Part one of a million pt.8

This spot was legendary for tossing many little boxes full of junk. It also produced the most silver coins of any house ever (at least for me). The coins in this beat-up old jewelry box were mostly American mercury dimes, with a few other mostly American coins from that era mixed in.

The box also held a tiny surprise that I didn’t notice until after taking this photo. You can see it wedged in between the bits of wood on the left.

It’s a little gold padlock pendant. I’d guess that it’s Victorian and 15k gold (the hallmarks are indecipherable). Regardless, very cute.

Other notable items from that haul included a real old Oris watch, a souvenir key from the 1933 World’s Fair, and a bracelet made from late 1800s Guatemalan silver coins. I also like that old medicine box, which I’d guess dates to the 30s based on the font.

Another little box held a mix of actual junk and fun bits & pieces, including some old charms (I think), some dip pen nibs, a hunk of Victoria-era seal wax, and a few bullets.

Here’s some more stuff that was loose in a bag. I really like vintage electronics, so that funky handheld calculator clock radio was a fun find. Collectors like these as well – I think it’s worth around 50-60$.

Here’s some more interesting bits, including an old silver ring.

This thing looks pretty old. I’m guessing it’s a pocket watch fob, and made with vermeil (gold plated silver) in Victorian times. There was a lot of Victorian era stuff in this house…

Many parts of this story remain. In the meantime, I’m doing another sale at the 4096 Coloniale space tomorrow starting around noon. I’d like to unload as much stuff as possible before the real cold gets here. There will be a carload of new stuff that wasn’t at the last sale, and a bit of fresh junk that hasn’t seen a single sale.

 

Fine china

One of my best china hauls since that big collection of teacups several years ago came from this pile in an affluent neighbourhood near Olympic Stadium.

This box was stuffed full of it. I got the feeling that these had been packed away for years, other than the green glasses which I’d guess were added before the trip to the curb.

Here’s what was in the box, minus three glasses and a few bits that broke along the way. The biggest set, which features teacups, demitasses, and two handled consomme bowls were made in Limoges by someone with the initials RH (the stamp looks similar to the one on this set).

As for the other teacups, the three on the left seem to be fancy enough to be eBayable. The well-gilded one on the left was made by Royal Chelsea, and the pair in the middle were made by Hammersley. The other two are nice as well, I forget who made the one at far left, but I think the dainty cup next to it was also made in Limoges.

These green sculptural glasses were perhaps my best get. I did some research and found out they were Cambridge (Ohio) glass, and likely made in the 30s or 40s. It seems that they sell easily for 80$ a piece, and likely more if you’re patient. I have ten, all of which survived in excellent condition.

In the bags I found a few pieces of “aluminite,” which were also made in Limoges and quite vintage. I’d never seen this before, and it’s probably worth selling as a lot at the auction.

I also found a bag full of nice clothes, most of which looked to be from the 70s (look at those patterns!). They all looked barely used, some still had price tags on them. A couple were by a designer whose work seems reasonably desirable, but I can’t remember his name right now.

All this stuff smelled lightly of cigarette smoke. Thankfully, it wasn’t overpowering as it sometimes is, though I might have taken that pink armchair if it didn’t have that smell. I haven’t had luck here since, but I’m not giving up on this spot quite yet.

I’ve had a hard time getting those first words of a post down these days. Once I get those done, the rest seem to follow alright, but I’ve had a hard time focusing / have been too distracted. Pandemic brain perhaps? Regardless, I’ve had pretty good luck lately, and have lots of pictures to share. I’m probably going to write shorter posts for a bit to keep things flowing a bit more smoothly.

Also, I plan on doing a yard sale this Saturday starting around noon at 4096 Coloniale (near Duluth). Hand sanitizer is available, masks are recommended. The area around my garage has become a construction nightmare and I’ll be lucky if I have a sale there again this year.

Counting coins

I’ve been accumulating found change for about two years now, and a few weeks back I figured it was time to liquidate it.

I hate rolling coins, in large part because I don’t think it’s worth the effort most of the time but also because it’s boring. So, I did the math to help me justify dumping them in a change machine.

I googled how long it took to roll coins, and the most common answer seemed to be two minutes.

I feel like it’s closer to three, especially when you’re like me and you have to sort through a lot of foreign coins / “imposters” that get mixed in, but let’s go with two. So, if a roll takes two minutes that means you can complete thirty in one hour. From that, you can calculate how much you make per hour via rolling:

Pennies – 15$ an hour (30 x .50 – 50 pennies per roll)

Nickels – 60$ an hour (30 x 2 – 40 nickels per roll)

Dimes – 150$ an hour (30 x 5 – 50 dimes per roll)

Quarters – 300$ an hour (30 x 10 – 40 quarters per roll).

That sounds pretty great. You could get paid like a lawyer if only you had an unlimited number of quarters. However, I don’t, those hours are grueling and the coins are all mixed up. More importantly, there’s an option that requires very little effort at all – the change machine. It takes 11.9 cents per dollar, which seems a little hefty, but it’s justifiable when you see the figures below.

Pennies – 15$ an hour x 12% (rounded up) = 1.80$ extra earned per hour via rolling

Nickles – 60$ an hour x 12% = 7.20$ extra earned per hour via rolling

Dimes – 150$ an hour x 12% = 18$ extra earned per hour via rolling.

Quarters – 300$ an hour x 12% = 36$ extra earned per hour via rolling.

Based on these numbers rolling pennies & nickels earns you below minimum wage. Dimes aren’t too bad, and quarters are pretty good.

But even so, if instead of rolling quarters I spent that hour looking for trash, or listing things on eBay I might make more than 36$. I guess a part of it is figuring out how much an hour of my work is worth, which is hard to calculate because all the different tasks (both profitable and not) blend into each other, as does the work / life balance at times.

Anywho, all in all I had just over 18kg in coins. My strategy was to dump them into the tray of the Coinstar and try to take out the quarters, loonies, and toonies before they went into the machine. I wanted to keep the quarters, but not try too hard doing so.

The strategy was fairly successful. All in all I made about 142$ and paid about 20$ in fees. Rolling those pennies alone would have taken about three hours according to my calculations, so assuming it would have taken four overall I saved myself four hours of work at about 5$ an hour. Plus, the machine sorted out the foreign coins for me which is a service in itself.

Anyways, the coin collection is slowly growing again. I found a ziplock bag with maybe 100 pennies in it last week, and there’s always a few kicking around at the bottom of those junk drawers.