Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Treasure Hunting in Your Own Home

Over the past several months, our customers have been unearthing all kinds of treasures. You may be surprised by the hidden gems you can uncover when sifting through your junk and jewelry drawers. The change on your night stand may be worth many times it’s face value! Here are some helpful tips when treasure hunting in your home. Keep in mind, however, that not all junk is treasure.

- When you are sorting through U.S. dimes, quarters, dollars, or ½ dollars look for dates starting before 1964. Coins dating earlier than this were still made with partial silver. If you are a coin enthusiast you may also want to look for other specific dates or error coins that may be very valuable.

- Look for gold pieces. Remember that not all gold colored jewelry is real gold. It may be gold plated, filled, or even just painted to mimic real gold. An easy home test is to hold a magnet to the piece. If the magnet is attracted, it is not real gold. If the magnet is not attracted, it may be real gold and it is probably worth sending it in to be tested. If you have a magnifying glass or jeweler’s loupe you can also check your jewelry for markings indicating the karat amount of your gold pieces.

- Look for items stamped pure or sterling silver. Markings on sterling silver may read:

- .924 Sterling Silver
- 925
- Sterling
- Sterling Silver
- Or it may bear some type of manufacturer’s hallmark

You may find cutlery, plates, vessels, trinkets, and jewelry (among other items) that are made from pure or sterling silver.

You never know what you may find buried in your home. At the bottom of a pile of cheap plated rings, you may find one that is solid 14KT gold. The ceramic figurine hidden in the back of your closet may actually be a highly in-demand collectible. You don’t know what you have until you start looking through it, and with gold prices still expected to climb, now is a perfect time to get started.