It was just $50 antique silver spoons until a famous person's engraved initials on the spoon uncovers its massive value

Anita Durairaj
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An article in the UK's The Mirror describes the reaction that a guest had at an Antiques Roadshow when he found out the value of his silver spoons.

A man brought in two antique silver spoons for valuation.

An antique expert warned that typically he would refuse to value such common items as silverware. Silver spoons were common and usually only fetched up to 50 pounds ($61) each.

However there was something really special about the two silver spoons that the guest brought in.

The silver spoons were engraved with the initial "JC." And it wasn't just any "JC." The initials belonged to the explorer James Cook. The guest who brought in the spoons was one of James Cook's descendants.

James Cook (1728-1779) was an English explorer, navigator, and cartographer who made three voyages to the Pacific Ocean.

He is credited with the first recorded European contact with the eastern coastline of Australia and the Hawaiian Islands and is known for his accurate charting of previously uncharted areas. Cook died in a skirmish with Hawaiian natives.

The silver spoons with the initial "JC" were of Georgian origin and made in the 1750s.

The spoons were very likely used by James Cook and he must have even eaten from those very spoons.

Thus with this history and provenance, the expert explained that the value of the spoon could be taken to a whole new level.

The expert valued the spoons at 10,000 pounds each (approximately $12,260 for each spoon).

It turned out to be an extraordinary set of spoons.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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