Roadshow thrives in down economy

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By Amber Coulter

Area residents dug a couple of interesting finds out of their treasure boxes and dresser drawers last week.
Treasure Hunters Roadshow, which visited the area from Tuesday through Friday, doled out cash for rare finds and scrap metal.
The business had seen nearly 200 customers by the end of Friday at the Baymont Inn and Suites on Commerce Drive in Elizabethtown, field manager Shawn Henley said.
The business typically visits the area every three to six months and has been seeing more customers, especially those selling scrap metal, because of the weakened economy.
The most impressive find of the week was a collection of more than 500 silver dollars valued by the company at $16,250, Henley said.
The earliest of the coins came from 1885, and the value of the coins depends on the rarity of each.
Another notable piece was a 14 karat gold pocket watch from 1882 for which the business was willing to pay about $1,400. The watch was still running.
Henley said that customer decided not to sell the watch because the heirloom piece had been passed down to him through his family.
There is no obligation to sell to the business after appraisal.
The international company buys items from sellers and resells them through a network of collectors, typically able to match a find with a buyer who wants that piece.
An antique guitar, for example, is sold to another buyer almost as soon as the company buys it from someone else, Henley said.
Henley has seen more customers since the economy worsened.
“In the past few years, the company’s grown tenfold,” he said.
Mostly, area sellers turned in scrap silver and gold, in the form of coins, jewelry and other items.
Those are common sights for the business now that the selling price on the materials is up. That tends to happen when the economy isn’t doing well, Henley said.
“The advertised price for gold and silver right now is through the roof, and a lot of people need some extra cash,” he said.
That’s what drew Mickey Gattis and his son, Luke, of Elizabethtown, to the Baymont Inn on Friday with several pieces of gold and silver jewelry lying around the house.
The carefully weighed pieces brought the family $1,668.
Gattis said the reason they came to sell had less to do with the economy than “downsizing” and getting rid of “junk.”
“We might get a little Christmas money,” he said. “You never know.”
Amber Coulter can be reached at (270) 505-1746 acoulter@thenewsenterprise.com.