You know when you find a dollar coin in the pocket of that old jacket you started wearing again because retro threads became cool? This is that times a million. 1.7 million, to be exact.
The gist of it is that two handwritten notes from Albert Einstein have been found after 95 years in hiding, and will be up for sale in an upcoming auction in Jerusalem.
But these aren’t just any notes. To understand the context, we’ll have to go back to 1922.
German-born physicist Albert Einstein has already gained fame for his theory of special and general relativity; in fact, he has just been told he will be awarded the Nobel prize for physics.
He travels to Japan for a lecture tour and stays at the Imperial Hotel in Tokyo. While he’s at the hotel, a courier delivers him a message.
Here, the details are a little hazy, but the most supported theories are that either the courier refused to receive a tip – as is the local custom – or Einstein had no loose change on him.
Either way, according to the seller (who is a relative of the courier) Einstein gave the courier two notes written in German instead of the tip.
The notes contained what Einstein believed to be the secret to finding happiness.
The first reads “a quiet and modest life brings more joy than a pursuit of success with constant unrest”.
The second simply says: “Where there’s a will, there’s a way.”
Food for thought, indeed.
As he handed them to the courier, he said: “Maybe if you’re lucky, those notes will become much more valuable than just a regular tip.”
Well, those words became truer than the courier could have ever imagined. Because after 95 long years in hiding, the notes have finally resurfaced and successfully sold for $1.7 million to a private buyer at Winner’s auction house in Jerusalem on Wednesday, October 25.
Reports say the notes started at a price of $2,570 and reached the final seven-figure total after a 25-minute bidding war.
While the notes do not hold any scientific significance, there’s no doubt they hold value in their age, the hand that penned them and the timing of the notes.
The latter of those three points cannot be understated: this offers unprecedented insight into the musings of one of the greatest minds in history at an important moment in his life.
If you can’t afford any costly Einstein artefacts, just check the pockets of your oldest coat – you never know what you’ll find.