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Roadshow offers Auburnites selling potential

Getting multiple opinions on value important, jewelry general manager says
By: Bridget Jones, Journal Staff Writer
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With an Illinois-based company giving local residents a chance to sell old treasures, an Auburn jeweler said sellers should educate themselves about their items. The Treasure Hunters Roadshow was at The Ridge Golf Course Wednesday and is scheduled for another event Saturday. James Edwards, show manager, said residents can bring a variety of items in, get an evaluation of the value of those items and, if there is a market for them, the company will offer to buy them. Edwards said the company doesn’t only buy jewelry, but has also purchased things like old toys, lamps, guitars, historical documents and more. Auburn resident Dale Smith attended the show Wednesday, bringing with him some old American, Mexican and European coins that he gathered during his time as a correspondent for ABC and while he was doing missionary work around the world. He also brought some old class rings and dental gold. “I have a few old coins and other things I had just sitting around in my dresser drawer, and I would just like to see what they are worth and convert it into cash,” Smith said. Smith said it was the first time he had had the coins appraised and he liked that the company wasn’t just about evaluating gold and silver. The dental gold started when Smith was a sophomore in high school and played football. Because helmets were leather, he had his front teeth kicked out during a game. He said his father wouldn’t let him play football after that. Smith received a check for more than $800 for some of the items. Auburn resident Barbara Carter brought in her father-in-law’s Hohner accordion that had St. Louis 1904 Highest Medal stamped on it. Carter said after her father-in-law and husband died she was left with the accordion and didn’t know the story behind it or how much it was worth. “I really had no idea where to take it to get an idea,” Carter said. “And then this thing came along and I thought, ‘Well, let’s try it.’” Carter joked that she was hoping for $5,000 for the accordion. Lake of the Pines residents Colin and Dianne McDonald said they brought several items to the roadshow, including an old Japanese rifle, Japanese carvings and a Japanese flag with signatures from World War II. Dianne McDonald’s family collected the items while her dad was in the military and stationed in the country in the early 1950s. While the McDonalds were going to have the company look further into the value of the Japanese items, they sold some of their jewelry for more than $200. “It’s basically white gold and stuff we have had laying around for eons,” Colin McDonald said. Dianne McDonald said the couple is looking to scale down the number of items in their house. “We have a lot of stuff to sell, a lot of collectibles,” she said. Peggy Seitzinger, general manager of Roper’s Jewelers, said she doesn’t want to put down the roadshow, but said she has advice for people selling their possessions. “Whether you are talking about a show like that or selling items in general, the first rule we say is to trust whoever you are selling to,” Seitzinger said. “That means doing research, whether it’s word of mouth or whether it’s online, or preferably meeting someone face to face.” Seitzinger said when customers come into their stores, employees always tell them to get more than one opinion about the value of their jewelry. “One of the things we have experienced through our customers before is when they go to something that is ‘today only’ or ‘two days only,’ someone that comes into town and is going to leave again, it doesn’t afford them a lot of opportunity for that comparison shopping,” she said. Another issue that sometimes comes into play at similar types of shows is that pieces that carry different values, such as different karats of gold, are sometimes put together in one lump price. She said having a breakdown of values for different items is one way to insure accuracy. Edwards said he has a response for people concerned about possibly not getting the fairest price at the roadshow. “Usually I tell people, ‘You are more than welcome to get an appraisal on something, and you are never obligated to sell,’” he said. Reach Bridget Jones at bridgetj@goldcountrymedia.com ------------------------------------------------------- Treasure Hunters Roadshow When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday Where: The Ridge Golf Course, 2020 Gold Course Road, Auburn Entry cost: free Information: Visit treasurehuntersroadshow.com