Verderame who is museum curator, certified appraiser and art historian, examined pieces brought by about 20 area residents.

"Cleaning out an estate people don't realize they may be putting into a dumpster many valuable pieces," said Verderame. "There's an opportunity to learn."

Verderame has studied various art ears and styles and is able to identify what makes an item valuable.

Discussing various lamp, coins, jewelry, furniture and paintings brought by attendants for appraisal, Verderame sought to educate the audience about details that can change the value of a piece. Where the item is stored can affect a piece because temperature and humidity can cause damage.

Regular use, sun damage or proximity to smoke can devalue an antique. Pictures should not be near fire place or hung an exterior wall, according to Verderame.

"We are willing to let an antiques dealer give us pennies on the dollar,' said Verderame. "You would never let a car dealer do that."

Verderame said that sellers are not paid the actual price a piece simply because they are not educated and know the item's value.

Generally, an item's value is increased or decreased by several factors which include the craftsmanship and continued care to the piece. Matching pieces of a set are more valuable than an individual item.

Knowing the item's history also increase the value so that an item handed down through generations is more valuable than one with an unknown past.

Verderame offered advice on selling the items. A person should find a reputable dealer or if using the internet set a base price. The Palmer Museum at Penn State is also a resource for pricing coins.

Verderame has a weekly television show called "Trash or Treasure?" that airs on CBS 3 Saturdays 9 to 9:30 a.m. She is also director of Masterpiece Galleries of Pennsylvania.

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