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Is your junk a treasure? Find out at Antiques Appraisal Day

Wondering just how much that stuff in your basement or attic is worth? Find out by bringing it to the Historical Society of Carroll County's 13th annual Antiques Appraisal Day on Saturday.
Antiques Appraisal Day takes place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at the American Legion Carroll Post 31, at the corner of Green and Sycamore streets in Westminster.
Ten appraisal experts will evaluate everything from quilts and oriental rugs to Civil War artifacts and antique firearms, toys and dolls to jewelry and paintings. Some of the experts have specialties, including military items or vinyl records.
Sometimes people find hidden treasures, like a few years ago, when a discarded German toy reclaimed from the county landfill swap turned out to be valued at $1,500, according to event organizers.
Other times, sentimental keepsakes, unfortunately, turn out to not be worth a dime, according to event co-chairman James Lightner.
Getting an item verbally appraised costs $20 for one item, $30 for two items and $35 for a maximum of three items, and attendees are required to bring at least one item.
Proceeds from the event go to the historical society. It is the organization's largest fundraiser of the year, and Operations Manager Linda Cunfer said they've set a goal of raising $30,000 this year.
Most of the hundred or so people attending just want to get a verbal appraisal to get an idea of what something is worth, Cunfer said.
The appraisers can only give a verbal appraisal at the event, Lightner said, and nothing is put in writing. If a person finds that something they own is valuable, they may be able to get a certified written appraisal from one of the event's experts or another appraiser at a later date, he said.
While people are waiting to get their item appraised, attendees can enjoy free coffee and doughnuts or purchase sandwiches and soda.
They can watch films from the Community Media Center of previous Antiques Appraisal Days and episodes of Maryland Public Television's "Chesapeake Collectibles," which was produced by historical society trustee Frank Batavick, on a big screen TV at the hall.
"Everyone seems to love 'Antiques Roadshow,'" Lightner said of the popular PBS program. "This is our version of that."

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