Warwick agreed that it would be better if the tambourine came with an original letter of provenance and were from someone closer to the Purple One than a random crew member, but it was still pretty good.
Better still was the signature. It was signed “Love God,” which was how Prince signed in the ’80s. (Man, Prince was so cool.) In the late ’80s, he would add the year, which meant the way this tambourine was signed — without the year — matched how Prince signed in 1985. And it was a plain wood tambourine that had been spray-painted purple, which is how the tambourines were on the “Purple Rain” tour. So by the Rock Collector’s estimation, this tambourine was authentic. He estimated that at auction, the tambourine could go for up to $10,000, and the value of Prince memorabilia is only going up.
Then, Rick’s autograph expert Steve Grad came into the shop to verify the signature. Steve said that authentic Prince autographs are actually pretty rare, so he needed to inspect the signature very closely. And when he looked at it magnified, he saw that the ink was purple. It was real, baby! He also valued the item at around $10,000.
So Justin wasn’t going to get $50,000, and he didn’t even want to go below $10,000. Rick offered him $6,000, but since Justin found that unsatisfactory, the deal fell apart. “Apparently I am not going to be partying like it’s 1999,” Rick quipped.