All that glitters isn't gold, and apparently the folks in town handling the wrangling ofConan O'Brien's props know it.
Roxana Uskali, a 29-year-old from Roscoe Village, said she got a call Wednesday morning from the late-night host's people, inquiring about large silver coins. The manager of the foreign coins department at Harlan J. Berk Ltd. – a coin and antiquity gallery at 31 N. Clark St. – said she had some in stock. Shortly after, two men wearing Conan "All Access" badges came in and bought a 6-ounce, $190 replica of a US silver eagle dollar. It's worth $175 in straight silver.
"It's what we consider bullion," she said. "It's worth what its weight is in silver."
A rep for the show wouldn't confirm the purchase, saying the show buys too many props to keep track of.
Uskali said she got few details on what the shiny, hockey puck-sized coin could be used for, but said the two men said it will likely be spray painted gold. It also might be cut in half as part of a skit in one of two remaining shows Conan has scheduled in Chicago.
"My guess is that they are going to try to pass it off as gold," she said. "If it were gold, it would be worth a lot of money." With the going rate of the precious metal, a 6-ounce hunk of gold that size would be worth just under $10,000, she said.
The crew also asked if it would be possible to return the nearly $200 investment. They could, Uskali said, adding they would likely be paid a percentage of the actual worth of the metal.
Though she hasn't been watching the show as it's played out in Chicago this week, she will be now.
Have you run into prop wranglers, comedians or even Conan himself? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet @redeyechicago and tell us about it.