold pieces, two bars of 12 kilos, and 37 ingots of 1 kilo. The descendent found gold when he started moving furniture. He found a tin box of coins screwed to the underside of a piece of furniture, an old whisky box and other spots. All the gold was purchased back in the 1950s and ’60s, according to The Guardian.

Take a look at some of the oldest artifacts ever discovered.

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Han Solo and Chewbacca action figures
Photo: Willrow Hood/Shutterstock

Treasure chest of nostalgia

Our friend from earlier, Freaktography checks in again with another unique treasure of a find. He entered another abandoned home and instead of finding wads of cash, he found a treasure chest of nostalgia. Vintage toys from the ’70s and ’80s filled the old home, things like a CHiPs tricycle for a toddler, Barbie dolls, a Star Trek lunchbox and Star Wars action figures. Some of those old memorabilia items could be worth money to the right person.

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Siberian tiger
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Terrifying turn

Police in the Houston area received a phone call from a concerned resident who reportedly found a tiger, only the person wasn’t calling from their home. The caller allegedly entered an abandoned home to smoke pot and stumbled upon a tiger. The tiger was caged in the home’s garage and police facilitated moving it to an animal sanctuary.

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Home reno
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Finding value in abandoned homes

The number of abandoned homes and buildings in Detroit surged following the Great Recession—as of 2018, there are around 22,000 abandoned homes in Detroit, according to the Metro Times. While Detroit grapples with how to repurpose empty lots, there are people out there trying to salvage what they can. Reclaim Detroit is an organization specializing in removing valuable items, reselling them and saving tons of debris from going to landfills. Wood from the old homes finds new life in the form of butcher block bar or even guitars, according to the Detroit Free Press.

Next, check out these stunning shots of abandoned places around the world.

The Family Handyman
Originally Published on The Family Handyman

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