This 31-year-old athlete of Croation descent is considered by many to be one of the world's greatest rugby players. The 6 foot 2 inch, 225 lb. powerhouse is literally unstoppable on the field! Born in Trebanos, Wales, Justin Tipuric (pronounced Tipu*rich) had a very successful youth career and currently plays for the Ospreys, a Welsh team, as an open side flanker. A rising star of the Welsh games is the way many describe his career path, as he just keeps getting stronger and more confident on the field. "The overwhelming passion he feels for the game is evident and inspiring to fans and teammates. Like LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tom Brady and myriad other legendary athletes, he recognizes the vital importance of being a team player!” Keep a close eye on Justin Tipuric, for he's undoubtedly headed for international stardom! Just look for the guy in the ever-present blue scrumcap who consistently makes the impossible look easy. By the way, if you have never seen a rugby (football without the helmet and pads) match, do it now! YouTube is loaded with full games and highlights. While you're there, check out a 'haka' - they're crazy!
Okay fellow collectors, return to your seats and buckle up for this news flash! Sotheby's New York, to even the staff's shock and amazement, recently sold in auction a 17th century antique Persian carpet referred to as the Clark Sickle-Leaf carpet for (tighten that harness) here it comes, $33,800,000! The total cost to the anonymous buyer was $43,800,000 after commissions and taxes were factored in. What, you exclaim! It's true. And, this rug was a mere 6 feet by 8 feet in size! The sale easily set the record for the most expensive rug ever sold! What makes these things so valuable? Here are a few reasons: Persian rugs have been around for more than 2,500 years. Persian rugs are labor intensive as they are made entirely by hand. Some rugs can take up to years to complete. Materials such as the fine silk used in the tedious hand-knotting process are extremely costly. Rugs are unique and one of a kind. Finally, the age, history and provenance of a Persian rug has a huge bearing on the value.
The Eiffel tower, at a height of 1,000 feet, was completed in March of 1889. Not to be outdone, America began searching for the right man to create something so spectacular that people would forget about Eiffel's tower. The Chicago World's Fair was just around the corner and it was decided a man by the name of George Washington Ferris would build his proposed colossal metal wheel, America's answer to Gustave Eiffel's monstrosity. Ferris took a big risk, investing $25,000 of his own money as well as hiring a crew of engineers to assist him. The resulting creation, 250 feet in diameter with 36 cars each capable of carrying 60 people, was a huge hit at the fair with 1.4 million riders each buying a 50 cent ticket to enjoy the ride of their lives! Unfortunately Ferris' Chicago World's Fair sensation would be the only one built by the young engineer and inventor. He died tragically of typhoid fever at the age of 37.
Unless you're an avid coin and currency collector, you may be amazed to find out that from 1934-1935 the United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing produced a gold certificate $100,000 bill! What were they thinking, you ask? That's crazy and impractical for one piece of paper to be worth $100,000! You're right. Actually the bill was never put into circulation for public use. Its sole purpose was for use between Federal Reserve Banks only. The bills have not been in any kind of circulation since 1960. Our 28th president, Woodrow Wilson was selected as the president to adorn the bill. The majority of the (42,000) printed bills were collected and destroyed by the mint with only a few lucky survivors. Unfortunately for wealthy collectors, even the surviving bills have been accounted for and secured by the US government. FYI: It is actually illegal for a private citizen to be in possession of a genuine $100,000 bill! Not surprisingly, forgeries are out there - some even being offered with certificates of authenticity! So, as always, "caveat emptor" (buyer beware)! Several institutions like the Smithsonian and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing offer real examples of the bill for public viewing.
He was born in Liverpool on October 8,1940. His music career began at St. Peter's church where he enjoyed singing as a choirboy. He was also a member of the 3rd Allerton Boy Scout Troop in his hometown. The first song that John Winston Lennon ever performed was "That'll Be The Day" by Buddy Holly. He sang and played it on a banjo! John Lennon and Paul McCartney met in Liverpool as teenagers in July of 1957 forming the nucleus of what would become the greatest and most successful rock and roll band in history. Although the Beatles enjoyed enormous popularity and success throughout their musical reign, they officially disbanded on April 10, 1970. On April 8,1980 John Lennon, the co-founder of the Beatles, was murdered in front of his wife Yoko Ono by gunman and twisted Beatles fan John David Chapman in the archway of their New York City home, the Dakota. The world mourned and still grieves his death. FYI: Lennon's killer, Mark Chapman, was sentenced to 20 years to life in 1981. Sixty-five year old Chapman will be eligible for parole in 2022. To date he has been denied parole eleven times. It is unlikely that he will ever be released.
