Man who bought old photo for $2 discovers its true multi-million value

  • Randy Guijarro bought an old photo for $2 from an antiques store in California
  • Little did he realize that the old photo featured a rarely-pictured folklore legend – Billy the Kid
  • After years of hard work trying to prove the photo’s authenticity, Kagin’s auction house was able to authenticate the piece – and it’s insured for millions

Published on Dec 23, 2023 at 2:27 PM (UTC+4)
by Adam Gray

Last updated on Jan 09, 2024 at 1:25 PM (UTC+4)
Edited by Adam Gray

Man who bought old photo for $2 discovers its true multi-million value

An old photo discovered in an antiques store was sold for a measly $2.

Randy Guijarro actually bought three old photos from the collectables store in Fresno County, California.

However, little did he realize that one of the photos featured a rarely-pictured folklore legend and was worth millions.

READ MORE! Sunken ship discovered with estimated $20bn worth of treasure on board

It reminds us of the time a woman bought a super-rare painting for $4, only to discover it was worth a massive six figures.

Then there was the extremely rare vintage Rolex that was found in a drawer that, when restored, was worth a whopping six figures.

“I really just liked the looks of [it]. It’s 4 x 5 inches, it’s a tintype, and it’s a country scene,” Guijarro told National Geographic.

But, upon closer inspection, Guijarro realized one of the photos was of infamous outlaw, Billy the Kid, along with four of his gang members, and his girlfriend.

“It’s not till [I] put it under a magnifying glass [that I thought], ‘Oh my, what have we got going on here?'”

Guijarro and his wife Linda spent several years researching and trying to find evidence to prove the photo’s authenticity.

“It took us a year [of] initial research, reading up and getting up to speed. Linda and I became authenticators and historians by default,” he said.

“We spent the next four years solid going at this, traveling throughout the Southwest, calling people, going to Western shows, talking to experts.

“A lot of people dismissed it out of hand because it’s too unbelievable.”

However, the couple’s hard work paid off when auction house, Kagin’s, was able to authenticate the piece.

In a rare turn of events, the couple somehow had managed to get hold of one of only two known photos of the gunfighter.

The auction house insured the rare photo for $5 million.

However, there are some experts who aren’t convinced the photo is really of Billy the Kid.

“There are a few of these so-called experts, and I’ve actually talked to them. I said, you’ve asked me to do these things, [I] went out and did them,” Guijarro said

“I lay out physical proof, I get nothing back. So, I don’t even like to give credence to their names anymore. They’re going to become people that will have just faded off into history.”

There’s only one authentic photo of Billy the Kid – real name, Henry McCarty.

Back in 2011, businessman William Koch bought the prized photo for $2.3 million at an auction in Denver.

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Adam Gray

Adam Gray is an experienced motoring journalist and content creator based in the United Kingdom. Using his media accreditation with manufacturers’ press offices, Adam test drives the latest cars and attends new vehicle press launches, producing written reviews and news pieces for Before joining the Supercar Blondie team, Adam was Motoring Editor for Portfolio North magazine, North East Motoring Editor at Reach plc, and provided motoring content on a freelance basis to several lifestyle and business publications in the North of England. When he’s not behind the wheel of the latest car, Adam can be found at his local rink playing ice hockey or supporting his beloved Middlesbrough FC.