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'Antiques Roadshow': $100,000 item appraiser had never seen before

'Antiques Roadshow': $100,000 Book Appraiser Had Never Seen Before

'Antiques Roadshow' headed to Boise, Idaho, where the show found something one of its appraisers had never seen before: a first-edition Book of Mormon.

What makes the book so extra special? It has never left the family line, and has been passed down for generation to generation since 1830.

'It's really quite remarkable,' the appraiser explained, 'because in my almost four decades in the rare book business, this is the oldest copy in the sense of being under continuous ownership that I have ever come across before.'

The book, dubbed the 'gem' of the season premiere episode, was appraised at $75,000 retail. However, given the family heirloom status, the appraiser suggested it should be insured for a whopping $100,000.

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1000|Char. 1000  Char.
Working Hard January 07 2014 at 1:07 PM

Joseph Smith only wrote one book, The Book Of Mormon, and was killed alng with his brother on June 27, 1844, in a Carthage, IL, jail. No Book of Mormon II or Moroni Revisited in his future. Original first edition should be worth something. A first edition of L. Ron Hubbard's "Dianetics" should be worth something too, since he is also dead.

Ken Sanders, the appraiser on the show, was one of the many "experts" including the Mormon Church authorities who were sold a false bill of goods on many forged and fake documents created by convicted murderer, Mark Hoffman, back in the 1980's. Believe what you want to believe. Many do for whatever reason.

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mamandalanza Working Hard January 07 2014 at 1:58 PM

Correction. Joseph Smith did not write the Book of Mormon, he translated it from an ancient record. Big difference. I truly wish everyone would read it to at least gain a better understanding of the faith. There is nothing to lose but everything to gain by reading and praying about the truth contained in its pages.

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Working Hard mamandalanza January 07 2014 at 2:22 PM

Your belief after hearing countless "testimonies" including your own over and over again stating it is TRUE word of God. Belief, not fact! As a former Missionary (Austria) and BYU Grad, I know the routine only too well.

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annette.testa mamandalanza January 07 2014 at 3:38 PM

Boring, ungrammatical and historically inaccurate. God has more integrity than that.

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mspski January 07 2014 at 2:31 PM

Years ago I tried to sale a steller prominent university sports related item on ebay (handed down through my faimly)and was literally threatened by old guard folks if I did sell it and they suggested I turn it in to them....I took it off the market and it will stay in my family forever.

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scmchamp January 07 2014 at 2:26 PM

This is awesome...the family heritage value far outways the financial value! We are not here to debate one's religious affiliation or beliefs....but the value of an "old" family book! Very much the same that I would of my family Bible.

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alydartwo January 07 2014 at 9:46 PM

$100,000...wow!!!! alot of money...it is only worth what someone might fork-over for it.lots of luck charlie.

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matthewslds alydartwo January 07 2014 at 10:15 PM


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thomcit January 07 2014 at 9:40 PM

It's a book, people. Evidently, to certain folks, it has "value" for the reasons proffered by the appraiser. Appraisers with expertise in specific fields are expected to be objective. Their job requires that they know the number of collectors who would be willing to pay a given price for an object. Appraisers are not always correct. But, appraisers are judged solely on their 'track record". A repeatedly unreliable or unscrupulous appraiser will have a very short career. The religious arguments concerning the content of this book are (or should be) moot. But, as is typical these days, "Religion" and/or "Politics" often ends up as the centerpiece of the conversation. Ridiculous, contentious and futile arguments ensue (ad nauseam).

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pupmobile January 07 2014 at 9:24 PM

I have to say, according to the appraisers, I have thrown away a real fortune getting rid of my old junk I had for years!! But we can't keep everything hoping we will get rich from it someday!! They always say that someone else's junk is another mans treasure. Stay warm everyone!! It is brutal out there!! If you see a pet outside, bring it in so it can survive!!

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Jim January 07 2014 at 1:55 PM

This is an amazing show for the rare finds that show up.

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pat January 07 2014 at 8:33 PM

I've recently seen gross undervaluing lately too. On the most recent UK roadshow they actually had Mad Jack Churchill's longbow and sheath. Mad Jack was a legendary wild guy, who really carried a longsword and bow into battle in WW2. They valued his own personal weapon at only a few 1000. I'm positive it would actually be worth 6 figures! Such a romantic, insanely unique character's truly one of a kind item, would spark vast interest amongst collectors. Unlike this book.

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steepndeep82 January 07 2014 at 12:26 PM

I wonder why its worth so much money. A King James standard bible of the same period is worth little. Bibles are taken care of and rarely thrown away.

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Audrey steepndeep82 January 07 2014 at 12:54 PM

If you had a "first edition" Bible from the time on King Constantine, which had stayed in one family for generations, that too would be worth LOTS of money. Because the Book of Mormon is so much newer, it is comparatively easier to have kept a first edition intact.

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kostas January 07 2014 at 1:48 PM

I don't know some of the appraisals they give they say retail, so I have seen 100$ retail and 10$ price tag
And you always insure double the price any way, I am curious how close are the appraisals they give to the actual worth of the item,

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edmigol kostas January 07 2014 at 2:16 PM

Worth is in the eye of the seller and of the buyer. Often the two aren't even close.

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pickett999 kostas January 07 2014 at 2:33 PM

I've been watching this show, off and on, from the first one. I am also a collector of rare documents and have dealings with a fair number of auction houses in the US. They send me their catalogs as well as the list of hammer prices realized after the close of the auction. Base on those real world auction prices and what I know a document is currently worth, I have to question many of the appraisals on the show for documents as being way too high. Appraisers are given air time partly based on the "Wow" factor of an item. Based on that alone, it seems that they would goose up the appraisal price to get their name on TV.
If that suspician could happen in one area, it could happen elsewhare in the show. It may be fun to watch, but I'd take some of their appraisals with a gran of salt, maybe more tham a grain. Yes, I am aware that there are three levels of prices on the show: auction price, retail price and insurance price. I am most familiar with the "auction price," but a good guess could be made for the retail price by taking a typical auction price and adding 50%, at least, to arrive at the retail price or subtracting 50% from a retail price to get an approximate auction price on most items. There are always exceptions of course when the mark-up would exceed 50%.

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