What, you ask, is a conch pearl. First of all it is pronounced 'konk' pearl like the more familiar queen conch shell from which the pearls originate. Conch pearls are extremely rare, gorgeous and among the most expensive natural pearls on Earth! The most sought after color is the lustrous pink pearl although natural conch pearls come in less desirable and common shades and colors. The majority of naturally formed conch pearls come from the Caribbean. Rarity sets the conch pearl apart from other gemstones and per carat prices have been known to reach a staggering $20,000! Conchs are feeling the effects of the carelessness and greed of mankind and are in danger like so many other species around the world. The future of conchs is now considered threatened. Although numerous attempts have been made to produce cultured conch pearls, the process is extremely problematic. FYI: Only a single conch pearl is found in 10 to15 thousand harvested shells and only 10% of those are gem quality!
The Irish Riverdance phenomenon is forever burned into the history of the Earth! A full Riverdance was first performed live at the Point Theatre in Dublin in 1995, making 2020 its 25 anniversary. The production is a stunning display of Irish step dance, a unique dance style involving a stiff upper body and rapid foot movements. Riverdance has been astounding audiences for over 25 years throughout the world. Riverdance holds a unique world record: the longest dance line. Dancers, 1693 to be precise, from 44 countries joined together on the banks of Dublin's Liffey River in July of 2013 to set their incredible record.
FYI: To ensure that dancers always maintained their required high energy level, the cast has consumed 70,000 pounds of chocolate since Riverdance began performing! Also, the performers of Riverdance have collectively worn their way through 20,000 pairs of shoes! Over 2,000 dancers have taken part in the production since its beginning. Riverdance has performed live in over 47 countries, spanning 6 continents and has been viewed electronically by millions and millions of fans worldwide!
A customer once asked me why there are no Confederate Civil War coins to collect? That's actually a great question. There was plenty of the newly formed Confederate States of America paper money ($1.7 billion dollars) available beginning in 1861, but no coins. Easy answer: There was a severe shortage of metal of all kinds in the South so none was used to mint coins. Merchants to try and assuage the coin shortage issued tokens. Interestingly enough, most Confederate Southern States issued their own unique currency featuring notable CSA officials and various symbols of the newly formed Confederacy. Eventually, there was a shortage of currency in the South due to the fact that there were only 20 paper mills in the Confederate States. Paper had to be smuggled in from England and even the North. FYI: The federal government refused to honor or exchange any Confederate States of America money after their surrender in 1865.
Here is a category of collectibles that, although not for everyone, can be challenging, fun and exciting! Vintage diving equipment, especially early diving helmets. The first diving helmet was actually designed by the Deane brothers in the 1820's as a "smoke helmet" to be used by firemen in smoke-filled areas. In 1827, the brothers sold the patent of their original design. Then In 1828, they decided to redesign and patent their invention and the diving helmet as we know it today was born following successful trials in Whitstable, England. An example of one of the earliest 1916 U.S. Navy Mark V diving helmet recently sold at auction for $21,000! FYI: A complete set of vintage diving gear complete with helmet, suit, weight belt, weighted boots, etc., could weigh from 200-300 pounds!
With the 2020 Presidential Election coming up soon, we thought we'd touch on presidential autograph hunting and collecting. Here are some things to be aware of during your search. There are many facsimile (copied) presidential autographs on the market posing as authentic. What is a facsimile? Basically it is a reproduction (from a photograph) of an authentic signature. Items with facsimile signatures are prevalent in the market and should be avoided because they have little to no value. Then there is the use of autopens.The autopen reproduces a signature which is much more realistic looking and more apt to fool an authenticator because it uses live ink, a pen and mechanics to accurately reproduce the signature. Auto-penned autographs are also not considered valuable. Secretarial signatures can further frustrate the collector. Oftentimes, a president's secretary or other administrative personnel will sign documents with the permission of the busy president, adding more confusion to those searching for authentic items! So, how can you be certain what you're buying is the real thing? Professional authentication is the most reliable method you'll find. If in doubt, start with an inexpensive online fast opinion at djrpro.com and let an expert put their knowledge and expertise to work for you! FYI: George Washington's signature on his personal copy of the Constitution sold at auction in 2012 for a staggering $9.8 million!
DJR Authentication is one of the nation's premier appraisers, authenticators, and consultants of jewelry, coins, collectibles, art, sports memorabilia, and other fine goods, located in Mt Pleasant, South Carolina. Schedule your appointment or learn more today at djrpro.com.