Next time you buy yourself something special – or receive it as a gift! – do NOT tear into the packaging to get to the present. Carefully open the box or container. Delicately remove the gift, without tearing or ripping the insides of the box. And save all the paperwork, including receipts and warranty paperwork. A veteran featured recently on Antiques Roadshow in a show taped in North Dakota did all that and it paid off with potentially a $700,000 windfall.

While in the Air Force stationed in Thailand, the veteran named David bought himself a 1971 Oyster Cosmograph waterproof Rolex for $345, including a 10 percent military discount. He had noticed pilots wearing Rolex watches and, after wanting one for several years, splurged about a month’s pay to buy it. But once he received the watch in April 1974, he decided it was too nice to wear, and certainly too nice to get wet. It spent decades in a safety deposit box, taken out only a couple of times to be viewed. And then he brought it in to be seen by Roadshow experts.

Because the watch was never worn, still had the silver foil label on its back, had all the original paperwork, including an unfilled out warranty, and was a rare “Oyster” watch, the value of the watch rose from about $400,000 for just the watch, to between $500,000 and $700,000.

On camera, the man theatrically fell to the ground in shock. We at Kovels would not be as shocked. We know that original packaging and pristine condition always add significant value to collectibles. For more tips on buying and selling, go to /how-to-buy-or-sell.