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Fun on Friday: At Least the Lockdowns Were Good for Somebody

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For most of us, these government-enforced coronavirus economic shutdowns have been pretty miserable. I don’t think too many of us feel like we’re overall better off today than we were a couple of months ago – unless maybe you’re in the toilet paper business. Even if they haven’t impacted our pocketbooks, the lockdowns have taken a toll on our psyches. I didn’t like being told to stay inside when I was 10. I don’t like it any better today.

But speaking of 10-year-olds, a couple of young boys in France parlayed the lockdown into big bucks.

According to a CNBC report, the two boys stumbled upon about $100,000 worth of gold while they were building a fort.

The duo was staying with relatives in the French countryside, undoubtedly bored out of their skulls. So, they decided to build a fort. The boys, doing what boys do,  started rummaging around the house on a quest for fort construction materials. Among the typical fort-building supplies such as blankets, tables and chairs, the boys found two gold bars wrapped in sheets. The bars weighed about 1 kilo each.

According to CNBC, the boy’s father initially thought the kids had found his mother’s antique knife holders. That was the moment the freakout started and their mom went tearing through the house trying to find the knives, screaming about “stabbing your eye out.” The story didn’t say that, but you know it happened.

Anyway Dad is going to auction off the gold. According to the report, the bars are worth just over 100,000 euros ($108,979) combined, and will likely fetch at least 80,000 euros at auction.

Philippe Rouillac, an auctioneer at the organization, told BFM the bars had been bought by the children’s grandmother in 1967 but had been lost since then. ‘We are going to wait for gold prices to rise a little more,’ he said. He added that at the start of 2020, each bar would be worth around 43,000 euros, but by June, their value could rise to 54,000 euros.”

Nice little windfall for the family.

See? Economic lockdowns aren’t all bad – if you have gold lying around the house. (There’s a deeper lesson here. I’ll let you parse it out.)

But you know who got hosed?

The kids.

You know they won’t see a penny of that money. I’m pretty sure “finders keepers” won’t fly with dad. It’s a good lesson for the boys though. They need to get used to people taking their money. They live in France, after all.

And will all the concern about stabbing out eyes and the excitement of finding bars of gold, I bet the kids didn’t even get to finish their fort. I can even imagine a scenario where they got yelled at for digging around in grandma’s stuff. They would have been a lot happier if they had found grandpa’s stash of old Playboys or some toy soldiers. Or maybe those knives.

But alas, all they got were some gold bars that they didn’t even get to play with.

It’s tough being 10.

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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About The Author

Michael Maharrey is the managing editor of the SchiffGold blog, and the host of the Friday Gold Wrap Podcast and It's Your Dime interview series.
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