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Priceless, collectible objects fall into the hands of people in a variety of ways.


Some are serious, hard-working hobbyists. They search online forums, peruse antique sales, and budget a good amount of cash toward collecting one-of-a-kind items.

But others come into possession of truly rare objects almost by accident. They might not have known what they were buying, they could have received the item as an heirloom.

Either way, having just one rarity can be an exciting conversation piece.

Apparently eager to know what's out there, encased in glass somewhere, Redditor Sheeppower4 asked:

"What is the rarest thing you own?"

Many people's rare objects were historical in nature. They were old, they illustrated a moment of history, and they derived their value from remaining intact so many years later.

For Protection

"16 century English Knight armour. It's a family heirloom." -- VinnyColdheart

"I imagine seeing that thing on Pawn Stars. 'Well, It's not exactly Century XVI; It's from 1601, and It has a scratch here and there, like if someone had hit it with a sharp object, I don't know. Anyway, all I can do is 50 bucks. And I'm risking here' " -- V02D

An Artifact of a Dark Time

"I don't really own this, but I am caretaker of a ring. During WW2 my Grandfather owned a tailors shop in Holland. A Jewish neighbor found out he was about to be taken, came into the shop, and gave him a few things, asking him to look after them, saying he would return after the war."

"He never came. I have his mourning ring, which has a lock of hair and a pearl, surrounded by diamonds. I did take it to a jeweler once, to see if the lock of hair could have some DNA, but he said it was too delicate to tamper with."

"My brother was a teacher, and now my daughter is. They have both used the ring to teach of the Holocaust. I think the ring has made it real for many children."

-- easysmiler

Wrong Coffin to Open

"I have an odd old handle from a coffin which dates back to a satanist from around 1800." -- BeyondContextual

"Imagine being the guy that was holding one of the handles and that sh** just snaps off, body falls out" -- AydenH5

"You fool! They don't die if there's no handle! Now there's a fekin Satanist roaming around somewhere looking for sacrifices!" -- Super_monkey_box

Literary Nerd

"A copy of Paradise Lost from 1764 that I found in a pile of books in Hay-on-Wye in Wales about a decade ago."

"From the same trip a set of first to third edition prints of T. S. Eliot's The Four Quartets. He is by far my favourite poet and even though almost no-one else cares, I really really like them. He probably put the first and second editions together himself. The first edition still has uncut pages in it."

-- jqpublick

Spoils of the War

"An Arabian sword that my grandfather 'borrowed' from an ancient fort in North Africa during WWII. They were holed up there to take cover from German tanks that were firing on them."

-- Effective_James

Other people were all about the autographs.

Whether it was them or a loved one, some hard work and good timing allowed them to take home a very valuable proof that they rubbed shoulders with some seriously influential figures.

Concert of a Lifetime

"My dad is retired from the NYPD. He was one of a bunch of officers escorting the Beatles to the stage when they played Shea Stadium. He got all their signatures in his ticket book. Ringo signed his name by drawing a star only."

"The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame offered him $500k for it and he refused."

"When my dad died a few years ago, it was passed on to me."

"I will never sell it."

-- ReganMacNeil1973

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The Greats

"A baseball with both Babe Ruth & Joe DiMagio signatures." -- Dendad1218

"Passed down to you?" -- Cubsfan630

"Yes, actually it is a family thing. Joe was family. It is very sun damaged." -- Dendad1218

True Love

"A Thor print signed by Stan Lee, to me."

"My wife got it for me at one of his final appearances. He wasn't doing personalizations, but she talked him into it."

-- TheRealSzymaa

The Cast that Made It

"I've got a Star Wars poster with Mark Hamill, Peter Mayhew, and Carrie Fisher's autograph on it, along with a handful of other original Star Wars trilogy characters"

-- TeriWiedman

Wonder What Came Over Him

"I have a shirt that Muhammad Ali drew a full sketch he called "The Rumble in the Jungle" on the back."

"His daughter pulled me aside and said he's only ever drawn something like that a few times, and it's super rare and worth quite a bit. I have the pictures of him drawing it at the time."

-- 3doglateafternoon

And others shared the rarities that showed a little bit more of their own personality. Some were seeked out, some were only saved thanks to a little shameless fanhood.

Best Board

"A custom go board that is truly unique. The lines are made of darker wood inlaid to the lighter wood, not ink. This board will never warp. The whole thing is super high quality. It was a commissioned work, and the guy said he would never make another one (yes he was well paid)."

"It's something a go player immediately appreciates. As far as I am concerned, I own the best table board on the planet."

-- cazique

Well Cared For

"A official 1962 amazing fantasy no 15 (the first appearance from spider man) it was given to me by my late grandpa I have it in a air sealed package in a small safe being a painting in my room it is my most prized possession"

-- Civil_Sandwich_7948

Rare and Phallic

"A Little Mermaid VHS cover with a penis tower" -- Tylorexy

"That's not rare, though, is it? I had the same thing as a kid."

"I remember trying to find the penis tower as a 10yo girl who didn't really know what a penis looked like. I found it because it was suspiciously not tower-like, but without first hand knowledge I couldn't be sure that was the one." -- Okoreala

"It is and it isn't."

"Plenty of copies with that case were made, but IIRC they redid the vhs cover at some point, so there were two variants floating around. On top of that, vhs not really being a thing anymore makes it difficult to find a copy with the di*k tower on it." -- brycejm1991

Keep Your Coins

"It's not really valuable, but I think my rarest possession is a wheat penny with what collectors call a cud error."

"On the left wheat ear, you can see where the die mold chipped and left a tiny bubble. Possibly one-of-a-kind."

-- SleeplessShi*poster

Comfy?

"I have a set of seats from the Astrodome in Houston. My dad bought them before he passed away and left 2 to me and 2 to my sister."

-- just_argues_with_you

Unfortunately, we can't all be so lucky to have such cool and interesting prized possessions.

My rarest possession, for example, is that dorky U.S. map quarter collection.

Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.

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