While the Ohio Valley Gold and Silver Refinery and Roadshow was in Morris, they spent “a pretty good portion” of the $300,000 they set aside to purchase coins, collectibles and antiques from the Grundy County area.
As of midday Friday, Jan. 13, between 50 and 60 people had visited the show at the Quality Inn with items they were looking to sell. Field Manager Patty Jayne said they saw less people than normal Thursday because of the weather, but anticipated a total of 150 to 200 people by the end of the show at 4 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14.
“Typically, the last days are our busiest,” she said.
The show came to town Tuesday, Jan. 10, but will be heading out Saturday. Since Tuesday, Jayne and her buyer, Dustin Engelmann, mainly saw coin collections and jewelry.
“We had people bring in just a small handful of broken jewelry and walk away with $200 to $300,” she said. “That’s not bad for something that’s just sitting in their jewelry box that they can’t wear.”
Ohio Valley began its buying business in 1996, Jayne said. The company started as antique toy buyers, but has grown to much more since then. When Jayne began her time at Ohio Valley, there were less than 10 teams traveling and searching for items to buy. Now there are approximately 170 that travel all over the United States, Canada and Europe.
Jayne said gold and silver are definite paybacks, meaning if someone brings in genuine gold or silver, Jayne and Engelmann will definitely make an offer to purchase it from them because the market is high for gold and silver.
Making offers on antiques and collectibles is slightly different, however. Those offers depend on collector interest, what the item is and its condition.
“People overlook flatware,” Jayne said. “Old flatware could be sterling flatware. Bring those boxes in and let us take a look at it and verify that it is sterling or not.”
She said if they find sterling flatware, it is “weighed and paid.”
The most interesting item Jayne and Engelmann have somewhat encountered during their time in Morris were old world maps. The did not actually see the maps, but a woman piqued their interest in just mentioning that she had them.
“That’s something we don’t see a lot of and that’s a good thing,” Jayne said. “They aren’t common.”
As of Friday, the woman had not yet returned with the maps. She told Jayne she was not sure if she wanted to sell them.
When people bring in items, they register their name and, once their number is called, they lay them out in front of Engelmann. He takes a look at them, discusses the value of each one with the owner and determines if an offer needs to be made.
Engelmann explained Friday that the dates on coins are what are important.
“When I refer to a key date, what I mean is a low mintage of that coin,” Engelmann told Peggy Russell, of Elwood, who brought in a Walking Liberty silver dollar and a buffalo nickel. “It’s not really about how old the coin is, but about how many were made.”
Only buffalo nickels that depict a buffalo with three legs rather than four have monetary value. The three-legged buffalo nickel was a mistake in the creation of the coin, therefore not many were made.
The key date for buffalo nickels is 1937-D with three legs.
“If you can find one of those, it’ll be worth a lot of money,” Engelmann said. “Finding one is like finding a needle in a haystack.”
Engelmann and Jayne did not purchase anything from Russell Friday afternoon.
Pocket watches are also a popular item Jayne and Engelmann see. But, again, there are certain kinds that collectors look for. Not just any pocket watch is worth money.
“The best thing you can do it to just bring it in and let us take a look at it,” Jayne said. They won’t appraise any items, but they may just make an offer to purchase it.