Spring Cleaning: Clues Your Junk May be Worth Something

Posted on 04/11/2013

Are you on a kick to clear clutter to the curb? This time of year spring cleaning becomes a hobby for many homeowners looking to trash unwanted stuff. Before you go too crazy, find out if your junk may actually be worth something.

Is It Made of Metal?
Even if you don't need that set of demitasse spoons, find out what they're made of before you donate them to charity with your old sweaters. The current melt value for an ounce of silver is nearly $28 according to cointrackers.com. If you're lucky enough to have something made of solid gold, the melt value is currently more than $1500.

Is It In Good Shape?
Antiques are more valuable when they're in impeccable condition. If you've got antique porcelain, pottery or glassware that's in mint or near-mint condition it will bring a much higher price compared to items with flaws. If you see lots of chips or cracks your item is probably not as valuable as it could have been if it were in better shape.

Is It Signed?
Whether you have an autograph, a signed piece of artwork or an old letter, investigate the signature. If it's signed by a notable historical figure or artist you could have some real value on your hands.

Does It Feature Advertising?
Vintage signs, posters and product advertisements are in high demand. You may not think that old oil can from your grandpa's garage is very exciting, but to a collector it could be worth a good bit of money.

Would You Call It Junk?
Antiques expert C. Dianne Zweig says often it's the stuff many of us would consider junk that's actually worth the most. Zweig has a list of 28 things you might be tempted to toss, but shouldn't. If you come across items like old tools, stamps, postcards, or even Boy Scout memorabilia don't trash them.

By Alison Storm

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