Airports are entitled to sell off unclaimed baggage, but many instead wholesale it to a one-of-a-kind shop, the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Scottsboro, Ala. Workers there once found an emerald that was almost 41 carats!
Items on sale include clothes, jewelry, fine art, electronics, books, sporting goods, video games and even rugs. Some fascinating unclaimed items they've had over the years include a full suit of armor, special camera designed for NASA’s Space Shuttle (government property—it had to be returned), a 5.8-carat diamond ring (seems small next to the emerald!), guidance system for an F-16 fighter jet valued at a quarter of a million dollars (again, government property that was returned).
One shopper bought her little girl a Barbie doll at the store. The girl pulled the head off and would have gotten a time-out that day, but $500 cash was rolled up inside so she probably got a reprieve.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|