Thursday, February 19, 2009

All That Glitters Is Not Gold

Life got really exciting for a while. I thought I had struck gold...literally. I was on the way to a huge fortune.

I was rummaging through an old jewelry box and came across a $20 gold coin with a liberty head on one side and an eagle on the other. It was dated 1795. My mother gave it to me 14 years ago. She told me it was real gold and to take good care of it. I usually don't listen to my mother, but this time I did. I tucked the cold coin safely away in my old jewelry box so nothing would happen to it.

Back to the rummaging. I pulled out the coin and thought, 'Man, this has to be really valuable. It's been hanging around the house for 14 years and has a date stamp of 1795.' My heart skipped several beats. Again I thought, 'With the economy being in first gear, and my stocks taking a nosedive, along with my 401K plan, I can really use the money.'

I started to research the value of my coin and found that some rare coins dating back to the 1800's were worth close to $1,000,000. Since my gold coin was dated 1795 it had to be really rare and worth at least $2,000,000.

My mind started to race, along with my heart. I already had big plans for that two million dollars. Then I got hit with a big dose of reality. Additional research showed there were no gold coins minted before 1800. Further research brought me to a screeching halt. It turns out my 1795 coin is a commemorative piece that was manufactured to celebrate the U.S. bicentennial in 1995. It has gold metallic plating over copper. It's total value...maybe $20.

For those of you who were going to be part of my $2M bonanza, you'll just have to wait until I win the lottery. Then again, maybe I can cash my "gold" coin in and we can all go to McDonald's.

Just remember that old proverb, "All that glitters is not gold." Except the golden arches of McD's.

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