For 50 years, its whereabouts were unknown until a man in California began pondering its historical value.
Sure enough, an acoustic guitar that had been in his possession for years was worth a fortune thanks to its famous owner.
John Lennon is thought to have recorded and written a number of Beatles hits, including Love Me Do and I Want to Hold Your Hand, on the Gibson J-160E.
It was one of two shipped to Britain from the US in the 1960s for Lennon and George Harrison.
Lennon used the guitar for about a year before swapping it with Harrison in 1963, after which it vanished, according to BBC News.
On Saturday, it found a new owner in an anonymous buyer who paid US$2.4 million at auction.
The guitar had been unaccounted for until a man in California found last year that an instrument in his trove may be something of value.
John McCaw from San Diego bought the guitar for US$275 in the late 1960s, according to AP.
Last year, he found an old magazine article about Harrison, which featured a photo of the instrument.
The guitar was then looked at by Beatles instruments expert Andy Babiuk, who was able to identify it by its unique markings as the one Lennon used.
He compared it with photographs and film footage of Lennon playing it.
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