Expensive Things that are Worthless Today.

expensive things that are worthless

It’s funny how time changes and along with it changes the demands of people and their choices.

Today we’re eyeing for one thing and the very next day our preference changes. It’s human nature that we want better, more equipped things than what someone else has. Or maybe even what we had before.

It’s not a bad thing to dwell on luxury, if you have the money, of course. But sometimes buying something actually means investing your hard-earned money into something valuable. And it’s very important to know the value of something before-hand.

Because sometimes we get so infatuated by something, we have to have it at any cost. And without knowing we purchase it.

Sometimes we’re in luck because the things we purchase, no matter how expensive or cheap, has a lot more value once they get older and rare.

But many a time, we’re stuck with things that have no resale value and are completely worthless.

Similarly, there are so many things that were so cheap in the past everyone, had them. But as time changed their value skyrocketed and today, they’re so expensive only a few can afford. For example, paintings, vintage cars, houses, jewelry, etc.

However, there are things in the past that were so expensive and worth thousands to millions of dollars, that only the rich and famous could afford.

But today, their value has gone down so low, not even the underprivileged want it.

Here are 10 things that were so expensive in the past but are completely worthless today.


One major thing that started discoveries of lands all over the world is spices. It is a very important ingredient that led to wars as well as unification.

Spices were considered a magical product in ancient times, so rare and valuable, that people went to war for it.

The Egyptians used it for mummifications, while the Koreans, Indians, and Chinese used spices for creating medicines.

Spices were the primary reason the trade business started in western countries. Europeans were introduced to nutmeg in the 6th century while the whole of Asia and Africa was already equipped with its benefits.

Spices became the most expensive as well as the most demanded product in the whole of Europe, especially by the royals.

Thus, in order for easier trading, people ended up conquering lands far and wide.

Today, however, the scenario is different. The trading of herbs and spices have become so much easier and with better techniques and technology, spices are available everywhere.

Hence, the most expensive and demanded product of the past is now so cheap and easily available that it’s somewhat worthless (not in the kitchen).

Electronic Devices.

The greatest inventions of human beings are electronic devices. Televisions, radios, cassette players, mobile phones, you name it.

With the discovery of electromagnetic waves and the invention of radios, scientists were more curious than ever.

And with time, technology improved. And with better technology inventions of better electronic devices skyrocketed.

When people first started manufacturing TVs or phones, they were so expensive that not everyone could afford them.

It was a matter of class and riches to afford one of those prestigious color televisions or a camera phone.

But today, honestly, except for moms who even watches TVs right? Electronic devices have become so common everyone has them.

Thus, making the greatest invention of human beings common and cheap.

iPods and MP3 Players.

MP3 players were such a lifesaver once upon a time, especially to the ones who hated public interactions. But they were very expensive.

And when the late Steve Jobs dropped Apple iPods, the world went crazy, well, sort of.

Our playlists were always up to date and those who used it had the perfect partner to accompany them for our lonely walks.

But today, iPods and MP3 players are basically vintage pieces that nobody really uses.

Vehicles or Furniture.

The ultimate way to describe status in the past was if you owned a vehicle or have your house filled with expensive furniture pieces.

Cars were luxury items that only rich and royals could afford. And expensive furniture were statement pieces for your house.

But today, with newer models of vehicles and newer designs of furniture coming in every day, the ones you have at home that you’ve paid a lot doesn’t seem to have much value.

Cars are still a luxury item and not everyone can afford them, but the number of car owners has significantly increased.

While vintage cars and furniture are still expensive and only people that have a keen interest in collecting these have them, a normal piece of furniture or a simple vehicle is not something you have to spend a fortune on.


The ancient people, the early humans to be exact didn’t really have to put on any clothes because morality did not exist then.

But as the humans started evolving so did the way of living and their morals. People started eating cooked food and also started wearing clothes to hide their bodies.

But again, good quality fabric and dyes were not easily available and were meant only for the rich people.

While colors were highly used in fabrics one particular dye wasn’t commonly used and that was the color purple.

Purple dye was very expensive and rare because extracting the color was a hard and time-consuming task. It was extracted from a very specific type of sea snail and from 10000 snails only 1g of purple dye was extracted.

But today the ever so expensive color purple is easily available and used in a lot of things making it the color anyone can rock not just the royals.

Old Currencies.

Money is always valuable, whether it’s now or then. When money wasn’t invented people used different methods to buy and sell goods.

But with the invention of cash, it was easier for everyone to trade. But the value of money was so much higher in the past than what it is today.

With what we now consider a very little amount of money, people could buy a lot more than what we get today.

Something that was worth a few pennies is now sold for dollars. And in some places, they don’t even have the currencies they once used.


Crystal was and still is one of the most beautiful creations of nature. Since the beginning of humanity, there are records of people using crystals.

Their magical healing powers are one of the reasons why crystals were so popular and at the same time very expensive.

People used crystals for various reasons like religious, fashion, industrial uses, but most importantly for its healing powers.

Once a rare element, crystals were hard to find and quite expensive to purchase. But today, with the help of modern science and technology crystals aren’t that hard to produce, hence, losing its values.


Chocolates are the love of many people’s lives from ancient times till this day.

People in the past were making chocolate drinks and gulping it away ever since they knew what to do with the weird looking fruit that produced chocolates.

European weren’t acquainted with cacao beans until Christopher Columbus went on a voyage to discover new lands.

People, especially the royals consumed chocolate as a beverage and it was expensive for normal people to purchase.

But today chocolate is available everywhere and consumed by everyone. Though some types of chocolate are still expensive and are considered luxurious, chocolate, in general, isn’t that expensive anymore.

However, cocoa trees that produce chocolates are gradually decreasing from the planet which means chocolates are disappearing.


It might come somewhat as a surprise, however, it’s not that hard to imagine that needles were a big hit in the ancient times.

Everyone, especially women were very much into sewing clothes and making arts with them. But the problem was people used to handmake these tiny objects and the production was lesser than what a machine would produce today.

Needles were special, exotic, and rare objects that people used to pass around as gifts. And people who got them actually appreciated it.

We’d want to stab the person that gifts us needles these days with the same needle, don’t we?

As the machines developed, more needles started manufacturing. And as more needles were manufactured, the needles were no more a rare object.

Hence, today, an object that was so well admired and had a great value is totally worthless.


The history of aluminum dates back centuries ago. 5th century BCE to be exact was when the first uses of aluminum were first mentioned.

The people in ancient times used aluminum (alum in ancient times) for a number of different things like city defense or as dyeing mordant. However, none of them knew the nature of alum.

After the successful attempt of producing aluminum metals in 1824, aluminum became widely popular and not so rare and expensive object.

Today, aluminum is mostly used in construction, transportation, packaging, and engineering.

About the author


Talks to self, more than others. Watches "the Office" all night and quotes Michael Scott all day.
"I am Beyoncé, always."