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Northwest family business transforms clutter into cash

Bellevue Rare Coins brings the bling, and buys it too. Sponsored by Bellevue Rare Coins

BELLEVUE, Wash. — Bellevue Rare Coins has been a Northwest treasure trove for more than 4 decades.

“My aunt and my dad actually started it in 1979 in our West Seattle location,” said co-owner Angela Rivers who literally grew up at that West Seattle store with her brothers, who are also co-owners now.

All 5 of the stores are an excellent browse. Rolex watches, coins from ancient Greece, 100-ounce silver bars are just a small sample of the fascinating – and valuable things you’ll find here.

“We definitely have a lot of different options here. It can be a little mind-blowing," said Rivers. 

Customers can buy - and sell - precious metals, coins and currency, jewelry, and watches at 5 different locations: Lynnwood, West Seattle, Bellevue, Issaquah and Tacoma. We met customer Lenartha Christian III after he brought in some of his precious metal to sell: “I've been coming here for almost 2 years now they have really good customer service and they’ve got pretty good deals. I just sold a bunch of silver,” he explained that he bought it about a year-and-a-half ago when the price was low. The price has since gone up. “I got a nice little profit,” he smiled.

Free appraisals can help customers turn clutter into cash as well:

"They could have broken jewelry, like a bracelet that looks like they want to throw it in the trash but it could be worth hundreds of dollars,” said Rivers.

Executive buying agent Joseph Munchel showed a typical purchase Bellevue Rare Coins would do: a collection of old silver flatware, some random coins, and some old watches.  “People would come in, and say ‘here's my stuff, what do you think the value is?’ And we're always happy to do free evaluations,” said Munchel, who added that there’s no appointment necessary, and there’s also zero pressure to sell once an item has been appraised.

Some customers come in to buy brand new bling. New jewelry, necklaces, and engagement rings sparkle in the cases. But sometimes older is better - like the scratched Rolex Eric Hoolahan, CEO of Bellevue Rare Coins showed us.

"It's the first Submariner from 1959. The patina alone is probably worth in the neighborhood of 20 to 30 thousand dollars,” he said.

So before you get rid of anything that's lost its sparkle, bring it to BRC.

"My advice is to never think anything is worthless. You'd be shocked about how something so random could be worth so much money,” said Rivers.

Oh - and one more bit of advice - if you're lucky enough to win our BEST OF WESTERN WASHINGTON prize - $2,500 in cash - or gold - Rivers has one more piece of advice:

"Take the gold! Take the gold!"

Sponsored by Bellevue Rare Coins. KING 5's Evening celebrates the Northwest. Contact us: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Email.