Friday, March 12, 2010

So Close, And Yet...

The other night the Spousal Unit and I somehow ended up watching a show on the Discovery Channel that recounted several instances in which people, via absolutely ZERO work or dedication to craft, became suddenly "rich." A meteorite shower in a small Illinois town resulted in several neighbors picking meteorites up off their grass, and then selling them to a museum for anything from $2,000 to $40,000 dollars. The SU looked at me incredulously. "Who sets the price?" he asked. I nodded in silent agreement with his unvoiced sentiment. Any of those people would have been happy to take $50, so...bad on you, museum.

In another story, an older couple were clearing out their antique store when the lady-half of the couple found an old baseball card. She put it up on eBay for $9, but then her son and husband realized it was extraordinarily rare. They begged her to remove it from auction, but she refused because she'd never before taken anything off auction. After much cajoling, she finally agreed to part ways with her auction principles, and it's a mighty fine thing she did, too, because she ended up selling the faded card for $75,000.

And then a woman found an abstract painting in a garbage can in New York. She brought it home and eventually discovered that it was the work of a famous Mexican artist, that it had been stolen 20 years before, and that a Sotheby's auctioner had been obsessed with finding it for lo those many years. Blah, blah, blah, the woman was granted a finder's fee and some kind of financial thank you from Sotheby's.

During a commercial break, I remembered that earlier in the week I'd raided the change bowl for parking meter money and found a Wisconsin state quarter from 2004. I'd never seen anything like it, so I tossed it in with my jewelry and forgot about it until this crazy show came on. Said I to the Spousal Unit, "That reminds me. I found a Wisconsin state quarter in the change bowl, and I meant to google it."

"They made a bunch of state quarters," said the Spousal Unit. He readjusted his lounging position. "It's nothing."

"Well, with that attitude young man, I will not be sharing whatever riches come my way."

"Okey dokes," he said. "Go to town."

And I marched into my room and opened my jewelry drawer and pulled out my Wisconsin state quarter, and googled it.


Some of the Wisconsin state quarters contain a flaw which makes them valuable to collectors.

These flawed quarters came from the Denver mint, and they are worth up to $500.


My Wisconsin state quarter came from the Denver mint.

I reported these facts to the Spousal Unit. "What? Really?"

I began to laugh hysterically. After calming down, I reported that the flawed quarters have an extra corn husk leaf protruding from the left side of the corn. Sometimes it points up, sometimes it points down.


My Wisconsin state quarter did not contain the flaw.

So this is not the best blog post ever. But you have to admit: it was close.


Luisa said...

This reminds me of that story you used to tell about the Tiffany candlesticks that decreased in value because the owner cleaned off the patina. Ouch.

vta said...

As a child, I used to fantasize about finding treasure in my grandparents' creepy basement. This post has sure brought back that memory. Btw, if it is not too much to ask, can I ask for your opinion on which children's books are good for my 6 year old? We are in Cebu, Phils. and children are on summer break. We have a couple of Dr. Seuss books (limited supply here) and those overpriced sets sold by Phoenix Publication. You just seem so knowledgeable about books. Thanks:)