“Over time, the government melted down the well circulated coins to make new coins. This made some of the first batches made in 1964 extremely rare. At the time your uncle got them they were only worth the price of the gold. There was a time in history when gold sold for around $50 per ounce. People who could afford to buy a bunch and sit on it then made a fortune when it went over a thousand per ounce. It seems very few people held onto the coins from these batches. Basically for the same reason you don’t hang onto the new coins our government mints. They are just currency you use to purchase things with.”
“The policy of melting down well used coins to make new coins had the effect of making the remaining coins from those mintings valuable to collectors. This particular coin, in its current condition, if I’m correct about it’s date of minting, would be worth $4,000 by itself, of which, we would pay 80% to you. Honestly, if you had managed to hold onto these until you got to Vegas, you could have traded cars. If this all checks out we will be paying you roughly $14,000, but don’t hold me to that yet. It could be as little as $12,000. Do you still want to carry these in your pocket on the street?”
“No!” responded Stretch. “I was expecting at most a few thousand to make the car repairs.”
“We do pride ourselves on honesty here. Most tend to complain about us taking 20 percent though” continued the gentleman slightly cocking an eyebrow.
“Well, I don’t expect anyone to work for free and I need to get my car fixed. It seems a fair exchange. Please put them in the vault and I will return in roughly two hours to find out the final amount” answered Stretch. “Thank you very much sir.”
Stretch had been a bit worried about the coins. This wasn’t a dealer he knew. Having photos of them sent around the Internet made him a bit uneasy as well. If the Old Timer hadn’t shared the story of how he got them he would have taken the coins and tried a less reputable place. Stolen from a Russian Oligarch meant they weren’t on a hot list, or shouldn’t be. Unless the Oligarch stole them.
That last thought stopped Stretch in his tracks. He wasn’t certain just how long he stood there with a stupid look on his face, but to cover it he took his phone out and tapped it like he was ending a call.
There would still be risk in going back. It’s possible Old Timer hung him out to dry. Not really likely, but possible. Things did eventually fall off the end of the hot list. Too many things got stolen. After five or ten years, the information was simply unmanageable. Even grand theft had a statute of limitations in most countries. Old Timer was young when he stole these. Something he was a long way from now.
I made a walking trip to the gas station up the street to get something cold to drink and a bit of junk food. They also happened to have an overpriced bottle of suntan lotion so I bought that too.
“I hope you don’t think that is sauce for those munchies” the clerk said cheerfully.
“Nope nope nope” I chuckled. “It’s sauce for me while I baste myself in the sun but the pool for a bit.”
“Must be nice” she said as she handed me my change.
“If I ever actually make it to the pool I will let you know” I smiled accepting my change. It costs nothing to be polite I told myself. Still, that is how Melony latched onto me. She lived in a world where kindness was in short supply. Worse yet, she knew what it was to be surrounded by love and kindness in a village more than willing to help raise her children.
“Why the Hell am I thinking about her?” I said out loud as I walked back to the hotel. In this life there is no rhyme or reason to the moments which become a nexus in your life. I know that all too well. Some times a mark will sneeze as the trigger is being squeezed. Other times they will stand in a line with two other bonus kills granting you three paychecks for the price of one bullet.