Got coins?

Published 1:00 pm Thursday, May 26, 2011

Marv Schulz, right, watches as Steve Turnock of Chicago, Ill., a buyer for the International Coin Collectors Association, calculates what he’ll pay for several old silver dollars. One of the coins Schulz brought to America’s Best Value Inn was dated 1880. Schulz commented this was an easy way to get money for his coin collection without having to leave the city and travel somewhere else. -- Ed Shannon

You never know what will turn up in the collections of coins people keep. Perhaps that’s why numismatists — the word for coin collectors — go to great lengths for rare finds.

That’s International Coin Collectors Association set up shop this week at the America’s Best Value Inn on East Main Street in Albert Lea. It asked people to drop by with coins, currency and other antiques, but, “Our focus is on coins,” said Tim Thomas, field manager of the team now at the hotel.

The International Coin Collectors Association is based in Springfield, Ill.

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Thomas said the team of six includes four buyers with expertise in the various aspects of collected treasures. As the firm’s literature states, “Basically anything old we want to see.” Then a bid can be made for the items brought in by area residents.

What this team is looking for are coins dated before 1965, paper money prior to 1935, all types of gold, jewelry, gem stones and even dental gold. What can be considered as scrap or damaged jewelry can be considered for purchase. Anything marked sterling silver, plus Civil War and items associated with World Wars I and II can be brought in. Other items of interest include older guns, toys, trains, dolls, advertising and even small savings banks.

Thomas explained that the team works mainly in Minnesota. Next week they will be in Cottage Grove.

This team will be available at America’s Best Value Inn until 6 p.m. today and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday.

“We’ve had a very good response here in Albert Lea,” Thomas added.