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Profitable Pennies

“Find a penny, pick it up, all day long you’ll have good luck,” especially if you bring it in to Airport Plaza Jewelers THE KIOSK, where we buy rare and unusual pennies all the time.

By now, most of our customers here at Airport Plaza Jewelers know we buy coins at THE KIOSK. However, we’re not just coin dealers. We’re coin collectors, meaning we’re always looking for coins for Don’s personal collection.

The coins that we buy don’t have to be silver or gold because Don also buys high-grade Lincoln copper pennies.

Shown here is one of Don’s sheets of uncirculated pennies. Within the sheet is a beautiful 1931-S in uncirculated condition. Although typical coin dealers would probably pay between $75 and $100, Don has no trouble paying $150 in order to add this coin to his collection.

If you have rare Lincoln pennies such as the 1909-S, Don pays over $100 for that coin. If you have pennies such as the 1909-SVDB, the 14-D or the 31-S, Don pays hundreds of dollars to add those coins to his rare Lincoln penny collection. Many times our customers bring in booklets with rare coins. These books often preserve the condition of the coin, which can possibly add a premium value to the coins.

Penny-ShotSeveral of our customers bring in a coffee can or jar of wheat pennies to THE KIOSK. Wheat pennies have little wheat stalks on the back. When wheat pennies originated, everyone saved them, hoping they’d be worth a lot of money some day. However, what everybody saved never became rare, so we all have wheat pennies laying around. Common wheat pennies however, are always worth more than one cent because of the copper in them.

Some customers have come into THE KIOSK believing they have silver pennies. However, these are the 1943 zinc-coated steel pennies that were made during World War II because copper was needed to make the shell casings for the G.I.’s. Although not worth as much as silver coins, these pennies are worth more than face value of a penny.

Another thing to keep in mind when dealing with coins is that there is a big difference between rare coins and old coins. If you have old coins at home, but are not sure if they are rare or valuable, bring them in to THE KIOSK. As collectors, we’re willing to step it up and pay the price that works for you. Just take the 33 East to Union Road and Airport Plaza Jewelers THE KIOSK.


Is it Gold?

Many people who buy gold often own pieces that are not clear whether they are gold or not. At Airport Plaza Jewelers The Kiosk, we will gladly go over whatever you bring in, and correctly identify it for you. Many of our customers, however, want to know how to identify gold items on their own.

You’ll likely need a magnifying glass unless you have exceptional eye sight. Make sure you have good lighting so that you don’t strain your eyes. All you really need to do is search the piece carefully for a gold mark. On rings it will be on the inside, on earrings it will be on the post, and on chains it will be on both ends near the clasps or on the clasp.

Since the Gold and Silver Stamping act of 1906 identifying gold has become a lot easier. It used to be that gold plated jewelry could say things like “genuine gold,” and really be gold plated over another metal, often gold filled or gold shell. It did contain genuine gold after all, but there is so little there as to make the gold value next to nothing. This deceptive practice was made illegal and it became easier to identify your pieces as real gold.

The approved markings each mean that an item is gold, not merely gold plated, and let you know exactly how much gold is in each of them. Ten karat gold is marked with either “10k” or “417″ directly on the item. Since 24 karat gold is pure gold, 10 karat gold is 10/24ths pure (or 10 divided by 24 which equals .417). Fourteen karat is marked 14k or 585. Fourteen karat gold is 14/24ths pure (so 14 divided by 24 is .585). It’s the same for all karats. Gold is either marked with the karat (8k, 10k, 12k, 14k, 18k, 21k, 22k, and anything in between) or with the percentage (334, 417, 500, 585, 750, 875, 917). If your piece of jewelry or other items have this marking, then it the likely gold, and we’d be happy professionally evaluate it for you and pay you cash for it at The Kiosk.

Gold_ShotBe aware that fraudulent and deceptive practices still exist today despite the stamping act. One way that gold filled, or gold plated items are legally marked is with a fraction, most commonly 1/10 or 1/20. If your item says “1/20 12k” then it is not twelve karat gold, it is merely plated in 12k gold. Unless these items have a collectors value (and we’d be happy to examine them to find out at Airport Plaza Jewelers The kiosk), they don’t have much of a cash value.

