Tonawanda News

March 13, 2010

ANTIQUES: Treasure hunting is worth wait in NT

By Julia Shanahan/Contributor

Experts at the Treasure Hunters Roadshow have seen an average of 200 visitors and thousands of treasures per day since the exhibit kickoff on Tuesday, prompting an average wait time of 3 to 4 hours. The show is expecting the best turnout to take place today.

To avoid spending a good portion of the day waiting in line it is recommend that visitors come in early to sign in and then go elsewhere for an hour or so to pass time.

“My husband and I got to the lounge around noon, went out for lunch till around 1 p.m. and are still here at 4:30 p.m.,” said North Tonawanda resident Fran Miano. “If when the doors close at 6 p.m. and we are still waiting then we have the option to stay until our number is called, even though the event is closed, or come back tomorrow morning with a pass.”

The free exhibit kicked-off on Tuesday with a slow start, presumably due to a lack of signs leading to the exact location in the Gratwick facilities, but rapidly picked up throughout the week.

“So far we have seen a decent amount of items. The people walking out of here with big checks are the people who come in with broken gold and jewelry,” said event organizer Kristina Shrewsbury. “We love broken gold.”

Some treasures uncovered from so far in North Tonawanda include two valuable Lionels and American Flyers train sets, a few pieces of antique furniture, and an overwhelming amount of antique coins and jewelry heavy in gold.

Individuals who were patiently waiting in line late Friday afternoon expressed their excitement to rid their homes of old lamps, bowls, and swords and hopefully trade the extra room for a few extra bucks. Items that have value but do not receive an offer from one of the experts are given suggestions on how to self-market the item to others.

The syndicated Treasure Hunters Roadshow has visited thousands of cites throughout the country with North Tonawanda being their first stop in Western New York.

Some of the exhibit’s valuable finds throughout their 15 years of business include a 1960’s vintage guitar purchased for $100,000, four gold coins purchased for $72,00, and a Civil War cache in an attic.