Celebrities are known for their expensive and unique taste in things, which is why items related to them usually sell for pretty large sums of money. Sometimes, however, these items include downright bizarre stuff you had no idea there was a market for, ranging from used tissues to broken nails, to even kidney stones belonging to famous actors.
10. Lady Gaga’s Fingernail
Lady Gaga’s famous black nail, also sometimes called the ‘monster claw’ by her fans, was sold at a 2013 auction for around $12,000. The fashion accessory, made with gold glitter and beads, first surfaced at the launch of Gaga’s fragrance line called Fame, and is said to have been hand-painted by her personal manicurist and nail artist, Aya Fukuda.
According to the listing, the acrylic nail had gone missing during one of her concerts, which was eventually recovered by a crew member during one of her later concerts. Apart from that, the unknown recipient also received a photograph of the singer with the missing nail at the same concert.
9. Justin Bieber’s Boa Constrictor
In 2011, Justin Bieber showed up at the MTV Video Music Awards with an unusual accessory – a live baby albino boa constrictor apparently named Johnson. Unfortunately, Bieber’s affection for Johnson didn’t last a long time, as he was put up for a charity auction within a few months. According to the catalogue listing, ‘the snake will grow to nearly four feet long. Keeping a pet snake is a long-term responsibility’.
Johnson was eventually bought by one Michael Kronick, who got so disgusted by Bieber’s decision to use him as an accessory that he made a public statement against it. The python was then donated to the Reptile & Amphibian Discovery Zoo in Owatonna, Minnesota.
8. Justin Timberlake’s Unfinished Toast
In March 2000, Justin Timberlake, then a member of the popular boy band NSYNC, had breakfast at a New York-area radio station. After his meal, the DJ noticed that Timberlake had failed to finish his sandwich, and proceeded to do what any normal person would do with a half eaten sandwich – put it up on eBay for sale.
It turned out to be a wise decision, as the sale went through for the expected sum of money. The sandwich was bought by a 19-year-old from Wisconsin named Kathy Summers, who paid a surprising $1,025 for it. She also expressed her plans to preserve the toast by freeze-drying and sealing it, and then displaying it on her dresser. When the chef at the radio station asked why Timberlake didn’t finish his sandwich, he chose to stay silent on the subject, at least according to some first hand reports.
7. Britney Spears’s Pregnancy Test
In 2005, a pregnancy test kit purportedly used by Britney Spears was sold at an auction for $5,001. The radio station behind the sale claimed that the test had been retrieved from the hotel room where she stayed with her husband, Kevin Federline, though we haven’t been able to independently verify that.
The acquisition was first announced by the internet casino, GoldenPalace.com, claiming themselves to be the buyer. As with many of their previous purchases, the proceeds from the sale were designated for charity, namely towards two organizations called the Candlelighters Childhood Cancer Foundation and the Easter Seal Society, which supports children with physical disabilities.
6. William Shatner’s Kidney Stone
William Shatner, famous for his role as Captain Kirk in Star Trek, successfully sold his kidney stone in 2006. Like Spears’ pregnancy test, it was also purchased by the online casino, GoldenPalace.com, for $25,000, which was later donated to the housing charity, Habitat for Humanity. The casino initially offered $15,000 for the stone, but Shatner was successfully able to negotiate a higher price.
The kidney stone became a part of GoldenPalace.com’s collection of curiosities, which includes items like a potato shaped like Pete Townsend, and a toasted sandwich that looks like the Virgin Mary, or what we assume Virgin Mary looked like, anyway. In an interview, Shatner added that the stone might turn out to be a diamond if it was subjected to extreme heat, though there’s no reason to believe that he made this claim seriously.
5. iPhone Broken By Rihanna
During a Los Angeles Clippers NBA playoff game back in 2014, Rihanna accidentally dropped and cracked the phone belonging to Steve Soboroff – then the President of the Los Angeles Police Commission. According to reports from the ground, the incident happened while she was attempting to take a selfie with him.
Rihanna later tweeted an apology and donated $25,000 to a charity fund for police officers and their families. Soboroff decided to auction the cracked iPhone on eBay to further support the Los Angeles Police Foundation. The phone, which Rihanna had signed with a message expressing her support for the LAPD, quickly garnered popular attention, raising its price on eBay to about $56,000.
4. John Lennon’s Tooth
John Lennon’s tooth was sold for £19,000 – or about $31,200 at that time – at an auction in England in 2011. It had been in the family of one of his previous housekeepers, Dot Jarlett. While he had originally given it to her to destroy it, he later changed his mind and advised her to give it to her daughter, who happened to be a big fan of the Beatles.
While the tooth itself is now too weak to be DNA tested, the owner of the Omega Auction House expressed confidence in its authenticity. They had originally hoped to sell it for about $16,000, though it went for almost double the amount by the end of it. A Canadian dentist, Michael Zuk, claimed to be the buyer, though the auction house didn’t confirm that. According to Jarlett’s son, the tooth had been in his family’s possession for several decades.
3. Russell Crowe’s Jockstrap
In April 2018, it was revealed that the jockstrap worn by Russell Crowe in the film Cinderella Man was purchased by John Oliver’s HBO show, Last Week Tonight, for $7,000. Along with the jockstrap, the show also acquired other items worn by Crowe in various films, including a pair of shorts and robe from Cinderella Man, a hood from Robin Hood, and a vest from Les Miserables. He also announced that these items would be sent to the last remaining Blockbuster store in Alaska.
This decision was a part of one of the segments of the show that focussed on the decline of video rental stores and Blockbuster locations across the USA. Due to slower streaming services and higher costs in Alaska, video stores there are still able to remain open and sustain themselves.
2. Elvis Presley’s Hair
In October 2009, a lock of hair believed to have belonged to Elvis Presley was sold at an auction in Chicago for $18,300. It was claimed to be from the time he joined the U.S. Army in 1958, and was only one of the many Elvis belongings put on sale by Gary Pepper – the late president of the Tankers Fan Club.
The sale was confirmed by the Chicago-based firm called Leslie Hindman Auctioneers, when they posted the results of the auction on their website. According to them, the item far exceeded the range of $8,000 to $12,000 they were expecting. While they didn’t conduct any DNA testing to confirm its legitimacy, it was authenticated with other methods by one John Reznikoff – an expert in celebrity hair authentication. While we know that the sale was made, we’re still not sure about the true identity of the winning bidder.
1. Scarlett Johansson’s Used Tissue
In 2008, a tissue used by actress Scarlett Johansson was auctioned off on eBay for about $5,300. It was put up for sale by the TV network NBC after her appearance on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, where she had presumably used it.
The proceeds from the sale went to the food-gathering charity called USA Harvest. While the bidding started at a low $0.99, it quickly reached $4,050 just before the sale was made. The final price was determined after a total of 83 bids, and the buyer eventually chose to remain anonymous.