While they try their best to project the air of invincibility, without checking with their experts occasionally makes them losers.
In “That Sinking Feeling” the featured items of the night were a medal ostensibly made by German craftsmen during World War I to commemorate the sinking of the RMS Lusitania, an antique voltmeter to test auto battery power, a Charles Lindbergh autobiography thought to be autographed by the flier and hero and a Dutch balance scale from the 17th century.
The seller of the Lusitania medal was chagrined to discover that it was a copy made by the British after a simple test using a magnet. He walked away after being offered $100 by Rick.
The voltmeter was in working order and an original made in Germany but as Big Hoss noted, no one will use it and it has little decorative value. The buyer refused the shop’s offer of $500, looking for no less than $1,200.
The Dutch scale required the eyes of an a museum authenticator and he confirmed the date on it, 1662 was real, but some of the parts had been replaced and Rick claimed that finding a buyer would be difficult.
Nonetheless, Rick offered $2,500 to a buyer looking for $4,000 and made the deal on the spot.
The Lindbergh autographed book was purchased for $500 by Chumlee without authentication, based on his memory of other Lindbergh memorabilia that the shop marked up for a healthy profit. He was roundly criticized by all the Harrisons.
Rick told him that if he paid $500 for a fake he’d have to take a few days without pay as punishment.
They considered it that bad, so they sent him to their regular appraiser Rebecca who Chumlee is clearly sweet on.
She made his day and his paycheck that week when she told him it was worth three times what he paid.
Instead of congratulations and a pat on the back, he was ridiculed by the guys.
He got lucky, with his success not based on his expertise. Chumlee didn’t even know Lindbergh’s real first name, so trying to say he knew what he was doing was over the top in their opinion.
Back Chumlee goes to see Rebecca with a box of Godiva chocolates as a thank you gift. He told her, “You saved my job.”
The scene was awkward with Rebecca standing more than arm’s length away from Chumlee as he tried not to gush. Calling her the “smartest person I know,” Chumlee left a happy man.
In the next episode “Pin It To Win It” it is Rick who falls into the same trap as Chumlee.
The Old Man and Big Hoss needle him to get some appraisal help for a rifle that dates to the 16th century. Rick is stubborn and is scrambling to find any scrap of information to justify him purchasing it for $500.
Despite Rick’s study and vast knowledge base he had never seen a rifle with the type of firing mechanism on the gun and he knew it was old.
Big Hoss wondered if they should wait, but Rick took the plunge, after remembering he’d made a sweet profit on another item the seller had brought to them.
Oops, Jemison the antique gun expert made Rick happy by identifying the piece as mid-1700’s rifle used in Africa but the poor condition of the gun lowered its value to a maximum of $400-$500. Rick took the walk of shame back to the office.
Even Chumlee got in some digs at Rick squandering the shop’s money.
Rick resorted to the tried and true retort that at least it was “his” money since he co-owns the business. He has decided to hang the gun on his own wall, after taking the verbal abuse he knew would come.