A scrap metal dealer from the Midwest had no idea that the tiny golden egg he was planning to melt down was actually a $33 million relic from the court of imperial Russia.
The unidentified man unknowingly hit the jackpot when he purchased the 3.2-inch egg at a junk market for a mere $14,000.
He jumped on the deal because he thought the egg was pretty little trinket. The egg stands on an elaborate gold pedestal, supported by lion paw feet. Three sapphires are embedded in the gold and when the man pushed the center diamond, the egg popped open to reveal a Vacheron Constantin watch.
The egg’s creator, royal jeweler Peter Carl Faberge, was known for designing these types of surprises. The former tsars and tsarinas of Russia had no need for more gold — what they wanted was craftsmanship. Tsar Alexander III asked Faberge to make one egg a year until his son, the next Tsar Nicholas II, ordered him to make two a year — one for his wife and one for his mother.
The eggs were created in the greatest secrecy, CNN reports. The royals’ only demand was that the eggs contain a surprise.