Rare historical artifacts featured in new season of Arizona PBS 'Arizona Collectibles'

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The third season of “Arizona Collectibles” on Arizona PBS features more than $600,000 in antiques and treasures, plus priceless stories from their owners across the state.

Beth McDonald, radio personality for Phoenix-based 99.9 FM KEZ, returns to host another 13-episode season, premiering at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 8, on Arizona PBS HD. For the first time, Arizona PBS will make each episode of the season available to its members two weeks before it airs. Beginning Aug. 25, each episode will premiere online via the recently launched member benefit Arizona PBS Passport .

The third season features rare and sometimes unique items from various points in history. Appraisers featured on the program performed hundreds of evaluations for nearly 1,000 people who came through the doors during the annual evaluation weekend in April.

One guest, Karen Malone of Phoenix, shared the powerful story of her grandmother’s iron ring and its journey to the U.S. from Nazi-occupied Europe. The ring was given to her grandmother by the Austrian government after it melted down her gold wedding band to help pay for weapons during World War I. During World War II, Malone’s Jewish grandmother had the ring smuggled to her sister in Sweden who sent it to America. Her grandmother and grandfather were taken to a German concentration camp where they died in 1942. The ring is the only thing she has left from her grandmother.

“I’m 60 now and I’ve had the ring most of my adult life,” said Malone. “I didn’t know who to begin to talk with about this thing. This was such a wonderful opportunity. I was so excited when I realized how rare it really is. Your show helped me to meet with a wonderful appraiser who was interested in the personal story of my items and confirmed I did own a unique piece of history. I can’t thank you enough!”

“It’s quite rare to find something like this,” said “Arizona Collectibles” jewelry appraiser Craig Lynch. “Because it’s iron, it tends to be very brittle and susceptible to rust. Probably less than a hundred of these survived.”


Arizona Collectibles host Beth McDonald of KEZ 99.9 FM returns to host the third season.

Another guest, Will Blume of Cornville, Arizona, found something unexpected at a yard sale in nearby Sedona. After buying a bag of clothes from an old trunk for $20, he later discovered it was full of tuxedos which originally belonged to Hollywood icon Orson Welles. “Arizona Collectibles” appraisers estimated the tuxedos to be worth nearly $10,000.

“You never know what we’ll discover on ‘Arizona Collectibles,’” said Arizona PBS producer Margery Punnett. “Our production team has pulled many of the best items and most amazing family stories from those of nearly a thousand people who attended our weekend evaluation event. It is so much fun to watch as people find out what their heirlooms, thrift store finds and auction buys are worth. Whether it’s the gold nugget passed down through generations or the Howard Hughes film traded for a cab ride, we are thrilled with the stories we will be sharing on this season on ‘Arizona Collectibles’.”

“Arizona Collectibles” is an Arizona PBS original production made possible by Hospice of the Valley, Morris Hall, Biltmore Loan and English Rose Tea Room.