Colorado Pickers: Finding Investment Grade Antiques

IMG_1976By Jon DeStefano


Finding investment grade antiques is not as rare as some people think. Consider how often we experience the event on current antique television shows like Antique Roadshow or American Pickers programs or even going to great antique and collectible shows like Colorado’s World Wide Antique show where dealers are not just selling antiques but buying them, too. Numerous shows feature appraisers and antique mall can often help you figure out something’s value or point you to a dealer who can.


John Helke owner of Hampden Street Antique Mall reports a number of such finds in his mall. One person bought an Omega watch from one of his dealers for under $20 and very quickly sold it for $3,000. Another bought a bowl for $50  and sold it the same day for $3300. One lucky person purchased a first edition of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby for under $100 and it appraised for between $15,000 and $30,000. These events are not uncommon. There are many hidden treasures  or as John Helke refers to them “investment grade antiques” in Colorado antique shops and malls.


One investment grade piece John finds fascinating is an Italian desk from the High Renaissance Era about 1550 A.D. It is in excellent shape and is appraised many thousands of dollars over its sale price. If you have an interest in it you can give him a call at Hampden Street Antique Mall at 303-721-7992.


We’re going to try to make this Colorado Pickers article a regular feature in the Mountain States Collector. Readers and dealers, if you have similar experiences or pieces you would like to share with our audience through the Mountain States Collector contact me at

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