Do you believe everything you see? I just got off the phone with a fellow who proves just how powerful something can be when you look at it.
The caller had bounced around a bit between two other people before it got to me because he had a somewhat unusual question that made no sense to those he was talking to.
It all boiled down to the fact that he spotted a listing somewhere online that gave the weight of a tenth-ounce 2006 platinum American Eagle coin as if it were a quarter-ounce coin.
It should be easy to explain.
But it wasn’t.
Two issues were involved. The caller kept asking repeatedly if the government changed the weight of the tenth-ounce coin.
I kept saying no.
He kept referring to the website.
I kept saying it must be an error on the listing.
That brought up the second issue. He said he was calling Krause Publications because the listing was based on information supplied by my firm. I said even if the data on which the listing was based came from us, we cannot prevent errors of this kind. It is not like we have some sort of direct online electronic feed to others’ websites.
To keep me on my toes, he said the price keeps changing. I replied that it would change every day, every minute as long as the bullion markets are open.
Then the specific prices he cited for yesterday and today were the dollar values for a quarter-ounce coin. It did not seem to matter that we had already established the fact that a tenth-ounce coin does not weigh a quarter ounce and the government did not somehow out of the blue decide that in 2006 it would increase the weight of the $10 tenth-ounce coin to a quarter ounce.
When I said a tenth-ounce coin would not have the value of the quarter ounce, we were right back to the mistaken online listing.
After all, the screen told him this was so and we had supplied the original data.
I remember Bud Abbott and Lou Costello’s who’s on first routine. I am sure the movie in which it appears is still being shown on cable TV somewhere. I could not help but think of this as my phone conversation kept coming back to the same error that a tenth ounce coin was listed as weighing a quarter ounce.
If you can imagine how you would respond to someone asking if the Mint had changed the weight of a tenth-ounce coin to a quarter ounce, you can imagine why the first two people who talked to him were glad to pass him along to someone else.
I’ll bet you cannot believe that I have filled this entire space with this topic. But then, you did not spend as much time as I did with the caller.
Such is the power of what is written online. I guess tomorrow I will ask in my blog that readers send me all their money.