It was billed as a modern day gold rush but the atmosphere at the Treasure Hunters Road Show in Port Coquitlam last week was more like a museum as staff carefully studied the jewelry and coins offered for purchase while their clients watched and waited.
With gold prices at their highest point in years - about $1,740 an ounce - and silver doing well, too, THR and Associates hunkered down in the PoCo Inn and Suites to buy old jewelry, coins and memorabilia from local people.
By Friday, dozens of people had come to sell their old jewelry and coins, some silver tea sets, vintage military gear and even a vintage guitar.
"What people are getting is a nice cheque for going through their jewelry box," said Allyson Burden, show manager, who said this is a good time to sort through closets and see if there is anything worth selling.
On this day, one couple brought in two necklaces, a ring and a pair of earrings to be tested for value and possible sale. They quietly waited while the associate tested the gold for quality.
Burden said clients are under no obligation to sell their goods. "We are trained professionals and when people sit down, we have a look at everything they've got. We let them know what it's worth, and if they want to sell, we say this is what we can do."
Some people do decide to sell but others aren't so sure. Another man who brought in several cases of silver coins decided to keep his after the offer was made.
Burden said the decision to sell to a broker is a very personal one because the items can be loaded with personal memories. In some cases, however, people are happy to get rid of jewelry from ex's or past flames and in one instance an elderly woman was pleased to get some value from her silver tea set that no one in her family wanted.
"She used the money to go on a cruise."
The PoCo stop was one of several on a cross-B.C. tour.