A very rare pressing stamper -- the metal disc used to press copies of vinyl records -- for the A-side of the original Beatles 7" vinyl release of 'Twist & Shout' has sold for $3,499 during an eBay auction. The stamper, which comes in its original shipping envelope bearing the name of the manufacturer, AFM Engineering, is dated Feb. 25, 1964 -- less than one week before the single's March 2, 1964, release.

'Twist & Shout' was issued by Tollie in America (with the B-side 'There's a Place') and many of the stampers, mothers (the first metal pressing of the record) and masters (the original lacquer pressing) needed to make the vinyl product no longer exist. "Tollie was a subsidiary of Vee Jay Records and most stampers, mothers and masters used for the manufacture of Beatles records by this company were destroyed or sold off to private investors when Vee Jay was entangled in their famous lawsuit with Capitol Records in the 1960s," explains the eBay post.

That obviously means this stamper is very rare -- which explains the substantial final auction price. The listing goes on to say that "the stamper itself is in gorgeous condition," only adding to its value. At this point, original pressings of Beatles vinyl records are themselves very rare, so it only makes sense that the actual discs used to produce them are even harder to find. So while dropping $3,500 may seem like a lot for a metal disc that you can't actually play -- it is, after all, the negative metal cast of the final record's grooves -- it's a one-of-a-kind item.

Or, as the eBay listing says, "This is your opportunity to possess a piece of Beatles recording history. Extremely rare and obviously very collectible especially to any serious Beatles collector."