Nicolas Orbovich's violin was made in 1892 by Jerome Squier in Boston, the Chicago Tribune reported Monday.
"It's got this tremendous balance of different characteristics," said Orbovich, a violinist from Michigan City who plays with the South Bend Symphony Orchestra. "You don't want a violin that has too much 'brightness,' or what you might call stridence or tinniness. And you don't want it too mellow either. You don't want it too much either way."
The violin was stolen from his unlocked car Nov. 17 in a Wal-Mart parking lot. He got the antique violin back after somebody reportedly tried to pawn it.
Orbovich said bought the violin for $2,000 in 1985 while a student at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
"Back then, as a student, I didn't have a penny, and $2,000 might as well have been $2 million," he told the newspaper.