What it's Worth

“Tea is better than wine for it leadeth not to intoxication, neither does it cause a man to say foolish things and repent thereof in his sober moments. It is better than water for it does not carry disease; neither does it act like poison as water does when it contains foul and rotten matter.”

According to EconomicHistory.com, this ancient Chinese saying spread through Europe as tea displaced beer in

What's It Worth? It’s Tiffany Week at Hess!


We know we write about Tiffany a lot, but we had to share some spectacular Tiffany pieces that have come in from jewelers around the country this week.

As we have written before, roughly 50 percent of our items come from area residents and the remaining 50 percent from jewelers, coin dealers and pawnbrokers around the U.S.

What's It Worth? American Post WWII Prints


We typically advertise that we don’t buy prints, because the print market was co-opted in the 19700s97 by ne’er-dowells, exaggerators and outright fraudsters. We do often buy earlier prints, pre-1970s, created by artists before WWII. They were generally small, and black and white.

What's It Worth? How Valuable Is Confederate Currency?

Today I’d like to talk about Confederate currency. All currency seems to be collectible — especially prior to 1940. Many pieces of American currency are just worth 1% to 10% over the face value, but of course there are many examples that are worth thousands of dollars for a single $1 bill.

What's It Worth? Aggressive Offer + Patience = Last Laugh

What's It Worth? Rare Local Treasure Brings History But Not Dollars


Tokens are fun to collect. Many families have tucked away bus tokens or WWII tokens that are worth pennies. This local, historical Maas Brothers treasure just surfaced.

“Treasure” does not always mean wealth, and indeed, the historical value of this week’s find exceeds its monetary value.

While there have been recorded single-token sales of $12,000 and more for 1870s Arizona territories one-cent tokens (pre-statehood), most “trade tokens” bring $1 to $10 each.

What's It Worth? Is Bullion Ever Collectible?


Yes. We are always buying gold coins, but some are worth more than their gold value.

What's It Worth? Understanding the Value of Silver Dollars


There seems to be a lot of confusion about valuation of silver dollars. The prices wax and wane due to collectors’ whims, the silver value and of course, as always — condition and provenance.

What's It Worth? Selling Online in the Time of Social Distancing


We were very happy with our international auction results this month. Our continental porcleain and fine and decorative arts sale was already “loaded up” for our sale prior to the lockdown, so Katrina and I conferred with our consignors and decided to go forward. It was a good decision. Held one week ago, this auction was our third most successful online auction ever. Porcelains went for as much as $7,000, with other items going as high as $20,000. A majority of these auction items were sold overseas.

What's It Worth? What is the Value Of “Stuff” During a Crisis?

There are several points of view on this subject — some studious, some passionate and some poignant.

Some say collectibles tend to suffer a bit, and we agree. But many collectors use this opportunity to buy up watches, coins, fine art, etc., while the prices are lower and interest has waned. (Gold, however, is very high.)