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Fun on Friday: The Man Who Put His Gold in a Folder and Lost It

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Today we’re going to have fun at the expense of some poor man in Germany.

On the one hand, you’ll probably feel a little sorry for the guy. But — come on man!

Chalk this up as a lesson in how not to take care of your gold.

This unnamed Berliner left 22 gold bars in a folder under a tree, along with €3,500 in cash. According to a report on a German website, the gold was valued at about €35,000. That’s a little over $41,000 US. The owner told police he had put the folder down as he was locking up his bike.

Then he “simply forgot about it.”

Yes. He forgot about the $41,000 worth gold bars he was carrying around in a folder and just walked away.

The man probably ought to take some of those euros and buy a lottery ticket because it was his lucky day. Somebody with a whole lot of integrity found the folder and turned it in to police. Admit it – you would at least be tempted to keep a folder stuffed with gold bars and cash. It’s OK. We all know.

Anyway, officials say there was some personal information in the folder that helped them identify the owner.

The good Samaritan won’t go away empty-handed though. Under German law, people who find lost items get between 3 and 5% of the value. According to the news report, the finder’s honesty will pay off to the tune of about €2,000.

Now get this – Berlin authorities plan to cash in on the find as well. In a statement, police said they will charge a “storage fee” amounting to 10% of the value of the lost items. If my math is right (and that’s not a given – I’m a writer not a mathematician), that will come to somewhere in the neighborhood of €3,850

Because, you know, there’s significant overhead in folder storage.

And you thought taxation was theft. The Germans have figured out a way to take asset forfeiture to a whole new level.

At any rate, this whole story raises a lot of questions in my mind.

First off, who puts gold in a folder? I can’t wrap my head around the thought process here. Was it something like this?

“Hey honey, I need something to carry this gold in.”

“Oh, there’s a folder on the dining room table. Just use that.”

“OK. Great. I’m going for a bike ride. See ya!”

“OK dear. Be careful. Don’t lose that folder.”

“Ha! Don’t be silly!”

Seriously. How do you “simply forget” you’re carrying more than $40,000 worth of gold bars? You forget to stop and get milk on the way home form work. You forget to pay the phone bill. You forget you offhandedly invited your annoying neighbor to dinner. You don’t forget you’re carrying gold bars. I mean, I’m thinking I would probably be painfully aware of that fact. Actually, I’m pretty sure I’d be paranoid as hell biking through town with a bunch of gold bars and cash stuffed in a folder. But maybe that’s just me.

In all seriousness, there is a lesson here. You need to keep your gold safe and secure. Our precious metal specialists here at SchiffGold can help you do that. They can recommend both safe storage and vault storage solutions. It’s way better than a folder, and we won’t charge you 10% of the value.

Fun on Friday is a weekly SchiffGold feature. We dig up some of the off-the wall and off-beat stories relating to precious metals and share them with you – with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Click here to read other posts in this series.

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