In June 16 Issue
Last week's appearance of Treasure Hunters Roadshow proved profitable for some in Russell County and a lesson in collectibles for others.
The traveling gold, silver and collectables and antique purchasers were in town last week through Saturday, having set up shop at the Russell County Auditorium/Natatorium.
"We've had a great turnout so far this week," said Josh Cunningham with the Roadshow on Friday, "We've not had any spectacular finds, but we've been able to make a lot of offers for gold and silver and we've had a lot of takers."
While the main emphasis for the company seemed to revolve around the purchase of gold and silver, they advertise to buy much more. "Old coins before 1964, we've bought a slew of them this week," said Cunningham, "We were also able to purchase a vintage guitar."
Everyone dreams of having a stored away treasure of value that's not been determined; an old painting, vintage toy or rare coins that will make us instantly rich. It's the same dream that keeps lottery tickets selling. Sure, we know the odds are long, but there's always a chance.
It's that dream that gets you in the door to the Treasure Hunters Roadshow. And while your "finds" may be worth no more than the value of the precious metal itself, others came away satisfied from their experience last week.
"We did some trading," said Larry Gosser of Russell Springs, "some old coins I've had around for years. I'm well pleased, I was offered more than I've been offered anywhere else over the years."
In dealing with potentially valuable items, it is always best to have an understanding of the market and to have reasonable expectations of what you can get for the items.
For many who saw the advertisements the $4,400 for a standing liberty quarter was seen, but missed was the words before the dollar amount, "up to."
Coin collecting is like any other collectible hobby, in that a number of issues determine the coins value; and chief among them is rarity. That buffalo nickel you have might be worth little more than a nickel, or as one hopeful found out, a wheat penny might be worth two cents, but a three legged buffalo nickel, caused by a miss-stamp could be worth a $1,000, or more.
Gosser was pleased with the knowledge of the Roadshow employees, "They know their stuff. I'd recommend them," said Gosser, "I had this one item that I had never been able to find out exactly what it was."
Items sought by collectors can bring good money, and the Roadshow folks are in constant contact with collectors around the world, as was witnessed when following one customer's appraisal.
The customer, who asked to not be identified, was bringing in a couple of dozen old coins; mercury dimes, liberty "V" nickels, wheat pennies among them. As she sat down with trained expert Tim McCall he took the time first to explain a few things about coins; mainly what goes in to making them worth more than the value on the face of the coin: condition, rarity, errors and current market desirability chief among them. The offers advertised are "premium" offers for mint condition desirable coins.
A dozen potential sellers sat quietly waiting their turn as the three buyers, not appraisers, waited on them one at a time. "We don't do appraisals," said Cunningham, "We evaluate the items and make an offer. There's no obligation." Cunningham said that they're often confused with shows like the very popular PBS show Antiques Roadshow, "People actually pay for appraisals for insurance values but we just evaluate and make an offer based on collectors needs or on the amount of gold or silver in the items."
Non collectable items are done with "spot pricing," with the understanding, for example, that 10 carat gold contains 41 percent gold, 14 carat gold contains 58 percent gold or 18 carat gold contains 75 percent gold. Silver evaluation is done similarly while diamonds are evaluated on qualities such as size, weight, clarity, etc.
Many in attendance carried coins, while others had boxes of items to be looked at.
With a computer at their fingertips and the eyes of collectors everywhere keeping watch on what is available, the evaluators may look through such things as watches, train sets, tiffany lamps and vases, swords or guitars, sports and civil war memorabilia, comics, dolls and toys along with the gold, silver and diamonds.
No one came away rich from this visit of the Treasure Hunters Roadshow, and they say they did not happen across any spectacular finds this time, but those who came away satisfied were those that went in with realistic expectations.
This may not be their last trip in to Russell County, as they are constantly on the go. So dig into your attics and cellars and pull out that antique sewing machine or those old baseball cards you've forgotten about, and while you may not come away rich, you'll come away richer than you were.