While most jewelry makers are honest, and follow the law, there are some that don’t. If you’ve ever seen a guy selling chains from his coat on a street corner, you can guess that there are fakes. Some jewelry is stamped as gold even though it’s not. Learning to identify these is a long process, and best done by professionals like the ones you’ll find at Airport Plaza Jewelers. Even if you aren’t selling and you want to know if a piece is gold, feel free to bring it in to Airport Plaza Jewelers The Kiosk and we’ll gladly check it over. Remember, if it’s real gold, we buy it for cash at The Kiosk.

Is it Silver or is it plated?

Many people stop by Airport Plaza Jewelers The Kiosk to sell silver, but what most people don’t know is that many of the items they believe to be silver are actually silver plated. Even those who carefully examine their items are sometimes fooled by misleading markings that are often on silver plated objects to make them look like silver.

We all want to believe our fancy silverware sets are pure silver, however, that’s not always the case, unfortunately.  In the category of silverware, one common marking you will see is International Silver Co. International is the company name, but whenever they use this marking, it’s not actually sterling silver. It’s silver plated, and mostly worthless. When they made sterling silver, or 92.5% pure silver, they marked it International Sterling. Sterling is a legally binding term. If they use the word sterling, it must be 92.5% pure silver, and not plated. An item marked silver, contrary to popular belief, does not mean pure or solid silver, it simply means that it contains some silver, and it doesn’t need to contain much. Silver plating has next to no cash value as it cost far more to remove and process it than it’s worth.

Another common marking in silverware is W.M. Rogers or Rogers and Son. William Rogers pioneered the silver plating process and made a lot of silverware sets. They did make some in sterling silver, but these all say sterling in addition to the manufaturer name. If a piece of silverware says sterling, you can be sure it’s 92.5% silver, and we most certainly buy it at the kiosk.

If you are unsure whether or not your silver items are plated or not, there are specific markings that will help you be more certain. Silver jewelry may say sterling, but more often it will say 925. As we discussed before, sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver, and thus, these marks have the same meaning. Another common marking is coin, or 900 which stands for “coin silver.” US silver coins are made with 90.0% silver, so the 900 marking means the same thing. Many silver pocket watches are made with coin silver and we buy coin silver at The Kiosk all the time.

Just by knowing these markings (sterling, coin, 925, and 900), you’ll be able to identify almost all of the silver items that you’re likely to come across in the USA. There are older markings for silverware and jewelry, and they differ based on where in the world they were made, and when. If you have any questions, we’re at your disposal. Just call 716-632-6509, or take the 33 East to Union Rd and Airport Plaza Jewelers The Kiosk.

Gorham Reprints Rockwell—Kiosk Customers Cash In

We at Airport Plaza Jewelers have always held an interest in Gorham pieces. The Gorham Manufacturing Company was originally called Gorham Silver and was founded in 1831, in Rhode Island. The company worked mostly with silver manufacturing such as silverware and jewelry, which are two things that we buy every day at The Kiosk.

To this day, Gorham is well-known for the work they do with silver. They’re responsible for many different famous pieces around the country.  The silverware sets on Air Force One as well as the statue of Theodore Roosevelt in the Museum of Natural History in New York and several famous trophies including the Borg-Warner Trophy for the Indianapolis 500 are just a few of the amazing things that we at The Kiosk find fascinating about Gorham.

Although we love buying Gorham silver, the company has manufactured other products worth buying, such as these Norman Rockwell plates. Rockwell, an American painter from the 20th century who was known as “America’s best-loved illustrator,” lived from Feb. 3, 1894 to Nov. 8, 1978.  He was born in New York City where much of his work depicting American culture was inspired.

After World War I, Rockwell began submitting paintings to The Saturday Evening Post. In 47 years, he had over 300 paintings published on the front page. One of his most famous paintings is Rosie the Riveter.

The illustrations on these plates came during his later years as an artist. At 53 years old, Rockwell published what is considered his most popular calendar work “Four Seasons.” The paintings from each season are entitled, “Spring—Day Dreamers,” “Summer—Goin’ Fishin’,” “Fall—Pensive Pals” and “Winter—Gay Blades.” These four paintings were published for 17 years and reproduced in many different styles such as this set of four plates, which we at The Kiosk did buy.

If you have anything similar to these plates or anything manufactured by Gorham such as silver metals, sterling ornaments, sterling vases, silver tea sets, silver candelabra, sterling baskets, sterling bowls, silver salt and pepper shakers and sterling silver jewelry, bring it in to The Kiosk! We’d be happy to evaluate it and make sure you leave with cash. Just take the 33 East to Union Road and Airport Plaza Jewelers The Kiosk, “Buffalo’s best-loved buyer.”