I found gold today. Ever since I have been picking for antiques and collectibles. I have found gold teeth 4 times! Today, it was in a prescription bottle. Nine grams of dental gold. I had gathered together a couple of books on geology, two old slide rules, a pocket knife, and some hardware, and this old prescription bottle. I laid it on the “cashier table” at the estate sale. The man said, “hmmm, how about five dollars?” Sure… OK. When I weighed it out and figured that gold today was over $1600 per troy oz, and nine grams is about .28 troy oz, and the gold value estimate of dental gold could be 75%, it comes out to $344.
I let the seller set the price. I did not hide the items. They were all there to be seen. But, I ask you, was this dishonest or unethical? I’d like some comments from some of you.
Years ago, I bought a large and important collection of minerals and crystals from someone. I was able to obtain some wonderful rare pieces. I was able to get the library, and some other antiques and things. In the collection was a pretty valuable “Thatcher’s Rule” which is like a big cylindrical slide rule. I bought it for $100. I sold it for $600. I went back and gave the person I got it from another $200 after I received my payment. The guy I sold it to sold it for $1500. Was anyone in the wrong here? Does ethics have any business at all in the picking business?
I would love some discussion to add to our posts here. Even the famous “American Pickers” on TV have some controversy online about their escapades.
Does it have to be gold? is that too blatant of a find? What if you find cash in an old book? What if you find any kind of item, that you know is impossibly rare, but it is so obscure and esoteric, and the chances are you are the only one in a hundred square miles knows anything about it. If you buy it cheap, are you taking advantage, or just a smart business person? After all, you “paid” for your knowledge. Is that any different than a doctor knowing more about how to cut into you. He is adding value to the situation because of his education.