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Residents get cash for coins
0626 Antiques show
Hinesville resident Tommie Fish, left, looks at one of her coins while Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery buyer Maria Creasy inspects an early 1900s watch that belonged to Fishs grandmother. It has a lot of sentimental value, Fish said about the watch, which she did not sell. - photo by Danielle Hipps

Those looking to sell and those curious about the value of their antique items had an opportunity to consult with buyers when the Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery visited Hinesville this week.

The four-person team set up shop Tuesday in the Country Inn and Suites on Gen. Stewart Way and worked through Saturday afternoon.

In all, more than 40 people consulted with the buyers.

Hinesville resident Tommie Fish, curious about the value of the coins she collected, was one of many sellers.

She sold coins, including wheat pennies, a buffalo nickel and a 1946 Booker T. Washington half dollar, for less than she hoped to receive.

"When they say ‘up to’ an amount, they don’t mean that," Fish said, laughing. "Mine didn’t go up to that."

Ohio Valley buyer Maria Creasy explained that buyers consult collectors’ books when assessing a coin’s value, and they look for rarity, composition and age.

On Thursday, one man received $2,400 in exchange for 154 coins of varying amounts, all made before 1964.


On average, the company buys from about 55 percent of prospective sellers, field manager Kenny Watkins said. Attendees, who receive a free evaluation with the company’s trained buyers, are under no obligation to sell their items.

But there are some advantages — like transaction transparency — to working with the organization, Watkins said.

"We pay pretty well," he added. "You get a check on the spot."

Watkins said the team had up to $250,000 that they could spend during this show and that most purchases were scraps of gold and silver, which is valued according to weight and purity.

Citing company regulations, he declined to give the going rate for either metal.

In addition to gold and silver, the Springfield, Ill., company also buys coins, vintage musical instruments, war and historical memorabilia and more to sell to private collectors.

Among the most interesting items the company has purchased: a vampire slaying kit from the 1800s and a New York electric chair, Watkins said.


Company spokeswoman Brittany Thomas said conferring with a buyer sometimes can lead to pleasant surprises, citing an example from a previous show.

"Some people know that they have a really rare, unusual item," she said. "And some people don’t."

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