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A Gown, A Penny, And An iPhone

February 27, 2023

It has been a busy month for me with the new addition to our family and the Palm Beach show. As a result, I’ve had a tough time finding time for my contribution to the weekly blog posts. Nonetheless, I recently came across some interesting auction results that I should briefly cover; better late than never.

Princess Diana’s Gown

purple strapless gown with sweetheart neckline - A Gown, A Penny, And An iPhone

Diana’s Gown

A deep-purple velvet gown belonging to Princess Diana sold at auction for more than five times the estimate. British dressmaker Victor Edelstein designed the gown for his Autumn 1989 collection. Edelstein was one of Princess Diana’s long-time fashion collaborators who created some of her most iconic dresses, including the famous “Travolta dress” she wore while dancing with John Travolta at the White House in 1985. The gown that just sold far exceeded the estimate of $80 – 120K when bidding reached $480K ($604K w/p).

1958 Lincoln double die penny - A Gown, A Penny, And An iPhone

1958 Lincoln Penny

A Double Die Lincoln Penny

A penny might not buy much these days, but one particular penny recently sold for quite a lot. Numismatist and sculptor Stewart Blay put up his collection of Lincoln cents for auction shortly before he passed away. His collection consisted of 276 mint-condition Lincoln pennies dating back to 1906. One of the pennies (from 1958) was known as a “double die,” which occurs when the coin is struck twice by the die, creating a slightly blurred or doubled image. This type of error is rare and highly sought after by collectors, which can drive up the coin’s price significantly. Bidding for the 1958 penny started at just $1, and 18 bidders vied for the rare coin. The penny received 117 bids, and when the lot finally closed, the winner paid $1.01M ($1.136M w/p), enabling them to complete their collection.

The First-Generation iPhone

first generation iPhone in the original box - A Gown, A Penny, And An iPhone

First-Generation iPhone

Apple released the first-generation iPhone on June 29, 2007. It was a revolutionary device that combined a mobile phone, music player, and internet browser into a single device, and it quickly became a cultural icon. One lucky woman received the iPhone as a gift from friends and chose never to open it.  Still in its original packaging with the factory seal intact, the cell phone sold for more than 100 times the original price. It was expected to sell for more than $50,000 and bidding opened at just $2,500. Receiving just 27 bids, the device finally sold for $63.4K – not too bad considering the phone originally sold for $599 – a hefty price tag for 2007!