Home treasure hunt: Is your trash worth big bucks?

Treasures you can find at home

SAN ANTONIO - You could be sitting on a gold mine and not even know it. Some of your old toys, records, and coins collecting dust in the attic could be worth thousands.

If you're trying to de-clutter your home, you might as well make some money while you're at it. KENS 5 will help you go on a home treasure hunt.

Let's start with coins.

"Dimes, half-dollars, and quarters 1964 and older, those are 90 percent silver and have good silver value," said Rick Smith, co-owner of Alamo Heights Coin Shop, which will give you $3 a quarter if they're from 1964 or older. "The most popular coins are the Morgan Silver Dollars. Those are always more popular. Those have more value than the average."

One of those silver dollars could be worth $6,000 to $10,000, depending on the condition.

Foreign currency, like old gold pesos coins are worth $58 dollars apiece.

Paper money, like an old $10 bill from the early 1900's could also get you $900.

Alamo Heights Coin Shop isn't restricted to buying your old coins either.

 "We'll look at just about anything old and unusual," Smith said. "Pocket watches, even old calendars and old toys. We'll look at old fountain pens. We'll look at old marbles."

You bet your marbles! Smith just sold one marble last week for $130.

How about old records? Could your vinyl records help you retire?

Hogwild Records sets the record straight.

"The records that turn out to be most valuable would be the ones that you'd have no idea, like Jimmy Joe and his Mountain Ramblers," said Steven Alejandro, Manager of Hogwild Records.

Those Beatles, Elvis Presley, The Doors, and Michael Jackson records won't make you much. They made millions of albums.

"Pink Floyd Dark Side of the Moon, we looked it up and it probably sold 12 million copies," Alejandro said.

An exception, says Alejandro, is the Beatles’ original butcher cover from the Yesterday and Today album.

"They had to change the cover because the original cover was offensive at the time," Alejandro noted. "In various conditions, it goes from $100 to a couple thousand dollars. But most other Beatles records? $15, $20 market value on them."

The value could also depend on the producer and the condition of the album.

Alejandro also noted that the resale value of CDs has dropped dramatically. Those 7-inch albums tend to be more of a collectible since manufacturers are repressing them.

To appraise your records, look for the market value. What is its average sale price?

"Records that you can retire on, I don't know that there's any such thing," Alejandro said. "Stuff that's gonna buy you a boat, they're very rare."

What about cereal boxes?

An unopened box of Timmy's 'Slam Duncan O's' is going for nearly $30 on eBay. A 1991 Michael Jordan unopened box of Wheaties is priced at over $1,500 on eBay.

If you're a trading card collector, Paul Cavazos, the co-owner of House of Cards & Collectibles, says sports cards older than 1980 are more valuable.

"Any huge Hall of Fame player, Roger Maris, Yogi Berra, Stan Musial," Cavazos said.

Inside House of Cards & Collectibles, you'll find just about every kind of Yu-Gi-Oh! card, Pokemon card, and sports card.

"Even with an extra fine grade in this particular year for Mickey Mantle, we sell it for $149," Cavazos noted. "So can you imagine if someone found this in their attic in much better condition? It could be upwards into the thousands of dollars."

A Roberto Clemente rookie card in mint condition, for example, could sell for $2,000 to $4,000.

The value of the card depends on the condition, grade, and the manufacturer.

House of Cards & Collectibles also sells comic books and collectible figurines, such as Star Wars characters.

"Star Wars is a huge, popular item right now," said Cavazos, holding an unopened Darth Vader figurine. "This particular item right now is 20 years old and this Darth Vader sells for $10."

The surge in popularity of the Pokemon Go game increased the value of Pokemon trading cards as well.

"The holographic cards are the cards to look for," Cavazos explained.

In your final sweep for home treasures, don't forget about books!

"The first thing you look for is something unusual. It could be a children's book, it could be an art book, it could be something just on your shelf," said John Peace, a book dealer and book appraiser at Cheever Books.

The book doesn't have to be ancient to be worth a lot of money.

Peace says 10- to 15-year-old books can be worth thousands.

"It could be a book that's only 10 or 15 years old and be worth lots of money," Peace said. "Like a first edition of the first Harry Potter book was worth $50,000."

With books, just like toys, records, coins, and trading cards, the condition is everything.

"Nobody wants a bunch of loose pages or a book without a cover, or something with a spine ripped off," Peace explained. "Something like that, almost immediately you lose about 80 percent of your value."

Happy hunting!

For more information on the businesses that participated in our report:

Alamo Heights Coin Shop
7223 Broadway St, Alamo Heights, TX 78209
(210) 826-6082

Hogwild Records
1824 N Main Ave, San Antonio, TX 78212
(210) 733-5354

House of Cards & Collectibles
8986 Huebner Rd, San Antonio, TX 78240
(210) 844-4984

Cheever Books
3613 Broadway St, San Antonio, TX 78209
(210) 824-2665

© 2017 KENS-TV


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