Mike Lawson and his son Justin Lawson of the International Coin Collectors Association invite anyone who has gold or silver, be it in great shape or broken into bits and pieces, to visit them at the Best Western on Sparta Street today thru Saturday to possibly receive money for the unwanted items.
Other items will also be considered such as old coins, military paraphernalia, old guitars, and high-end antiques.
Mike Lawson said this is his company’s third trip to McMinnville and it distributed checks totaling over $80,000 during its first two trips to the community. He also said his company offers very competitive prices. “I had one gentleman to come in with a ring today and I gave him an offer on it. He went down to the local jeweler and they couldn’t match my offer so he brought it back and sold it to me.”
Mike said an Abe Lincoln campaign button valued around $15,000 was purchased by his company for $10,700. The owner of the company donated the button to the Abe Lincoln museum.
All of the merchandise collected is mailed overnight every night to a processing center. The company does not pay cash. They will write customers Chase Bank checks. All rings go to a jeweler. Good gold and silver go to retail stores. Broken items go to refineries.
“We have trade stores and retail stores that we use. We have refineries that we deal with directly so we don’t have the middle man between us. We can give better prices. We buy mostly in quantity,” explained Mike Lawson.
“It is free to come in. A lot of people come in and don’t really know what they have. That is the thing about our company. Both of us and all of our buyers are very well educated with the items we are buying. We know which coins are more valuable than others. It depends on how many were made in a particular year. Ninety-five percent of the value of the rare coin also depends on the condition of it,” Mike said.
The ICCA is a division of THR & Associates, their parent company which is based out of Springfield, Ill. Justin Lawson said, “The company started in 1996 in a garage buying antiques and it expanded from there.” The company now operates throughout the United States and Canada.
“We will take a look at anything. Some antique toys are worth thousands of dollars. Most people don’t realize that,” Justin Lawson said.
Justin also said old Mercury dimes are valuable. The value of each one is different and some are very rare. “I got a 1916 D dime two weeks ago that we paid $800 for. Last week I bought a WWII Japanese NCO Officer’s sword for $2,300.” he said.
Justin Lawson went on to say, “We’ve had people bring in stuff they find in their walls. They were remodeling a house and found some old coins in the wall. Usually that happened a lot with gold coins because after 1933 Truman said you couldn’t own more than an ounce of gold and they would confiscate people’s gold so people would hide it in the walls or bury it.”
The buying event will be at the Best Western from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. today thru Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday.