More Than A Memento

Is any of that junk in your attic worth some money? How do you sort the trash from the treasure? CBS News Saturday Morning continues its series with collectibles expert Tony Hyman.

CBS News Saturday Morning got an overwhelming response when it asked viewers to send in their questions for the "Trash or Treasure?" series. In the April 17 broadcast , collectibles expert Tony Hyman responded to viewers' questions about their own attic treasures. Here are a few of the subjects covered.


Nancy Drew Mysteries
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A number of questions were about Nancy Drew mystery books, which Hyman noted has for many years been "one of the most popular books for young women."

Many people are surprised to learn that the author listed in the Nancy Drew books, Carolyn Keene, didn't exist. It was a penname used by the publisher. Twenty-three of the first 25 Nancy Drew mysteries were actually written by Mildred Wirt Benson.

To find out if your old Nancy Drew books are worth anything, Hyman said, look for hardcover copies with dust jackets in good condition. The oldest and some of the most valuable have white-spine dust jackets. You could get up to $400 for the right book.

Modern copies with a yellow spine and the picture printed right on the cover are worth only about 50 cents.

Princess Di Memorabilia
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Saturday Morning heard from a lot of viewers about Princess Diana memorabilia. Is it worth anything, and what should people look for if they see Diana collectibles in flea markets or garage sales?

Hyman said the market for Princess Diana memorabilia is still fresh, and very unsettled. "There are thousands of pieces," he noted.

His advice is that if you are buying something for investment, go for high quality porcelain. Some of those pieces are already selling in the $300 to $400 range.

A Valuable Watch?
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Saturday Morning viewer Elaine Freyberger of Collingswood, New Jersey, showed Hyman a Dudley Masonic pocket watch that belonged to her father-in-law.

Hyman said those watches were made from 1922 to 1924, and only 1,400 were manufactured.

Freyberger said the watch has sentimental value and Hyman told her it has financial value as well. Depending on whether the watch chain is gold or gold filled, the watch and chain is worth $3,500 to $5,000.

Freyberger plans to give the watch to her grandson.

Go to Tony Hyman's Web site for more information on collectibles.

For specific questions on the topics covered here, Hyman recommends the following experts:

Nancy Drew Books
Lee Temares, a specialist in children's series books, will answer any questions you might have about them. His email address is tembooksaol.com. Steve Eisenstein, a rare book dealer, also will answer questions. His email address is steveeisenstein@tobacciana.com.

Lady Diana Memorabilia
Audrey Zeder, author of British Royal Comemoratives and dealer in all forms of British Royalty memorabilia, will answer questions about Princess Diana British Royal commemoratives of all types and periods. His email address is audreyz@tobacciana.com.

Watches and Jewelry
Jeanenne Bell, a nationally-respected appraiser and author of three books on jewelry, will answer questions about jewelry of all periods, especially 19th century pieces. Her email address is cjbell@msn.com.

Information about previous segments are available in the collectibles archive.



If you think you have a collectible worth a lot of cash, send an email to: sat@cbsnews.com. 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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