I assume this can happen at least.. I'm not a miner, gemologist, or a rocks & minerals aficionado of any kind, but I do know comics. And every now and then, you literally find a diamond or too in a giant pile of coal.
Tuesday, I heard a knock on our door, I was back in the warehouse portion of the shop so it was kind of faint. I wandered up front and saw a man standing outside of our door, to be honest, he looked kind of homeless, I thought that he might have been lost as I hadn't gotten any calls about any collections coming in.
I opened the door and asked him if I could help him. He said he had a small collection of comic books he wanted me to look at. I was kind of surprised but welcomed him in so I could review what he had.
The books were in a small plastic container, it was barely wide enough for the books to fit inside so I had to kind of flip them all out at once. That was kind of a bad idea, there were only about 25 books in the container, but almost all of them were so beat up, worn, torn, ragged, flaky, etc.
You would have thought I flipped over a container full of confetti as many pieces of chipped comic fluttered down onto my desk.
At this point, I'm just in the, "let me look through these books real quick, tell him I'm not interested, and get back to work" mode. Afterall, I'm not trying to be rude or anything, but these things are in terrible shape. Several were coverless, many more were detached from the covers, and what was left was in generally "VG" condition at the best.
I began flipping through the books, in my head I'm thinking "worthless, trash, worthless, worthless, trash, etc." But then, like the sun peering out from a foggy sky, there it was, the unmistakable Orange & Black lettering of a beautiful copy of Amazing Spider-Man # 300. Like a forgotten corvette in an old barn, it was just sitting there in the middle of the stack.
Now don't get me wrong, it wasn't a chromium variant, or a graded 9.8. But it was a solid FN-ish copy of the issue, and certainly the most valuable thing in the stack by a country mile.
I held it in my hands almost in disbelief. You may be thinking "it's just a FN ASM #300, what's it worth $200 max?, what's the big deal?" The big deal is, it was a reminder that you should NEVER keep looking. No matter how bad you think it is, every now and then, a collection will surprise you and you too may find a $100 bill in the middle of a bunch of monopoly money.
If you're interested in our barn find, it was just listed tonight, the guy also had a Legends # 3, which was unfortunately in the VG range, but it's the cheapest one on "the bay" so if you're looking for a nice reader copy, go grab it up!
And remember folks, miracles can happen to you too! So next time you're sorting through an entire run of Power Pack & Alpha Flight back to back, keep your eyes open, you never know what will be behind that next issue!