[Nameplate] Fair ~ 90°F  
Feels like: 96°F
Monday, Aug. 29, 2016

Traveling shop purchases various items from residents

Friday, October 3, 2008

Scott Welton, Staff Archie Davis, show manager for the Treasure Hunters Roadshow, examines gold jewelry purchased from area residents.
SIKESTON -- Area residents are cashing in, turning everything from old toys to jewelry into cold, hard cash.

"It's amazing what people have tucked away in attics, basements and closets," said Archie Davis, show manager for the Treasure Hunters Roadshow. "There's a treasure in just about every home, it seems."

The Treasure Hunters opened shop Tuesday at the Best Western Coach House Inn and will continue to make purchases until 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. Saturday.

Turnout so far has been about what they expected, Davis said: an average of about 150 to 200 people per day bringing in their items.

"I'll be back tomorrow with that guitar -- it's between a ukulele and a guitar," said William Merick of Sikeston after receiving $140 for an old Lionel train set from the 1950s.

Merick said he also has some Barbies from 1958-1959, "but I don't know if I'm going to get rid of those."

As Merick collected his unsold items and prepared to leave, Amy Hedge and Jimmy Johnson arrived hoping to sell coins, an original Coke bottle opener, a knife, a ring, a 1968 Walt Disney comic book and a 1957 amateur radio booklet.

"We've had a steady steam of people the whole time," said Shannon Stott, director of public relations for the Treasure Hunters.

Unlike the Public Broadcasting Service's similarly-named "Antique Roadshow," Stott said, "we do not appraise items."

"What we can do is see if there is a collector interested in purchasing an item," she explained. "Those people give appraisals; we give people money. When somebody wants to sell we pay them on the spot."

Sellers are paid with a company check from the Chase Bank, according to Davis. He explained they anticipate spending $200,000 here which is far too much cash to travel with.

Purchases made here in Sikeston so far have included "everything from a 1780s sword all the way up to 1960s Red Line Hot Wheels," Davis said. "Also, quite a few musical instruments, a lot of World War II memorabilia. We're buying a lot of gold, a lot of silver, a lot of U.S. coins, vintage musical instruments, vintage trains, pocket watches and clocks -- we've been seeing a lot of those."

Davis said Treasure Hunters are a way to get money back for broken, mismatched jewelry.

"Gold is a big profit maker right now for people to cash in on," he said.

Treasure Hunters do offer the current market value for gold, according to Davis. "It changes daily," he said. "Right now, it's selling at almost $900 per ounce. ... People have been bringing it in by the loads."

The collectors the Treasure Hunters represent are also interested in diamonds, Davis said, but really haven't shown much interest in other other precious stones.

The Treasure Hunters in Sikeston are one of six regional teams traveling on an 18-month tour of the U.S., according to Stott.

"It's really amazing the variety of things people have brought in," she said. "We invite people to come in and bring any treasures they have around the house."