How much is that thing worth?

Did you see the recent story about a little white bowl purchased for a minimal amount and discovered to be worth a couple of hundred thousand dollars?  Makes you want to scope out garage sales and your attic or that crammed closet, right?

Well, I have been doing just that.  I’m going through my belongings to eliminate the things I no longer want or need.  In the process I found a Zippo lighter that had belonged to my late husband.  He had it when we met and carried it his whole life.  I happened to see an article about collectors interested in Zippo lighters.  The article stated that some could be worth from $2000-$5000.  Others just a few dollars.  That got my attention.

I found a site online which listed all the Zippo lighters beginning with the first produced in 1933 and going to the present.  So I contacted them and asked about my Zippo which had a design of Reddy Kilowatt on the front.  I had the date of its production, 1949-1955 and the patent # and clearly described it.  The response came back rather quickly, $175, if it was in mint condition and in the original box.  That wasn’t true of my husband’s Zippo.  He used it.

So I am not going to sell his treasured possession.  It will go to one of my children, none of whom smoke, but love the memories of their father.  And I’ll keep looking for my “little white bowl”.

Why You Shouldn’t Trust The Experts

In August, 2011 I closed out a small Stock account and purchased 3 gold coins.  I had been advised that the stock market was going down drastically and gold was going up in proportion.  The “experts” predicted a rise to $2000 per ounce by the end of 2012.  That sounded like pretty good advice.  The price of gold has steadily gone up since the price was held at $35 per ounce.

I was able to purchase 3 gold coins, ¼ ounce each, for a total of $1,556.25.  Each coin cost $518.75.  I figured that the price of gold would have to reach $2,075 per ounce for me to break even.  It is now nearly the end of 2012 and the price of gold today is $1,694 per ounce.  It goes up a little and down a little every day.  The highest it has been was in September of 2011 at $1,890.  The lowest it has been was $1,539 in May, 2012.  At today’s price I have lost $285.75.   So much for the experts.  I should have kept the money in the stock market.  I am not planning to sell these coins.  They will be gifts to my 3 children after my death.  But I believed the “experts”.