Saturday, March 24, 2012
Has the price of gas hit $4 a gallon yet where you live? As I mentioned in last week’s column, several analysts predict that cost will seem cheap before the year is out. Are you ready to pay $5 a gallon?
Some neighbors and I were reminiscing recently about how cheap things were back in “the good old days.” I mentioned that the very first credit card I got was for one of the gas-station chains. Back then, gasoline cost less than 25 cents a gallon.
Then I said something that stopped them cold. “Do you know that you can still buy gasoline for about 20 cents a gallon?” They were all positive there was a trick to my question — and there was. My claim is absolutely, totally, 100 percent true — if you pay with dimes that were minted before 1965.
Back then, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars were 90 percent pure silver. Today, those coins are commonly referred to as “junk silver.” But believe me, there is nothing junky about them.
These genuine silver coins are typically sold in bags with a face value of $1,000. If they were all dimes, there would be 10,000 of them. Each bag contains about 712 ounces of silver. A pre-1965 silver dime has about 1/14th of an ounce of silver in it. With silver now around $32 an ounce, one of those “junk silver” dimes is worth about $2.29. Selling two of them would buy you a gallon of gas anywhere in the country.