Skip to comments.Woman Finds $3,000 in Garage-Sale Chair
Posted on 05/30/2005 1:03:54 PM PDT by wagglebee
Linda Stafford has been going to garage sales for 30 years, and taking good-natured ribbing from her family all the while.
Now, the tables have turned.
Stafford has found more than $3,000 in bills dating from 1928 to 1953 in the bottom of a high-backed chair she bought at a garage sale for two bucks.
"When we found the money, they could probably hear us screaming all over the neighborhood," said Stafford, 57.
She made the discovery while trying to make room in her garage for more furniture. When one of her daughters, Mandy Rath, heard something rattle in the chair, they removed the bottom. Placed inside a compartment were two paper packets, one with $10 in coins, the other with $3,060 in bills.
Stafford remembers what she paid for the chair, but not where she bought it.
"I know that I've had it out in our garage for at least a year, maybe two," she said.
But, Stafford was not sure how she would spend the money.
"Who knows?" she said. "I might spend it all at garage sales."
She should check those coins and bills, she may have more than she thinks.
Ah! That's where my money went...
Maybe, maybe not. Even if she remembered, I bet a diet coke that there would be clamoring and pressure on her to return the money, even though she bought the chair.
Am I wrong on that?
I hadn't even thought about that, at the very least all of the quarters are silver.
The money notes are silver certificates...are they not?
MAN, she must REALLY go to a lot of garage sales! How could you forget?!
I would have kept quiet if it was my find.
And the bills could be Silver Certificates.
Is that a caffeine-free diet coke or just a diet coke? :)
I'd bet many coins and bills that old have value as collectibles aside from their monetary value.
Actually, I find that quite believable. I've often remember the price of things I've bought at garage sales. The garages, on the other hand, all run together.
Whoever stuffed the money in that chair probably went through the Bank Holiday. There was lots of hoarding into the 40s.
Hmmmmm....maybe I ought to check that stereo console out a little closer.....;^)
Selective forgetting. She doesn't want bad Karma.
We had a case here a few years ago where a bag of baby clothes was sold at a garage sale. The woman selling the items apparently did not know her husband had been hiding money in the bag. The police went to the media and said they were looking for the buyers and were thinking of pressing charges against them for not returning the money.
Yeah, that approach will work.
Likely the result of a stash during the banking crisis of the great depression. The true owner of the money, who put it there is long dead. Furthurmore, I'm willing to bet that the people she bought this from at the garage sale acquired the chair second or third-hand themselves and don't have any moral claim to the loot either.
Perhaps not the great depression after all.
She should not return the money even if she knew where she got it. If someone sells something that means so little to them about their family that they wouldn't know about Grandma and how she stored her extra cash and the hard times they once had...they deserve to lose it! My mom used to tuck bills here and there and when she died I went through her little purses and found maybe a twenty or so. But it was the memory of her that mattered and I was very careful about letting her things go.
The dates on the money are from 1928 to 1953, so obviously whoever was hiding the money continued long after the Depression was over.
What. . .you and my wife shop together?
I have been to 10 or more garage sales in the last 6 weeks and the only one I remember where I bought anything useful I cannot recall the address. Who keeps the address of a garage sale after the fact? Who would keep it at least a year later? Right! Nobody in their right mind.
Most garage sale afficionados go every Saturday morning, April to October, in my area. My wife has bought enough junk at them to furnish 10 houses. For years, there's wasn't a single bed frame or dresser in my home that wasn't purchased at a garage sale. I don't think a one of my grandchildren sat in a store bought high chair - as soon as my oldest son got married, my wife started collecting baby stuff. I'm not kidding. She's got one side of the basement for spare garage sale junk and our adult children will often come over to "shop" down there.
Same here. There's some good news one should just keep to oneself. LOL
When he was taking it apart to restore it, he found the center post stuffed with Confederate money!
LOL. And mine too, apparently.
I agree. When we go to garage sales, we set aside a Saturday morning and hit 10 or more in a row.
I could never remember where I bought each item. After awhile, one table of somebody's junk starts to look like the next table of somebody else's junk, LOL.
We've found "treasures" at garage sales though.
