One Houston nonprofit store received quite the surprise in late December. While sifting through a box of donated clothes, The Guild Shop came across one of golf’s most prized collector’s items: an Augusta National green jacket.
Sometime in late December, a volunteer in the donations department at The Guild Shop came across the member’s jacket, which is apparently from the 1960s. Friday morning, just a few weeks later, the jacket was sold to a buyer in Lebanon, Pennsylvania.
“A car dealership saw it online this morning, called and made an offer on it,” said Gaye Jackson, executive director of the store. “So we sold it this morning.”
“Isn’t that fabulous for us? It’s wonderful; we are really, really thrilled.”
Per the policy of the store, Jackson is unable to reveal information about the buyer or donor, or how much the jacket was sold for, but in this case, they still needed to authenticate it before becoming a valid seller.
In addition to knowing the anonymous donor, The Guild Shop was able to authenticate the green jacket through discussions with Hamilton Tailoring Company, the brand which has been making the jackets exclusively since 1967, according to Augusta.com.
“The Green Jacket is an iconic sports thing,” said Jackson. “There are certain things that make a green jacket a green jacket. This had all of those.”
As of Thursday, Jackson was unsure how they would proceed with the jacket. The power of the Internet shone strongly as they now have what Jackson described as a “substantial amount…which will go a long way with helping our mission.”
That mission, as laid out on their website, is to serve the elderly in Houston. Sounds like a win-win, though the jacket could provide an even bigger win for the buyer.
According to Bob Zafian of GreenJacketAuctions, who has sold more a dozen green jackets, The Guild Shop could have left some money on the table. Zafian has talked with the buyer, and the buyer has indicated he might turn around and sell the jacket in the future.
“The whole story behind this jacket, of it being found at a thrift shop, that plays on people,” Zafian said.
“I think somebody could pay $50,000 for that jacket.”