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The Surprising Fossil That Fetched Nearly $3,000 On Pawn Stars

You never know what you will find in a pawn shop. Maybe you will walk into a store and only see old video games and guns, or you might discover rare finds such as a woolly mammoth tooth or John F. Kennedy's humidor. It's no wonder why audiences love to watch programs like Pawn Stars. The show is probably the closest many viewers will ever get to seeing Jimi Hendrix's 1963 Fender Stratocaster guitar, the Beatles' contract, and George Washington's three-piece suit.

However, even though Pawn Stars' most impressive (and expensive) finds are solidly rooted in human history, every so often Rick Harrison and his staff come across an impressive piece of prehistory. Since these items are extremely old, they usually sell for a pretty penny. One particularly rare and unusual fossil sold for almost $3,000, which is nothing to sneeze at, especially since fossils are growing in popularity.

An elephantine egg with an elephantine price tag

Which came first, the chicken or the egg? The egg, obviously, because Pawn Stars' Rick Harrison once bought a fossilized egg for almost $3,000, and he has yet to buy a fossilized chicken.

In late July 2020, a seller, Diana, walked into the Gold & Silver Pawn Shop with an egg bigger than her head. According to Diana, the egg belonged to an Elephant Bird — a species of giant, flightless bird from Madagascar that went extinct around the 17th century.

Even though the egg on Pawn Stars looked complete, it was actually Frankensteined together from different egg fragments, which was good news since according to Pawn Stars' trivia, whole Elephant Bird eggs are the legal property of Madagascar's government. Harrison didn't know how to evaluate the fossil, so he called a paleontologist friend who confirmed that Elephant Bird eggs are rare — and usually porcelain counterfeits. A cursory glance with a special lens confirmed its authenticity, but he had some other news.

According to Harrison's friend, many of the egg's fragments were ground down to fit shapes they weren't supposed to, which negatively affected the item's value. He appraised the egg at $5,900 — Diana and Harrison haggled and settled on $2,800.