Road show looking to find treasures

Published 6:00 pm Sunday, July 25, 2010

There are always those things you’ve had forever, and that yourgrandmother had forever before you.

Now you can find out if they’re worth anything beyond sentimentalvalue.

The Treasure Hunters Road Show is a television program that willbegin airing in September, THR and Associates Vice President ofMedia Relations Matthew Enright said. In the meantime, theprogram’s staff members are traveling the country looking fortreasures to showcase.

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Their search will bring them to Brookhaven beginning Tuesday. Theevent will take place at the Hampton Inn from Tuesday throughFriday from 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4p.m.

“Keep an open mind, we’ll see some really cool stuff, we hope tofind some really cool stuff,” Enright said. “We look at everythingfrom grandma’s class ring to guitars, coins from 1964, to pocketwatches and currency, etcetera.”

Enright said Brookhavenites can start the search by simply diggingthrough closets and attics and chests to find old things that mightbe worth something. And, he said, it’s always worth findingout.

There was a woman at a previous show, he said, who was embarrassedabout bringing in what she thought was a replica of a signedAbraham Lincoln document that had hung in her house foryears.

“It was authentic, and we ended up writing her a check for$25,000,” he said. “If she hadn’t brought that in, to this day,she’d think she had a fake document in her hallway.”

People who bring in their valuables often have the chance to sellthem to collectors who also attend the shows, Enright said. Inaddition, the show has access to experts all over the country whocan help those on-site determine the authenticity of things.

“Anything you can imagine, we have these guys that have extremeknowledge that is mind-boggling,” Enright said, adding that theshow acquired a first-edition copy of “Huckleberry Finn” bycontacting some experts who knew where there were subtle changes inverbiage on certain pages.

THRS officials said other recent finds include a 1960s vintageguitar purchased for $100,000, four gold coins were purchased forover $72,000, Confederate money hidden in the walls of a residencethat was uncovered during a remodel, and other valuables.

And with the history in the South, but especially in Brookhaven,Enright said he is excited about the possibilities. He said peoplejust need to bring their valuables in the condition they’re alreadyin, because even cleaning them can diminish the value.

“Don’t clean anything. With antiques and things, you can hurt thevalue,” he said. “Bring it as-is.”

Enright said there will also be experts on hand who will determinewhether jewelry is real gold, he said, encouraging people to bringhandfuls of old jewelry for appraisal.

“It’s a free event, and it doesn’t cost anything for them to bringin the collectibles, and you’re selling to collectors for free,” hesaid. “Bring it all.”