Bought a Japanese puzzle box for a dollar (my husband likes to figure them out.) After playing with and solving this particular one, he told me he thought it had many more parts than the usual. A couple years later, I put it on ebay because I was "cleaning out" stuff...it fetched nearly $500.
Garage sales, IMHO, are great entertainment and in the process you can sometimes find valuables.
$3,000? That's how much Ho Chi Kerry spends on a haircut.
those bills and the coins are both worth a lot more than the face value. The paper will be Silver Certificates and they are more than the newer which say Federal Reserve Note.
I would have kept my mouth shut and split it with my daughter.
True, but only as collector's items, Silver Certificates are no longer honored by the "Federal Reserve" and haven't been for over 20 years.
I just checked the 'fridge. I am outta diet coke.
How about a diet vanilla caffine-free low carb Dr. Pepper?
Probably tucked away by some cheap bas**** who didn't want his wife to find it.
She should check them coins REAL close. Silver from the mid 20's to about 1935 is fairly rare compared to the surrounding years.
If she has silver certificates, they're worth more than face value, but only numismatically. They are irredeemable for silver coin.
Maybe, but I would bet that whoever put them there or lost them there is long dead. Besides, the chair was probably second, third, or fourth hand when she bought it. Keep it.
When my mom died, we were cleaning out her garage for a weekend sale. Well, my older brother and I decided to play catch with this old metal vase. My sister-in-law took it after we had dropped it 'alot' of times and she was going to practice tole painting on it. When she got it home, she looked closely at it and it was pure silver. Needless to say, my brother and I are still in the dog house over this one. So the moral of the story, be careful with our parents 'junk'.
I still have my penny collection books, worth $2.00 then, about $3.00 now (but my Grandkids may enjoy the gift)
Coins are fun, cheap and don't take up much room.
It made History fun for me when I was a child and may do the same for the Grand kids.
I don't go to a whole lot of garage sales, but I don't remember where I bought some of the stuff. If she goes to a lot of sales every week, it would be easy to forget where she got what.
She should have kept her mouth shut and quietly banked the money. Mark my words, she's going to regret opening her big yap. But some fools just can't resist getting their 15 minutes of fame on the tabloid shows.
And jdm, your figure of the worth if this currency, is off by a value to ten. This money is worth face value,or or a couple of cents over that; at most.
Then after they die, the relatives that come in to sort through the estate have no idea where to even begin looking -- that is, if they know where to look in the first place.
This happened to my wife and me, and it caused a bit of a problem because of how it happened. My wife got this really old furniture piece that played 78 rpms (and it used to have a working radio, but that stopped working) from a relative. So she started collecting 78s, but they are hard to find. The Lincoln Center Library Sale was a good place, but it was only once a year and they stopped selling them after a couple of years. (Apparently, they ran out.)
Anyway, my supervisor knew I had been collecting them (I had bought a box from a co-worker through the company bulletin-board), and he told me that (I think) an aunt who had passed away had a bunch of boxes. He sold them to me for something like forty dollars.
To make this long story not quite as long, my wife found an envelope with $400 in on of the sleeves. She wanted to keep it, and I was racked with guilt. She tried using an "Antiques Roadshow" metaphor, and I tried to impress upon her that I *know* who the person is that "lost" this money.
Things got worse for me a few days later when my boss asked me to keep an eye out for any envelopes. Some had turned up going through other thngs, and it had been his responsibility to go through all those records before he disposed of them. Now, to my wife that meant "so he didn't do what he was supposed to, so too bad"; to me, it meant "I trust you".
Anyway, my boss could tell something was up and I laid it all out for him. He offered to let her keep half. I don't know if his siblings (or was it his wife and her siblings?) were at the point of suspecting that money had to be there or what.
In the end, my wife's co-worker finally guilted her into returning the money . . . but only because she found a second envelope. And she told me flat out that she was keeping any more envelopes that she found.
I don't remember if she found any more (or if she would have told me if she had) or if she ever gave me the forty bucks for the 78s in the first place.
The silver in the quarters is worth more than 25 cents.
Why did this twit make her discovery public? Sell the bills and coins on ebay! Bet they may be worth up to a million dollars, especially since they're from the 1920s-50s.
You aren't allowed to melt down coinage for the metal content. It's against the law. No smelter will do it and there isn't all that much silver in our silver coins, from that era.