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The Nearly 100-Year-Old Levi's Jeans That Fetched Over $1K On American Pickers

For the person who likes road trips, treasure hunts, and history, the perfect show is History's "American Pickers." Since 2010, the show's hosts, Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and now in Season 23, Robbie Wolfe, have been scouring houses, sheds, garages, and overgrown grass to find pieces of America's past. What some might consider to be the middle of nowhere, these pickers think is the center of everything.

Over the years, fans have seen their fair share of signs, knick-knacks, and vehicles on the show, but every once in a while, the history lessons and the gold mine finds get a little bit more niche and a lot more exciting. Some of the rarer finds wind up being more sentimental than valuable, but nevertheless, the show's hosts always seem excited to uncover and salvage a part of the past. In Season 17, a niche find wasn't necessarily sentimental to the pickers, but the value certainly shocked viewers and the owners of the items.

Mike and Frank find a Levi's gold mine hidden in an Oregon shed

In an episode of "American Pickers" in which Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz are exploring an Eastern Oregon ranch, they enter an old tool shed that has six pairs of old Levi's jeans in it that once belonged to ranch hands. Intrigued, Mike calls denim expert, Matt Eddmenson, to get some information on the find. Matt confirms they're something special, with years ranging from the 1930s to the 1960s. He shows particular interest in the 1930s pair. This pair alone in mint condition could go for up to $2500. However, Matt goes over a few details that lower the pair's value, including aspects like a missing buckle and pocket on the back and the size of the jeans.

Matt's knowledge of jeans is extensive, and as someone so involved in the industry, he admires vintage Levi's greatly as he mentions in an interview with Esquire, "I'm old school when it comes to fabric, so I really do look to brands like Levi's to see why a pair of their jeans from the nineteen-fifties is still wearable today." So ultimately, while the jeans Mike and Frank found in Eastern Oregon may not be in mint condition, they're still well-built pieces of denim.

After some friendly bartering, Frank and the ranch owners agree on $500 for the pair of 1930s Levi's and $175 per pair for the other five pairs. Bringing the total to $1375 for all six pairs of vintage Levi's. Watch the full clip from the episode on YouTube.