The finds I crave

This haul was from the summer of 2020 (my “bumper crop” year), so these pictures have been collecting virtual dust for some time now. Better to post them late than never though, right?

I’d really love to happen upon a pile like this right about now. I’m still picking up loads and loads of books, but there haven’t been many finds of note in the precious metals / jewelry department for some time now.

I remember finding a bunch of coins the first time I stopped here. That was a good omen. In the box were more coins, including some already rolled pennies. Literal easy money.

Otherwise, I picked up some of the usual quality junk …

… and some bits of paper ephemera. My favourite piece here is the letter written to Eaton’s in 1960 complaining about a defective dishwasher. That bridge joke is… let’s go with “dated.”

What made this place notable though was the jewelry and the precious metals. I don’t remember all these pieces after two plus years, but that mechanical pencil was silver for sure.

There were a few bits of silver and gold in here too, most of which also appear in the next pic.

That watch was gold for sure, though it was busted up and not good for much but scrap. That religious pendant next to it was also gold, as were the two earrings to its upper right. There are several silver pieces here, including a little enameled Order Of The Holy Sepulchre medal which might still be kicking around in one of my drawers.

These were my best finds though. The rings boxes alone are decent. The one on the left was sterling, and the Birks one was quite beautiful as well, all done up in deep blue leather with gold accents. I forget what they sold for, but I’d guess they went for around 75-100$ each. The stainless steel one was probably worth around 40$ as well.

The rings inside weren’t much good, but that doesn’t matter when they’re gold. The two in the middle were 14k and made by Birks, but the stones had been forcibly removed making the rings worth nothing outside of their weight in gold. Fortunately, that was still a few hundred dollars. The one in the box on the left was sterling I think (and missing a stone). The earrings, which were stored in that little yellow pouch along with a note, were my best individual find. They were solid 18k gold, and I recently (finally) sold them for a bit above their scrap value (650$).

Looking at this reminds me how great 2020 was for finds. 2021 and 2022 weren’t much good, but here’s hoping 2023 is better, and that I happen upon another nice gold haul soon! There’s nothing quite like finding gold.

I do feel like the trash has been a bit better recently. The books are still flowing, but I also have a few other spots I’m keeping an eye on now. Spring is definitely in the air, though I don’t feel like people are doing much cleaning yet. It’s still a bit chilly, and a fair amount of snow remains.


1. My eBay listings. Sign up for eBay (Canada, US). Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US). — These are Ebay Partner Network links. If you create an account or buy something after getting to eBay from here, I get a small cut of the profit!  —
2. “Things I find in the garbage” on Facebook
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells. Note that someone else runs the latter.
4. Email: Note that I really suck at keeping up with my email.
5. Donate to the blog. It costs close to 500$ a year to maintain (no ads, domain name, storage space, etc) which ain’t cheap. Otherwise, it’s nice to get a few bucks for coffee, food, or gas!

6 thoughts on “The finds I crave”

  1. Martin, your photos are superb as always. Thanks so much for posting. Here’s hoping for lots more spectacular finds in 2023. Things are bound to pick up soon. Do you ever find sports equipment? In our back lane one day, I got a next-to-new tennis racquet; the value per kijiji, much to my surprise, was in the $150 range.

    1. I think I took these photos back in 2021, back when I was still putting the max effort in. These days I haven’t been trying quite as hard, for my own sanity because it’s a lot of work to set these up. The photos are still good, but not this good. Also, my photo equipment isn’t really set up yet after moving from that one place to the other place and then back again. Anyways, I’m looking to find some kind of middle ground, where the effort required is lower but the photos are still pretty good.

      Yes tennis racquets can be pretty expensive, and it’s one of those hobbies people with money take up and give up on after playing a few games. I’ve found some nice ones in the past, but none recently.

  2. A rare copy of the oldest Jewish bible is expected to sell for 30 to million dollars this May at auction.Who knows ?You might find a very expensive gem in the trash and strike it really rich.I am hoping the best for you.You have a lot of admirers,many of them who do not share their appreciation of your blog openly.But applause is in order.

    1. It’s plausible! I figure by picking trash I’m basically getting a free lottery ticket every time I go out. The odds of my finding something worth multiple millions is pretty low (though maybe not much lower than the odds of winning the actual lottery?), but I’d be happy with a prize in the 50-100k range right about now.

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