So where has it been all this time? I seriously doubt that this is the original. After reading about the guy that scammed a lot of people building fake "original" communicators, even with "letters of authenticity" this smells of something similar. The pictures shown don't look like a 45+ year old prop, it looks fairly new.
The article says it's been kept in storage in its case since after the pilot, which is why it was never reused. So it would still be in pretty good condition. But the close-up photos show that it still has a lot of scratches, probably from shooting.
I was initially quite skeptical of this find for the same reasons as MarsWeeps
, but after doing some reading around, amazingly, those very scratches helped authenticate it. They match damage visible on the prop in promotional photos with Shatner from all the way back in the '60s.