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High-Flying Collectibles

Are you thinking of finally cleaning out that basement or closet that's crammed with who knows what? Well, before you throw it all out, listen to what our collectibles expert has to say as CBS News Saturday Morning continues its series on collectibles.

It's a grand old flag, as the song says, but how do you know if your old flag might be worth a grand, or maybe more? Collectibles expert Tony Hyman tells what to look for if you have an old flag or if you are buying one at a flea market. Also this week, he answers viewers' questions about their treasures.

American flags are very collectible. Many people inquire about 13-star flags, but actually they are quite common. If you have one with the stars in a circle, it is probably just a yacht flag. If you have one that is hand-sewn, it could be worth $50 or $100.

Look for an unusual configuration of stars. One flag with an unusual configuration was valued at $300.

Also, count the number of stars on the flag. The most common have 39, 42, 45, 46, or 48 stars, and are worth very little.

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For more information on flags, Hyman recommends Mark Sutton. He email address is If you think you have a collectible flag. Send a description including the size, condition and star pattern.

CBS News Saturday Morning viewer Phil Anderson, from Kokomo, Indiana, brought in a cast iron race car replica from 1938. It is a Hubley race car that he played with as a child at his grandmother's house.

Because of its good condition, Hyman values the car at a minimum of $1,500, and as much as $3,000.

Another viewer, Debi d'Antignac, from Crescent, Georgia, wanted to know about china and works of art her husband's great-grandfather brought back from an expedition to the Far East. Her husband's great-grandfather was Captain John Kell, who went to Japan in 1853 with Commodore Perry, and brought back numerous pieces of china and artwork.

Hyman says the china was made for export. The least expensive of her 35 pieces is worth about $400, while the most valuable is worth $2,000. He said her set of the china could bring from $20,000 to $25,000.

The artwork was worth less, about $250 a panel.

For more information on Oriental antiques and ceramics, Hyman recommends Marsha Vargas. Her email address is She buys, sells and collects all types of Oriental antiques from early ceramics to late 19th century items including furniture, Japanese swords, sword fittings, jade carvings and jewelry.

For more information on collectibles go to Tony Hyman's Web site.

Previous CBS News Saturday Morning segments with collectibles expert Tony Hyman are available in the collectibles archive.

If you think you have a collectible worth a lot of cash, send an email Put "What's it Worth?" in the subject line, or write to: "What's it Worth?" CBS News Saturday Morning, 514 West 57th Street, 6th floor, New York, New York 10019.

Please note that because of the volume of mail received, Saturday Morning can't respond to all requests, but some will be selected and featured on the show in the near future.

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