Your loose change could be worth big bucks

HOUSTON Pennies, nickels and dimes may be worth much more than face value, so if you need some extra dollars visiting a coin show could net you big bucks...maybe.

Lawrence Hurks' coin collection does not have any unusually rare pieces, but it is worth about $180.

"If I had $2 with of change and they offer me that kind of money, I should go ahead and get it," he said.

Hurks thought his collection was worth much more than that and he plans to get a second opinion.

Ronnie Deschenes with International Coin Collectors Association says sellers generally think their goods have a greater value than what the market is offering.

"A lot of times, when I do see coins, they are common, but they do still have the silver value and that's what we are looking for also," said Deschenes.

Deschenes says if you are planning to sell coins, do not alter them in any way.

"Don't ever clean your coins, number one," he said. "I had a gentleman come in yesterday. He had cleaned them and it just totally devalued everything."

Deschenes says even the typical change jar could have a big ticket coin and says he's looking for specific coins.

"We are looking for any coins 1964 and earlier, the dimes, the quarters, the half dollars, the silver dollars," he said. "Bring in your wheat pennies, your buffalo nickels, the V nickels. You never know what you have until you have someone like us looks at it."

Deschenes says one gold coin came in to his coin show this week and the former owner left happy.

"Fifteen-hundred dollars happy, as a matter of fact," joked Deschenes.

Jane Thorn was happy to hear to the $800 offer she received for the silver coins she has collected since she was nine years old.

"I hate to depart with them, but I am thinking!" she said.

The coin show we visited Friday is at the Holiday Inn Express off of will Clayton Parkway. They'll be open on Saturday until about 4pm.

As with anything else, you have to do your homework. You can check the internet to see what coins are selling for and get a couple of opinions before deciding on a buyer. The coin show we visited does not pressure you to make a decision right away, so you have time to think it over before agreeing to anything.

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