BRANDON — Jeanne Currie remembers opening the silver candlesticks and sugar bowls as a wedding present in 1947.
But at 85 years old, she just doesn't have a use for them anymore.
When she heard that a road show, Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery, was in town offering cash for precious metals and antiques, she brought the silver and a bag filled with gold jewelry in for a look.
She dumped a half-dozen cuff links and rings onto a table Tuesday, unsure what to expect.
"I've collected so much through my life," Currie said as her items were examined under a magnifying glass. "It's time to see what its worth."
The answer was $521 for the whole collection.
Ohio Valley Gold & Silver Refinery is one of eight shows of its kind owned and operated by THR & Associates, a Springfield, Ill., company specializing in buying gold, silver, antiques and collectibles. The for-profit company has buyers worldwide and a syndicated television show, Treasure Hunters Roadshow, airing locally on WWSB in Tampa.
It is not affiliated with PBS' popular Antiques Roadshow, and makers of the two programs have haggled in court over use of the word "roadshow."
“Antiques Roadshow appraises items. We purchase items," said Matthew Enright, representative for THR.
Gold and silver prices are based on market value, currently $1,524. 28 and $35 per ounce, respectively. Antiques and collectibles are priced based on many factors, including condition and demand for the item.
"Something's worth what someone is willing to pay," Enright said.
An estimated 200 to 300 people are expected to attend this week's show in Brandon, according to Justin Martin, a Florida team manager for the company.
At a larger Tampa show in April, someone sold an antique electric chair for several thousand dollars. Other finds included a 1930s guitar and a lock of Charles Manson's hair. Parts of that show were filmed for television, which won't be the case with this week's show.
Martin, who grew up browsing collectible shows with his mom, said coins and jewelry are the most commonly seen items.
"I feel like the economy has helped business because more people are looking to cash in, especially with gold and silver," he said.
On opening day Tuesday in Brandon, Bill Williams of Tampa brought in a silver chain that used to belong to his son.
"He passed away a few years ago, and I don't ever wear it," Williams said. "It's turned black, but if they cleaned it up, you'd see it was silver."
Expert Pete Ruban checked the necklace to make sure it was authentic, then weighed it for value. Williams was happy to get a check for $84.
"That'll cover dinner tonight," he said.
Larry Frissel, 83, traded a few coins and a gold ring for about $120.
"That's exactly how much I needed," he said.
Jeanne Currie wasn't looking to make a fortune. The items she plans to leave to her son and grandchildren are safe at home. The other things might as well get sold, not thrown away, she said.
Her memories are worth more than material things, she said. It's okay that the sugar bowls she shared with her late husband will get melted down into someone else's treasure.
"These things were just sitting in a drawer," she said.
Sarah Whitman can be reached at (813) 661-2439 or [email protected]