The International Coin Collectors Association set up shop in Hinesville this week and is inviting collection enthusiasts of all types to drop by with coins, comic books, costume jewelry, toys and other items they suspect might be of value.
Coordinators of the ICCA event, which is at the Country Inn & Suites on Gen. Stewart Way until Saturday, also will appraise items such as scrap gold, pre-1965 coins, pre-1934 paper money, war items, fine arts, trains and dolls.
The appraisers make offers based on what its collectors are willing to pay, and attendees who sell items are paid on the spot. The items are then sent to the collectors at their expense, according to the association.
Local resident Richard Duvall, who read about the coin show in The Frontline, decided to sort through the shed where he stored the coins and baseball cards he had collected throughout the years with his four sons.
“I didn’t know anything about it. It started with my kids,” Duvall said of his coin collection, which he started 20 years ago. “I still collect, but it’s smaller and it’s an investment. If I didn’t see this in the newspaper, this would have just sat (in my shed) until the day I die.”
The association paid Duvall $842.76 for his offerings.
Coins, including foreign coins and other very old currency, are the show’s hot sellers, ICCA manager Brice Lanier said.
“What makes a coin valuable is its mintage and condition,” he said. “We’re hoping to see 300 to 400 this week (in Hinesville).”
Lanier and his assistant manager, Tim Brown, said they have written checks in the past few weeks for as little as 2 cents for a wheat penny and as much as $32,000 for other special coins.
“They call me a coin nerd because I know stuff, but I wouldn’t call myself an expert,” Brown said of his fascination for collectible coins. Not too long ago, Brown took a tour of the United States Mint in Denver, Colo., where he was required to gain security clearance before taking a look at the facility that manufactures money.
Brown and Lanier also said guitars are bringing in big bucks, as are coins with 90 percent silver content. Since the economy began its downward slope, both say they’ve noticed an increase in customers coming to shows with everything from fake Rolexes to broken jewelry — both of which likely will garner customers a little bit of money, Lanier said.
To get the most money for authentic collections, however, both men advise collectors not to wash the currency, which will degrade its value.
“If you had a rare coin and you cleaned it up, you lose 75 percent of its value,” Brown said of customers who polish coins, under the assumption the shiny money will net them a few more dollars.
In addition to old coins, the show’s coordinators see a variety of authentic and unique odds and ends. According to an ICCA brochure, the association has purchased a $10,000 vampire-killing kit, a $6,500 Civil War sword and other one-of-a-kind items, including Johnny Cash’s bed, Nazi flags, pirate cannons, tracheostomy tubes and a train ornament in the shape of an eagle holding a large swastika in its talons. The finds were sent to the organization’s corporate office in Springfield, Ill.
“Our best customers are older,” Lanier said. “They’ve got a massive amount of (stuff they’ve collected).”
On weekdays, the show is open from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. and on Saturday from 9 a.m.-4 p.m.