How Gold Prices Can Ruin Your Relationships

goldSo, the bad news is there may be another recession, but the good news is gold prices are at an all time high! Bust out those heinous class rings and name plates, people, because as of Monday morning, gold prices were above $1,700 an ounce. Wahoo!

No, seriously, things are looking bad for the U.S. economy. It's scary. And it's also what's prompting investors -- and maybe you? -- to seek refuge in the shiny, shimmery stuff.

And I get that. Because I've sought refuge in gold before. But it didn't end well.


The year? 2010. The piece of gold? Some bicentennial coin my grandmother gave me, my sister, and our two cousins for Christmas. (We each got our own.)

My grandmother is notoriously cheap, so when we opened our coins in unison, we all just sort of darted our eyes back and forth to one another, unsure of how to react. No one knew exactly what they were, and we certainly didn't think they were anything special. After a little explaining, we learned that my grandmother had these coins for a while, and they were worth -- or would be worth -- a decent chunk of change at some point. "Note to self," I thought and placed it next to the earmuffs I just opened from my aunt (despite the fact that I lived in California).

For the next few months, the gold coin sat on my dresser, dusty and unobtrusive. I gave no thought to it and it no thought to me. I was preoccupied with working and planning a wedding at the time. I had no time for gold coins.

Then one day while getting a facial with a gift card I had received for my birthday, the gold coin made her way back into my life. "Your skin is really uneven," the facialist, Rain, told me as she massaged oils that eventually made me break out into my skin. "You know what you would really benefit from? A couple of laser genesis sessions."

"Laser genesis?"

"Yeah, Jessica Alba gets them all the time. They make your skin all even and plump and dewy. A lot of my brides get them."

All she had to say was Jessica Alba. I was sold. I mean, my wedding was coming up. I didn't want to walk down the aisle, uneven skin-toned like some heathen. It wasn't a question of if I was going to get laser genesis, it was when.

When I got up to the counter, I found out the price of the sessions. They weren't cheap, so I avoided making the appointment. But on the ride home, I couldn't stop thinking about them, and eventually they became a wedding necessity to me, like a dress or a groom.

So I sold the coin. And I got a lot for it. Like, over $500 a lot. And then I got the laser genesis sessions, and let me tell you, they were worth every penny. My skin glowed and shined on my wedding day. Jessica Alba would have been proud.

But then, a few months later, when I had put the gold coin deep into the depths of my mind, my grandmother asked for it back. No, this is not typical of most grandmas' behavior, but in order to understand this particular grandmother, I would need all the space on the Internet. And we don't have time for that. 

She said that she wanted to keep mine -- and the other three -- in a safe place. She said she didn't trust us kids having them in our homes, especially my sister who was "irresponsible." Truth be told, I think she just wanted them back because she was strapped for cash.

I tried dodging her for weeks, but to no avail. The woman was persistent. I knew I had to come clean. Before heading over to her house to tell her the news, I told my sister what I did. She was pleased, because she, in fact, had done the same for a Forever 21 shopping spree. And so had our 24-year-old cousin for a night in Atlantic City. Turns out the only person who didn't sell the coin is the youngest of us and the only boy. Some say it's because he's a good kid, I say it's because he never thought to do it.

After I told her, my grandmother was pissed. But eventually she got over it. I think the fifth time I brought lamp chops, broccoli rabe, and cigarettes to her house, per her request, she cracked a smile and forgave me.

And I eventually forgave her. For trying to take away one of the best Christmas presents I've ever gotten.

Have you ever sold gold?


Image via digitalmoneyworld/Flickr

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