The scrap metal dealer found one of the 8 missing Faberge eggs in a Midwest flea market.
A London antique dealer said Wednesday that that the scrap metal entrepreneur bought the egg for about $14,000, thinking he could make a small profit by reselling the piece for its gold content.
It turned out the jewel-encrusted piece was worth millions.
Kieran McCarthy of Wartski, which specializes in Russian artifacts, said the scrap metal dealer began to suspect he was holding a rare piece after seeing an article online about an imperial Faberge Easter egg made for Russian royalty. The dealer contacted McCarthy, who verified the egg as genuine and negotiated its sale to a collector.
“The second I saw it, my spine was shivering,” said McCarthy, calling the piece a “Holy Grail” for collectors.