There’s no doubt that “American Pickers” star Mike Wolfe loves to collect relics of the past. From motorcycles to amusement park clowns to vacation rentals, Wolfe spares no expense when it comes to collecting items he finds unique.
Since 2010, viewers of “American Pickers” have come along as Wolfe gets his gold mine finds. For instance, Wolfe won big when he found a pair of coveted Levi’s Jeans in Season 17, per Looper. However, they were far from your typical pair of trousers.
During the episode, Wolfe and Frank Fritz, who is sadly no longer in the show, find themselves at an Eastern Oregon ranch. Viewers see them as they enter an old tool shed. Once inside, they locate six pairs of old Levi’s jeans that once belonged to ranch hands. The jeans were all from various decades, as early as the ’30s until the ’60s.
Interested, Mike Wolfe calls up his denim expert (yes, it’s apparently a thing) and asks him to get some information on the jeans. As we find out, the pant pundit, Matt Eddmenson, said that the jeans aren’t your everyday Levis. But, according to the expert, one 1930s pair could be highly lucrative. This pair alone in mint condition could go for up to $2500.
Mike Wolfe refers to his ‘Levi’s expert’
However, the expert points out a few details that lower the jean’s value, including flaws like a missing buckle and pocket on the back and the size of the jeans.
According to an Esquire interview with Eddmenson, his knowledge of denim is extensive. As a longtime member of the industry, he also has a deep appreciation for vintage Levi’s.
“I’m old school when it comes to fabric,” he said. “So I really do look to brands like Levi’s to see why a pair of their jeans from the nineteen-fifties is still wearable today.”
Although the jeans found by Mike Wolfe and Frank Fritz in a shed may not be in mint condition, Eddmenson says they’re still highly-valuable pieces of denim.
As the episode played out, Wolfe and Fritze became the proud owners of the jeans, after some friendly bartering, of course. They agree on $500 for the pair of 1930s Levi’s and $175 per pair for the other five pairs. In the end, their total came to $1375 for all six pairs of vintage Levi’s.
Although the show looks different with Fritz out of the picture, the Pickers are still trekking across America in hopes of finding the next unique piece. In August, they’ll be hitting the Big Apple to film new episodes of the hit History Channel show, according to a press release.
As it turns out, the cast hasn’t been back to New York since 2019. We last saw them in New York during Season 21, when Mike Wolfe and Danielle Colby Cushman met with a local tattoo artist with an extensive selection of high-end art.