All that glitters…

Could be gold, but will you get your price? Probably not. Let me explain to you dear reader what happened to me. I was lucky enough to have in my possession a jewel that was made of gold with a long gold chain attached to a lucky charm. As I was not one to wear such jewels, not being the type that likes to display wealth, I thought it best to sell this jewel to a jeweler. At least I would have cold hard cash in my hands and that I know what to do with.

I did not go far for the transaction, favouring a jeweler that was near where I lived. I went in and promptly displayed the chain and the lucky charm on the counter. The man, in his late fifties, told me that someone in the back would weigh the gold and give it a price.

Now, I must say that I had a price in mind. After all, the person that had given me the jewelery had told me that the chain alone was worth 80 dollars. I therefore estimated the whole piece to be worth at least 100 dollars. I was already making plans on how to spend this money, salivating like an old toothless dog after someone had thrown it a bone. A golden bone.

After waiting a few minutes a woman came out from behind and detailed for me how much the piece was really worth, 45 dollars. My jaw must have dropped several feet as I stammered that I had thought it worth more like 80 to 100 dollars. I protested saying that the chain alone was worth 80 dollars.

She smiled and then patiently explained to me that the price was what the amount of gold in the chain and the charm. It was 25 dollars plus 20 dollars and nothing more. She then explained that she was not into reselling jewelery but into melting it and producing something new. Furthermore, she said that when jewelers sell pieces they routinely mark up the prices. That I knew about the mark-up, but I did not know about a mark-down!

I was very disappointed by the price that she had quoted me. According to the weight of the gold that was the price. I thought about declining but as the piece held no sentimental value to me and that 45 dollars in my pocket was better I agreed to the exchange.

This is what happens when one is a novice in such matters. We are cruelly led back to earth by those who know. We routinely appraise things much too highly because they may have some worth to us, but when we offer it on the market invariably we are disappointed by the returns we get. Things are always worth more to us than to other people.


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